Key 18: The Moon
Ruler of Flux and Reflux; Child of the Sons of the Mighty
“The Twenty-ninth Path is the Corporeal Intelligence, so called because it forms every body which is, formed beneath the whole set of worlds and the increment of them.” (Sepher Yetzirah)
The imagery of the Eighteenth Key has become increasingly negative over the years. The dogs seem to have become bigger and fiercer, to the point where it seems impossible to tread this Path without being torn apart.
In the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot Moon card there is a return to a feminine influence and a positive outlook. Nick felt that introducing the goddess Hecate into the Moon image would help to re-adjust to a more magical influence. A former Golden Dawn influenced magician Madeleine Montalban once taught that no magic can succeed without the help of the Moon.
Hecate is a moon goddess. She governs the three faces of the Moon which are symbolised also by Hathor and Thoth in the background. Pre-Olympian in origin, absorbed in the Greek and Roman pantheon, she is still remembered at isolated crossroads.
The towers symbolise the extremes of ‘ordinary’ human experience. But it is clear that the path goes a long way beyond that. That is the path of the magician.
Hecate is associated with dogs, which in this card lay obediently before her, not only to pounce on stray travellers but also acting as Anubis the guide and pathfinder. In this card they are statues. In Ancient Egypt statues were held to have the power of the god if the ‘opening of the mouth’ ritual was performed. The message is that these animal powers are open to the person if they know the right formula. They can be guides to assist the person through the flux and reflux of life.
The goddess Hecate makes the sign of the Water triangle, the subconscious waters and hidden depths of the soul. She stands in the symbol of the grade the candidate has mastered to enter the consciousness that this card represents.
A crayfish emerges from the water by the magnetic pull of the Moon, drawing it ever closer to the true light which is reflected by the Moon, invoking deceptive and dangerous shadows within the mind.
Pisces is the sign attributed to this Key, two fish swimming in opposite directions, signifying a meandering path along the straight path.
Thus we see the crayfish, moving to animal life, moving to human life and then something more than human. This is true evolution. The Hebrew letter is Qoph which is attributed to the back of the head. This is the part of the brain which is connected to the reptilian self. The lowest part of the unconscious which we share with the fish.
Subconscious yearnings. Important decisions. Guidance through dangerous waters, influenced by dreams and intuition. Deception. Depression. Difficulty in holding on to one’s True Will due to the pull of the illusionary power of the material. Illusion and delusion caused by the flux and reflux of unconscious forces. The evolution of the quereant through life experience. Unconscious evolution.