Tarot and the Moon

It is estimated that the moon is more than 4.5 billion years old. The moon has been studied and observed by nearly every civilization that ever existed. It is seen by many of us almost every night. It makes sense that the moon would still play a vital role in the lives of many today. For example: There are many Pagan practices that center their practices on the moon and it’s cycles. Before we dig in too deeply to the topic, let’s refresh ourselves with the phases of the moon. The new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, the full moon, the waning gibbous, the third quarter, and the waning crescent are the different phases of the moon.

The new moon is the time when it appears that there is no moon at all. This is also sometimes referred to as the dark moon. At this time, one will see no light from the moon – this is due to the position of the sun, Earth and moon. At this time of month, the moon is cast in the shadow and therefore it appears that the moon is dark, or non-existent.

After the dark moon comes the waxing moon. This cycle includes the waxing crescent, first quarter, and waxing gibbous. This stage is before the moon becomes whole again. This happens, again, because of the position of the sun, moon and Earth and the shadows that are cast on the moon. During this phase of the moon, the moon grows bigger each night until it is full.

The waxing moon becomes the full moon. The full moon occurs when positions of the sun, moon and Earth allow for the moon to be fully visible without any shadow.

The waning moon is the time after the full moon, when the moon appears to get smaller and smaller each night until it disappears and the new moon cycle returns. This phase includes the waning gibbous, the third quarter, and the waning crescent. Again, this phase results from the positions of the Earth, sun and moon and the shadows that are cast.

The moon’s cycle is in fact a repeating cycle, much like the circle of life. However, do you know why the moon’s cycle is ever repeating? The simple answer to this very question is that the moon travels around the Earth. And so we sometimes find ourselves asking: why does the moon travel around the Earth? When we look into this, we learn that the moon does not have a dipolar polar magnetic field of its own. Instead, the Earth has its own dipolar magnetic field, which affects the moon. The Earth’s magnetic field is similar to the sort of magnetic field that would be around a compass or bar magnet.

According to Nasa Science (2008) the Earth has a magnetic tail which the moon moves though around the time of the full moon. This essentially means that the magnetic pull from Earth on the moon is strongest during this time. This period of magnetic strength starts 3 days before the full moon and lasts the entire 3 days of the full moon. After these 6 days, the magnetic effect lessens again and will not become as strong for about another 21 days.

The magnetic effect the Earth has on the moon creates an ebb and flow of magnetic energy. Many people notice an influx of energy as the moon reaches its magnetic peak. They believe the ebb and flow of the magnetic relationship between the Earth and moon affects people as well as animals. Some feel the increase of magnetic flow that occurs around this full moon effect – specifically the mood and emotions. This is supported by the article: “The Mood-Altering Power of Moon” (BBC 2019) and many other sources not cited in this article, but such sources can be researched by the reader.

Each of the phases of the moon has a different meaning with respect to magick. This essentially means that spells and/or readings that have certain intent may work better during different phases of the moon. This is due to the fact that, during certain moon phases, the energy would more closely align with the intentions of the spell or reading. It also makes sense that Tarot would be affected by the phases of the moon. One can give a reading at any time, but some readers do note that it is more difficult to read during certain phases of the moon, for example: the new moon. How much the moon’s phase affects a Tarot reading depends deeply on the reader; some readers are more affected than others.

The new moon or dark moon phase is known as a time of change. At this point the moon is furthest from the Earth’s magnetic tail. This means that the magnetic pull is at its weakest. The moon would have the least amount of effect on emotions, and therefore, at this time, the individual would have the most control over his or her emotions. As a result, this would be the perfect time to do some wishful thinking with the ability to set clear intentions to help those wishes become reality. In the realm of tarot, this is a good time to rely on the cards in regards to dreams, wishes, and starting something new, as this may also be a good time to manifest new beginnings. This is the beginning of the moon’s cycle, and it is associated with birth and rebirth. With respect to Tarot, the Suit of Pentacles can be associated with the new moon. This is because the Suit of Pentacles is generally associated with grounding and sensibility. As such, this indicates that this phase would also be a good time to focus on matters regarding finances.

The waxing moon phases are often associated with adding to one’s life and growth. When referencing Tarot, it is a good time to ask questions about adding to one’s life and growth, whether it be a new job or purchasing a home. Good examples might include: focusing on advice regarding new relations or readings regarding bringing something new into one’s life or home. The waxing moon is also a good time to focus on emotional and intellectual growth. The waxing moon phase can be associated with the card Suit of Swords. This suit fits this particular moon phase because the Swords Suit in general focuses on the truths of life and growth. Often the Suit of Swords is misconstrued as showing only conflicts, but rather it shows truths and situations that help one to grow and learn.

Next is the time of the full moon, which is a time of great wisdom and enlightenment. It is also an emotional time for many, and is generally a good time to use your cards for guidance – especially if you feel there is something you need help with in your life. The full moon, and the three days leading up to it, is the time when the moon is in the Earth’s magnetic tail. This can cause a great deal of emotional shifts, it is for this reason, the Suit of Cups most fits this moon phase. The Suit of Cups is indicative of matters regarding love and all things related to one’s emotions, including relationships. It is no secret that the full moon is the most emotional moon phase.

The waning moon is the phase of the moon in which the moon is getting smaller and pieces appear to be taken away from it. This is a good time to focus on questions that involve removing certain aspects from your life. It is a good time to ask for insight that would involve removing items from one’s life – such as one’s worries or sadness. This phase of the moon can aid coping with things that have already been removed as well, such as coping with a loss. By default, the Suit of this phase is the Wands. The Wands Suit fits this particular phase because, although the waning moon is a good time to release or take away from one’s life, it is also a good time to be creative and focus on one’s own passions, which the Wands Suit tends to focus on.

The moon can be a very helpful aid when it comes to giving more accurate and in-depth Tarot readings. As stated previously, a reading can be done anytime. However, it can be helpful to use the moon to aid in your readings as well.

The moon can also be used in many other ways. In fact, many use the moon to charge their cards and other magickal objects. It is believed by many that the moon radiates energy, and that placing an object, such as tarot cards, in its light helps to give that object energy or power. Many practitioners use the full moon to energize their objects. This phase is often used because the moon is at its brightest and releases the most amount of light. Some also choose to place their objects out on the new moon, as they believe the absence of light holds some energy and power. Still, others choose to use both the new and full moon to energize their items because they believe that this creates balance.

The moon can have a profound effect on Tarot cards. How much of an effect depends on the reader and how much the reader uses the moon in relation to the readings that he or she performs.


Geddes, Linda. “The Mood-Altering Power of the Moon”

Nasa Science: “Earth’s Magnetic Field Does Strange Things to the Moon”

~ Sara Lynn