Sunday, May 22, 2016

This Week's Writerly Tarot: The Moon

And now we come to the second card in my Great Big Spring Into Summer Reading: The Moon. The first card was last week's Judgment; we'll get to Temperance next week. But for now, stretch out in a midnight shadow and look high above the trees—The Moon is beckoning.

The Moon is a card of the senses. It is lush, exotic, slightly taboo in its sense of otherworldly seduction. The Moon beckons. It pulls with tidal, irresistible power. This is the card of the subconscious, and as such, brings with it a knowing that is both deeper and more evanescent than conscious understanding.

It is mystery and emotion. It is fantasy and imagination. Writers should know the feeling it evokes very well. The Moon represents the times when our plot seems to twist away from our control, sliding its sinewy way into uncharted lands. Our characters refuse to cooperate with our plans, moving of their own agency in unexpected and perplexing directions. This is the time of fever dreams and rushing words, of barely being able to keep up with the story bursting onto the page. We feel possessed. Enthralled. Not entirely sane.

Such is the moon. It illuminates, but not in an entirely coherent light, which is something every lunatic understands (and we all have an inner lunatic, every one of us). But how does The Moon connect to Judgment and Temperance? What message could there possibly be in that trilogy?

One clue lies in the imagery of the card itself. The ocean represents the subconscious, the dog and the wolf the baying voices of fear. The path represents our journey out of the subconscious, past our fears, and into. . . . what? The card does not show us. The twin pillars in the distance represent the unknown, the boundary beyond that which you already know. You are being asked to walk through them.

Last week we looked at Judgment as a card of interesting times, of the call that pulls you out of the life you know into the life you were meant to have. The Moon is the portal you must walk through, past your fears and into The Next Thing. As such, both Judgment and The Moon function as cards of initiation.

And so does Temperance.

But we'll get to that dual-natured angel next week. Until then, pay attention to your dreams. Watch for synchronicities. Listen for whispers. The Universe is an engine of revelation, and it has an important message in the works for you.

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