The Moon Tarot Card - Atu XVIII

The Eighteenth Trump is attributed to the letter Qoph, which represents Pisces in the Zodiac. It is called the Moon. Pisces is the last of the Signs; it represents the last stage of winter. It might be called the Gateway of Resurrection (the letter Qoph means the back of the head, and is connected with the potencies of the cerebellum). In the system of the old Aeon, the resurrection of the Sun was not only from winter, but from night; and this card represents midnight.

I have a very special relationship with Pisces. My father was a Pisces. The first spirit I worked with, Seer, corresponds to Pisces. It is ruled by Jupiter, exalted in Venus. All integral stuff within my own initiations.

I just re-read Atu XVIII from the Book of Thoth. It's as if I read it for the very first time. The Egyptian scarab represented the constellation of Pisces. How cool!

I understood every word of Crowley's in a way which before I could not—all but for the part "...underneath the water which is tinged with graphs of abomination...". I then re-read Lon Milo DuQuette's "Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot". Most fascinating there was his saying that Lady Frieda Harris' scarab beetle was actually a water spider. I don't know about that, but it's cool regardless. The spider's Latin genus name Argyroneta means "silvery net" due to the shining appearance of the spiders' bubble webs underwater, called a diving bell, hence, bell spider. Fascinating as well is that the water spider does not need to come up for air often. It can spend well over 24 hours happily submerged with its silver air bubble. The carbon dioxide produced by the spider is dispersed in water causing a slow build up and release of nitrogen which results in the bubble very slowly diminishing in size. The spider even maintains its cocoons within the bubble, just as the scarab's eggs within the dung ball. Both very symbolic of the Midnight Sun, Khepra.

Atu XVIII shews that Life appearing in the Waters of Midnight, Khepra in the Pool of Great Dark Sea.
— 19th Aethyr

I suddenly flash back to my own Moon initiation. There was so much rich experience. The Daughter of the Moon told me that beetles were her favorite. And now I know Egyptians came to associate Khepra with self-renewal and becoming through observing baby beetles coming out of the buried ball of dung. Heart scarabs guard the heart of the dead to prevent them from confessing the wrong things during the psychostasis and 42 Negative Confessions. 

Crowley said that this card represents the Gate of Resurrection, and not in the Christian sense of the word. Part of what Khephra accomplishes is grounding a soul in a Becoming, an ego individuating, so too keeping that soul from identifying with the past incarnation; and so too, if prompted by the magician, learning of those past incarnations. 

The greatest mystery to me of my Moon initiation was the oddly clothed shadow person in the rocking chair in the bedroom. A place of rest. I sat at the edge of the bed, and filled with terror, looked into the blackness of the shadow person's face. The vision of part of a skull appeared. Through the eye socket another vision - that of a blond haired woman's beautiful blue eye. Think Aaron. Think. What was the Daughter of the Moon showing me? What was she really showing me? Why were you shown into that bedroom after having been shown the beetles and told by her they were her favorite? Why was I so driven to create that shadow person puppet and give place to it?


The "feeling" I get from Lady Harris' image is psychedelic in the extreme. It seems obvious that the midnight Sun is receptacle for the 9 poisoned droplets of blood. The time is that of the waning Moon, specifically the New Moon, and in this the secret of the blood is revealed. It is during the New Moon that women - such Lunar creatures - menstruate- the egg is pushed out. This is a depiction, in part, of the creation of the Elixir Rubeus, or the stuff that is made after sex during menstruation. 

...while Nun is the Eagle of sexual Ecstasy, the Serpent of Life through Death, the Scorpion or Scarab of Kephra, the Womb which transmutes through corruption...

I feel however that by far the most important and most occulted aspect of the card are the "graphs of abomination". This had totally eluded me before. Graphs! Of course! Above the water of Atu XVIII I count three sine waves. Green, Yellow and Blue. Earth, Air and Water. Below the Water I also see 3 sine waves. Red, Blue and Green. Fire, Water and Earth.

The Moon is titled The Ruler of Flux and Reflux: the Child of the Sons of the Mighty. Flux and reflux. Ebb and flow. Tides. Sine waves. I must here say math is not at all my forte, but I would love to hear someone whose it is digress on the waves here. 

I see the blue waves above the water as a woman's knees, the Moon as her face. The red/gold slit at the base of the blue wave is her vagina.

The waves below the water depict the crests and troughs of the material elements of Earth, Water and Fire.

Above the water, the three Yetziratic elements of Air, Water and Earth are shown .

Now this is fucking important. Each travelling sine-wave has three phases: positive (crest), negative (trough) and a transliminal phase - the neutral point between the positive and negative. It is the goal of Hermeticists to bring union to opposites.

Humanity, as never before, is split into two apparently irreconcilable halves. Psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains divided and does not become conscoius of his inner opposite, the world must perforce acto out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.
— Carl Jung

The vesica piscis is another symbol for the 3rd state, the fusion of opposites, of the conscious and unconscious. It is the shamanic gate which Anubis stands at the threshold. I have written before about Terence DuQuesne's "Jackal at the Shaman's Gate". Atu XVIII is the depiction of that. If you have not yet read that work, read it for free here.

In the Thoth deck's Moon card we see three sine-waves in the midst of which is the circle of the Moon. Below the water are three other sine-waves in the midst of which is the circle of the Black Sun. Circles have sine. You can't see the sine in a circle because they are mixed together. If you were to look back over your life with the care of an analyst, you could see the crests and troughs which have brought you to where you are. 

There is much more mystery here. There is much more mystery within my own Moon initiation that I have never grasped. I know that through that initiation I found 4 quarters and was terrified when the large looming circular face of a man arose inches away from my face. The quarters belonged to him. I threw them into the air and ran down the mountain in the dream. It actually took me a number of days to realize that was about the 4 major phases of the Moon: First, Full, Last and New. It is my goal to acquire further initiation, and I believe that graphing sine so to speak, journaling, tracking the celestial cycles, is of the greatest importance to the Work. We can start with what all ancient peoples stared with and worked with—the cycles of the Moon. In particularly with this card, working in the waning of the Moon and with sex magic. The depictions of sexual union are getting at the same symbolic language of the transliminal point. The place in which Alpha meets Omega, where the Serpent's head meets the Serpent's tail. 

In Indian tradition, dasamadvdra or ‘the tenth door’ is unlike the other nine bodily doors and is where soma trickles from the Moon to the Sun and is consumed by it. This is reminiscent of Da’at, the eleventh sphere on the Tree of Life, a ‘black hole of the soul’. It is the gate of the Other World which opens only for a moment to allow the shaman to enter: now you see it, now you don’t.
— Terence DuQesne

The Anubis on the right of the image guides with the sign of Mercury, whereas the Anubis on the right holds the combined Venus/Neptune. In light of DuQuesne's work, I don't believe the one on the right is Anubis, but his twin brother, Upwawet.

I feel I have much more to write about this, but not yet. And so, to bed.