I knew upon entering 2016 that this would be the year of the Moon for me—the Moon Tarot card that is, number XVIII of the Major Arcana. I had calculated it based on my birthday and the current year, but also, it showed up front and center during a New Year’s reading. And so, I decided, bring it on! It was time to face my shadows so that I could continue my path fully embracing all of who I am.
The Moon card, like the moon herself, is cloaked in mystery, and provokes fear from those that do not care to understand what lurks beneath the surface. The Moon represents all that remains hidden behind the veil of consciousness. It is where art thrives, creative inspiration strikes, and where dreams, fantasies and visions are born and our intuition speaks to us. But it is also where the shadow self, hidden memories, and disowned parts of ourselves reside. And so to work with this card, one must be ready to face all aspects of the hidden self, the dark and the light.
When this card appears in a reading, it may point to any hidden element that calls for integration. Perhaps the past is haunting you, an emotion calls for fuller acceptance, or you are about to become deeply immersed in the creative flow. It may represent a ripe period of time to listen to your dreams, join with the phases of the moon, connect to your intuition, or resolve the past.
By fully embracing this year of the Moon, I have learned personally what potential awaits when working deeply with its power over time. As I have peeled off her layers, I have allowed the layers of my own ego to peel away, and I have encountered hidden aspects of myself that I never knew existed—the beautiful and the ugly.
I have struggled with my self-esteem my entire life. Deeply held shame and self-doubt often tripped me up and kept me from expressing my true self. So, I set off on this journey with the Moon by posing this question to my higher self in meditation: “What will it take to finally let go of all the shame and self-doubt?”
This is what happened:
Immediately, my higher self began speaking to me through my dreams, painting provoking and upsetting pictures of the harm this shame and self-doubt had created within. In my dreams I was on rooftops of buildings while those I was close to told me mean, hurtful things, and I apologized profusely. I wondered at first why my soul was being so cruel, until I realized: I needed to feel exactly what I was doing to myself in order to release the hold these harmful patterns had on me.
Over time, the themes of my dreams remained the same, but my role began to evolve. I started speaking up and defending myself against my attackers, calling their bluffs and turning my back on them. I saw that their power was waning.
I knew I had reached the next level of releasing my shame and self-doubt when my soul presented an even greater challenge in my dreams. I began to dream of people trying to murder me. But, over and over again, I could not face the threat. I ran away in complete panic, waking in my bed trembling with fear.
I knew I needed to face my killers and allow myself to die—as it was not me or my soul who was dying, but the younger part of myself attached to what others thought of me. And so I asked my soul for strength and guidance, and I received it. I dreamt of being at a party while a man appeared from a coffin and shot me. I awoke with the taste and smell of decay in my mouth. I did not fight it. All throughout the morning, even after brushing my teeth, I could still taste death in my tea and with my toast, and although the sensation flooded me with tears and sadness, I knew I had finally allowed the insecure part of me to die.
I am only a little over half way through this year of the Moon, and so I do not know what else it has in store for me. But I am ready to face and embrace it as a gift, for good or for ugly, with love and gratitude.
When we call upon the Moon card’s influence, or when this card appears in a reading as a message from our intuition, the essence of that message is always the same: Love. A deeper well of self-love is waiting for you. If you can face your fears and your demons, love is what remains beneath. And love opens us to the limitless potential of the universe.
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