under the surface

Welcome to Tarot Alley! Sometimes Tarot Alley uses affiliate links, which means we might receive a commission on the sale of some items. This has NO additional cost to you. Visit the policies page to learn more.

Intro Image: The Moon - under the surface

Tarot Alley uses the Rider Waite type of deck for our meanings, symbols, interpretations, etc.

The Moon represents mystery, madness, shadows, the unseen, and so much more. The Moon is the card of rituals and experiments, ceremonies and and creativity, manipulations and deceptions.

The Moon is a bit mad (as in crazy, not angry), strange, and disorienting. This is not the card for answers but for mysteries and secrets.

Remove the mask and stop pretending to be someone else. Revel in that which makes you unique. Appreciate the unknown. Relax into the disarray. Step into the disorientation. Go beyond and discover everything.

Take a look at the Rider-Waite Moon displayed to the left (or above).

What is your first impression?

What are the animals doing? Why? Where is this? What does the imagery say to you?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just your interpretation.

Astrology: Pisces
Element: Water
Numerology: 18 = 1+8=9 (attainment, fullness, readiness)

Common Symbols

  • a Howling Animal to represent your wild nature
  • Water to represent intuition
  • the Moon to represent the hidden
  • a Mask to represent deception

Keywords & Concepts

  • Shadows
  • Wildness
  • Intuition
  • Secrets
  • Unconscious
  • Illusions
  • Subconscious
  • Mystery
  • the Unseen
  • Ceremonies

the Moon for Personal Growth

Faced with an uncertain future, you might feel led to abandon your search for self and crawl back into your shell. You can move forward without tossing caution to the wind. Uncertainty can be the mother of great creativity. Listen your instincts, clarify your path, and keep going.

Ask Yourself:

  • How can you face your fears and move forward?
  • What helpers can serve you as guides through your personal darkness?
  • How can you deal with the unknown in healthy ways?
  • How is your situation shaped by repeating events? By rare ones?
  • To what extent might your own fears be rooted in imagination alone?
  • Which familiars can you call on for help today?
  • What is your greatest fear? Does it play a role in your current situation?
  • In your own situation, what remains unknown? How can you limit the influence of these variables?

Interpreting the Moon

When the Moon appears in a reading it suggests that everything is not as it seems. Something in your life is not as it appears on the surface.

But what? It can be so hard to know.

Luckily, the Moon is also the card of intuition. Pay attention to and trust your gut, intuition, dreams, and subconscious. They’ll help you navigate through the mystery.

The Reversed Moon

How you read reversals is a personal choice. You can ignore reversals and read them as if the card is upright (this is what I often choose to do) or you can interpret reversals as variations of what they would mean upright. There are 3 common ways to read reversals: as a negative interpretation, as an opposite interpretation, or as a block on the upright interpretation. Check out How to Read Reversals for more information.

Negative: A negative reversed Moon suggests secrets, lies, and major deceptions. Things look good, they feel good, it seems like smooth sailing. But that’s a cover for something bad. Be careful!

Opposite: An opposite reversed Moon means clarity. Things are (or are about to become) clear. Now is the time to make decisions because the answers are right in front of you.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Moon indicates something is preventing you from looking beneath the surface to find the truth of what’s going on.

Examples of the Moon

Specific Interpretations

Specific situations are the general interpretation (from above) used for a specific situation (love, career, etc). There is no need to memorize these (or even look them up) if you understand the general interpretation. However, here are some basic interpretations for some specific situations:

Love & Relationships

When it comes to love and relationships, the Moon is uncertain.

If you’re in a relationship, the Moon represents uncertainty or insecurity in it. Perhaps it seems fine on the outside but inside things are a bit of a mess.

If you’re single, the Moon suggests that everyone is not as as they seem. Perhaps someone you’re dating is deceiving you, but it’s also possible that they’re deceiving themselves, too.


Negative: A negative reversed Moon suggests that while your relationship (or lack thereof) might feel good, it’s hiding a dangerous darkness.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Moon means certainty. Trust what’s in front of you right now.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Moon indicates that you’re ignoring the depth of your situation and focusing solely on the surface. You need to work through your block to see what’s really happening in your love life.

Professional Life

Be on the lookout for miscommunications and uncertainty in your professional life. The Moon indicates that all is not as it seems.


Negative: A negative reversed Moon suggests a deliberate deception that will have negative repercussions on your professional life.

Opposite: An opposite reversed Moon means your professional life and options are about as clear as they an get. Be confident in your decisions and choices.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Moon indicates something is preventing you from obtaining certainty.

Health & Wellness

In a health context, if all is not what it seems the problem could be your perception. The Moon is often a sign of paranoia, depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders. 


Negative: A negative reversed Moon suggests an illness (likely mental) that is getting worse. 

Opposite: An opposite reversed Moon means stability in your health.

Blocked: A blocked reversed Moon indicates something is preventing you from seeking diagnoses, treatment, or health results.

the Moon Tarot Card Meaning

Pin This: 18 the Moon - under the surface

The Moon represents what’s under the surface. A dream journal is a great way to get in touch with your inner Moon.

Once you feel comfortable with the Moon tarot card meaning, check out the next card in the tarot deck: XIX – the Sun Tarot Card Meaning.


Tarot Alley Homepage


Pin This: 19 the Sun - experiencing the joys