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HP Tarot – 18 The Moon


HP Tarot – 18 The Moon

“The Moon can be a double-edged card. Traditionally it shows a dog and a wolf howling at a waning moon that is weeping silver tears amid a dark landscape of standing stones, a branching path and a body of water that holds a crab scuttling about. All of that makes it probably one of the most mysterious-looking cards of the deck. Well-aspected the moon may mean that we are operating mostly on the intuitive plane: the crab in the water is what scurries about underneath the surface of our conscious mind, and while we follow our instinct we walk the paths of dreams with the certainty of a sleep-walker. The Moon encourages us to be open to hunches and to listen to our inner voice.

On the other hand, the Moon also holds a message of caution: The dark moonlit landscape may be the scene of nightmares, of drugged hallucinations, of illusions that guide us down the wrong paths where wolves are snapping at our heels and the guiding light of the moon wanes and fails. Looking under the surface of our consciousness may make us encounter our shadow rather than our inner guardian.

For my interpretation of the card I felt that some of the traditional symbols would serve very well: the wolf and dog were easy enough to keep – Sirius and Remus in their animal form as dog and werewolf sitting outside the shrieking shack. Of course for Remus to turn I had to replace the waning moon with a full moon. I also kept the water, though I did not show the traditional crab. I think the wolf and dog give the card a meaning that really emphasizes the double nature of the moon card. Remus’ transformation is involuntary, nightmarish, dangerous and a curse. It shows all the negative aspects of the moon card – the way our subconscious can overpower us with illusions and fear. Sirius’ transformation is voluntary, a feat of skill and magic and it is done for love and friendship. The marauders honed their skills of transformation so they could keep their friend Remus company and help him without endangering themselves. It shows that we can tap into our animal side for working good if we know how and if we do it for the right motivation and with proper skill.

Adding the shrieking shack was another opportunity to show that nightmares and illusions can turn out to be something else if we take a closer look. Everyone was always terrified of the “most haunted house in England” until the trio took a closer look and found it to be actually a safe place and a shelter for the marauders. I think the Moon card sometimes urges us to go below the surface of what scares us and to explore our beliefs and fears.

This card was a lot of fun to do and I am very happy how it turned out. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to make moonlight on snow look quite so silvery…”

HP Tarot – 18 The Moon
Artist Elly Pieper
Copyright © 2008


This Moon card features Sirius Black and Remus Lupin in their animal forms. As the artist points out in her explanation of the card's composition, Sirius turned into a dog in order to keep Lupin company, since he had no choice but to turn into a werewolf every full moon. This friendship, along with Prongs (Wormtail doesn't merit any sentimental feeling from me!), was one of the most touching aspects of the Harry Potter books.

Image title supplied by the artist.


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