THROUGH THE MOONGATE (Tarot Card Meditation)
The below is a slightly revised version of a meditation I wrote and posted to my now defunct web site. It was originally written as the warm-up for a Tarot class that I offered many years ago.
In my experience there are two general ways in which we receive information when we do Tarot readings. One, from the meanings assigned to the cards that we have learned from the literature and from experience; and two, from intuition and psychic sources.
The way of meaning involves memorization and experience. The way of intuition and psychic information is more subtle, and usually involves getting out of our own ways so that the information can come through. We tend to be in our own ways when we are out of touch with our bodies. It has been said that being psychic is, at its most basic, being fully present with all five of our senses. It may be that in becoming more aware of our embodiment, our senses then can act as doorways onto deeper perceptual abilities that lie beyond physical sensing. "Sinking into and then beyond,” if you will. However, please note, I do not claim that being in touch with our bodies is the only way to receive intuitive/psychic information. There is still so much to be learned about these ways of knowing.
In any event, it was this gateway of the senses that I wanted to explore when I designed this Moon card meditation as a warm up exercise for listening with and to our bodily senses in response to Tarot images. Also, I wanted it to serve as an example of one way to meditate on a card in general.
I chose The Moon card for two reasons. One, the card had been haunting me in my personal readings, demanding to be known by me in some deeper fashion. I knew that in writing a meditation I would delve very deeply into the card's images and traditional lore. And two, The Moon card lore has a very rich, old, and deep resonance with the cycles of history, both collective and personal, which we are said to carry encoded in our bodies. Our bodies even respond to the changes in actual lunar phases. All this made The Moon card, in my opinion, fertile territory to explore and respond to with our bodily senses.
PLEASE NOTE: This Moon Card meditation is designed for use with The Moon card from the Rider/Waite/Smith deck because it references those particular images and many of their traditional meanings. The Universal Waite, the Albano/Waite, or any fully Rider/Waite/Smith "clone" Moon card would work as well.
If you want to actually do this meditation, I'd suggest recording it yourself. It's an intriguing experience doing a meditation that's led in your own voice. But having a trusted friend read it to you, slowly and thoughtfully, will work just as well. It's also possible to do it reading the instructions from the page yourself, pausing where required, then going back to the instructions. This is more challenging, especially if you are new to Tarot images. In all three cases, keep notes as you go along; i.e., after each pause. Also, allow plenty of time for this meditation. It’s not a quick jog around the park. :-)
Please note that wherever this meditation says "PAUSE," make sure to allow ample time for exploring in silence, then making notes before continuing on the journey. The questions and comments setting up a "PAUSE" are all in upper case, to distinguish them from the rest of the narrative.
Have a note pad and pen, and The Moon card out of your deck.
Find a quiet place where you won't be interrupted and where you can get comfortable.
Relax, do some deep breathing, and then just sit with The Moon card and look at it. Take several minutes to look it over. Don't worry about meaning or whether you understand The Moon card. Just take its images in.
After several minutes, place The Moon card face down. Relax some more. Close your eyes. On each slow in breath think: Relaxing. On each slow out breath think: Releasing. Continue breathing this way for a few minutes .... Relaxing ..... Releasing .... Know that you are safe always in this magical landscape you are about to enter.
Then, when you feel ready, start ...
See The Moon card in front of your mind's eye.
Don't worry if it doesn't seem clear, what is important will be there when you need it.
Now see The Moon card grow, swelling until it fills your vision with its mysterious vista. It has no borders now and you are in its landscape. Where you stand is in the Dark of The Moon.
This is the Goddess Hecate's realm of death and rebirth. Though cold, She is not mean. Though dark, She is not evil, for She ultimately brings rebirth.
This powerful Goddess Hecate will always be available to you on your journey toward the light of The Moon, that shimmers faintly way off in the distance.
A dull blue pool, wanly reflecting the distant moon, gently laps at your bare feet. You are standing at its edge, the pool's depths are to your back, as if you have just risen from its vastness.
A chill wind ruffles the hair on the back of your head.
HOW DO YOU FEEL? HOW DOES YOUR BODY FEEL? WHERE ARE YOU TENSE? WHERE ARE YOU RELAXED? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING HERE? … PAUSE … MAKE NOTES
You look to either side of yourself. The pool extends as far as you can see.
Ahead, you see a path that wanders off into the far, far distance until it disappears under the moon in the night sky.
You look at the two grey stone towers in the distance, whose supporting walls extend into infinity, but you do not have time to wonder at them because there, at your feet, a crayfish, a lobster-like creature, scrabbles up out of the pool.
It's metallic green-greyness glimmers slightly.
HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW? WHAT MUST IT BE LIKE TO LIVE WITH YOUR SKELETON ON THE OUTSIDE PROTECTING YET WALLING YOU OFF? WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR STOMACH, YOUR NECK, ELSEWHERE IN YOUR BODY? … PAUSE … MAKE NOTES
The crayfish scrabbles on ahead of you and out of view. Then onto either side of the path ahead, leap two animals. A wolf lands on the right side and a dog on the left.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THESE TWO ANIMALS? ONE IS WILD AND UNTAMED, AND THE OTHER THE PRODUCT OF HUMAN WILL. WHAT DOES YOUR BODY WANT TO DO IN RESPONSE TO EACH OF THEM? … PAUSE … MAKE NOTES
You are brought out of your reveries by the howling of the wolf. The dog focusses intently on the wolf, then responds by howling also, as if some deep chord of memory has been struck.
The road that passes between them beckons you intensely, suddenly brighter through the gloom. Even as the hair stands up on the back of your neck, you take courage and curiosity in hand and step out of the lapping edge of the pool, onto the road.
HOW DO YOU FEEL AS YOU WALK BETWEEN THE HOWLING WOLF AND DOG? WHAT DOES YOUR BODY FEEL? WHAT IS THE ROAD LIKE BENEATH YOUR BARE FEET? HOW DOES THE AIR FEEL ON YOUR SKIN? WHAT SMELL IS IN THE AIR? WHAT SOUNDS ARE THERE BESIDES THE HOWLING? … PAUSE … MAKE NOTES
The howling fades as you continue walking. The moonlight intensifies even more and you realize you are hearing new sounds, the buzzing of insects, the chirping of birds. You look at the field that rolls endlessly away from the path to either side of you.
THIS IS THE FIELD OF EXPERIENCE. EXPLORE EITHER SIDE A LITTLE BIT NOW. WALK AROUND, OFF THE PATH IF YOU WANT. WHAT DO YOU FIND? WHAT DO YOU HEAR, SMELL? WHAT DO YOU FEEL? … PAUSE … MAKE NOTES
The moonlight is almost as bright as day now. You hurry back to the path and look up at the full moon, smiling serenely down at you from the blue sky. Her face in profile is that of Diana, Goddess of the Moon. Diana, the Huntress, accompanied by Her dogs, both wild and tame.
The Moon is crying; tears of sorrow, tears of joy. Ancient tears that filled the Nile to overflowing. Tears that created the pool from which you and the crayfish arose. Nourishing tears that sustain the field through which your path has wandered.
You are drawn onward along the path toward Her. You suddenly stumble as the path takes a steep, long and exhausting downward turn beneath your feet. You have to look down, away from the light of the moon, to keep from tripping.
WHAT DO YOU FIND HERE, WHEN THE GUIDING LIGHT IS ALL BUT OUT OF SIGHT? WHEN THE GOAL SEEMS LOST? HOW DO YOU FEEL? WHAT IS YOUR BODY DOING? WHAT DOES YOUR BODY WANT TO DO? … PAUSE … MAKE NOTES
With courage and faith in hand, you continue walking onward. You remember that Hecate is always with you, in every shadow cast by the brilliant shining of the moon.
And the path begins to gently rise ahead of you again, under the bright moonlight of Diana’s blessed face. You continue to walk and walk, sometimes in the light and sometimes in the dark downward turning of the path.
WHAT IS YOUR PATH LIKE NOW? HOW ARE YOU FEELING? HOW IS YOUR BODY RESPONDING TO THESE CHANGES AROUND YOU? … PAUSE … MAKE NOTES
The path seems endless until you reach the two towers, one to either side of the path. And you find that you can walk no further, though you want to very much. Though there is no visible barrier in front of you, you simply can not walk further.
BREATHE DEEPLY INTO YOUR BODY. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO OR USE TO MOVE FURTHER DOWN THIS PATH? DOES YOUR INTUITION URGE YOU TO DO ANYTHING IN ORDER TO CONTINUE DOWN THIS PATH? ACCEPT WHATEVER REPONSE OR LACK THEREOF YOU RECEIVE … PAUSE … MAKE NOTES
Whether or not your intuition led you to a breakthrough, you are able to continue on this path now, for not everything we are able to do is the result of our knowledge or efforts or intuitions. The gift of grace is also part of the journey.
The Goddess Diana beams all the brighter for you have made it down the long path, to stand beneath Her, open to the deep blue sky. Her tears for now are all tears of joy!
Feel the Wisdom and the Sorrow of Your Journey,
the Fear and Elation, the Loss and Creation
Fill Each Cell of Your Body
with the Moon's Radiance until it Shines
like the Moon Herself.
It is time to return to ordinary consciousness. Look behind you. Bless the path you followed here, and thank Hecate for Her presence on your journey even if you were not aware of it. Then look at Diana again and thank Her. Breathe in and out deeply a few times.
When you are ready open your arms and hands wide in celebration, and slowly open your eyes.
You are now back here in ordinary consciousness. Make any additional notes about your journey. Be gentle with yourself as you reorient to regular consciousness.
Should you do this meditation, it will be interesting to note what your relationship to The Moon card is subsequently. It is also possible that you will find inspiration for creative writing or other art work resulting from this exercise. Insights and intuitions may surface during the meditation, and may also rise afterwards. You might find insights and intuitions arising not related at all to The Moon card or to The Tarot as you may have re/connected to parts of yourself in the process of this journey. For example, even just carefully reading and slightly revising this meditation reminded me that mixed in with the travails and sorrows of life, we sometimes find a gift of grace.
Resource: Tarot Reading Layouts for the Major Arcana, though not meditations, per se, these layouts do in a way explore the card they are based on. This is Thalia Took's site, whose Tarot art I have posted here previously (The Emperor and The Star).
Please see the top of the sidebar for my background with the Tarot and a recommendation to beginners.
‘til next time, keep listening to your body, and enjoying The Tarot,
[aka: Patricia Kelly]
****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for some articles about Tarot.****