You can read an introduction to the light & shadow series and find links to its other installments >> here! If you aren’t yet familiar with my interpretation of the Moon you might want to read up on its meanings before you continue with this article.
The Moon, one of whose main meanings is “depth / profoundness” is a very ambivalent card. Its positiveness or negativeness depends a lot on the general personality or current emotional state of the person it relates to.
The Moon represents productive, positive, issues and goings-on especially if it relates to a person who is, on the whole, balanced or moderate, or in need of introspection or rest.
To a person who is balanced, or in need of rest, the Moon says that a good night’s sleep, or some quiet time away from busyness and noise, would be healthy. To a person who is, on the whole, emotionally healthy, or wont to suppress their emotions, the Moon says that listening to our emotions, especially our fears and needs, is important, and that even if we don’t act on them, or don’t act on them in the most immediate way, we still need to pay close attention to them and allow them enough space if we want to stay healthy.
If the Moon in a reading points at figurative darkness, this might not seem positive at first, and it definitely won’t be pleasant. Few people enjoy facing sad, obscure, ominous things! However, if the card’s presence in the reading helps us face something dark, and as a result, deal with it, it is still a very productive card to have drawn.
Representing intuition, the Moon will usually represent something productive. As long as the querent knows their own motivations well and is emotionally mature, it can usually be read as the advice that listening to an intuition would be productive.
If the Moon stands for depth, or for significance, it will seem a positive card if depth and significance were what we had been looking for, and it will likely be productive if depth and significance are actually there (and not just projected by us). The card can alert us to the fact that we need to pay more attention to something because it is important, or, affirm that we were already correctly judging (and treating) something as very significant.
The Moon represents unproductive, negative, issues and goings-on especially if it relates to a person who is, on the whole, unstable or excessive.
To a person who has been feeling sad a lot, or who has already been sleeping too much, might be a warning not just of melancholy but clinical depression. It might be saying that what might have begun as an understandable need for rest and quiet has long turned into an inability to go out, have fun, be fully awake and energetic.
If the Moon relates to a person who is already overly emotional in general, or very needy, easily afraid, it likely represents nothing good. In such cases, the Moon probably says that here is someone who is ruled by their emotions to a very unhealthy degree. The Moon can represent emotional trauma, even PTSD.
I mentioned above that if the Moon in a reading points at figurative darkness, this could be productive (if not pleasant) because it could help us face that darkness, and as a result, deal with it. However, the dark itself (for example, the aforementioned emotional trauma) is not pleasant, and often, even destructive.
If the Moon represents specific intuitions, we as card readers need to take care not to interpret these intuitions as positive advice automatically. For a person’s intuitions aren’t handed to them by benevolent, all-knowing spirits. They rise out of their own personal history and experience. Especially if the querent doesn’t know or even misjudges their own motivation, and if they are emotionally immature (and ruled by needs and fears), their intuitions are inapt and possibly dangerous guides for their behaviour.
If the Moon stands for depth, or for significance, it will seem a negative card if depth and significance were not what we had been looking for. (For example, we hoped that our partner’s changed behaviour meant nothing, but the Moon suggests that actually, yes, it is significant – i.e. they might be thinking about breaking up.) And it will definitely be unproductive if depth and significance are not actually there but just projected by us. The Moon might be saying that we are only attaching a whole lot of significance to something which in reality is rather unimportant. And that’s a very unproductive thing to do.