The tarot is a pack of playing cards that is used for mystical interpretations. It has a long tradition, possibly dating back to the ancient Egyptian time. Playing cards started to circulate in Europe at around the 14th and 15th century, among them also the so called »tarock« (in Italian »tarocchi«), which is considered to be the predecessor of what is now known as tarot, and still today established independently as a game of cards.
Over time, the symbolism and interpretation begins to move to the forefront and the cards become a popular tool for mystics and fortune tellers.
The tarot deck comprises 78 cards, composed of 22 cards for the »major arcana« and 56 cards for the »minor arcana« (arcanum lat. = secret). There are many designs and versions. Especially well-known are the »Tarot de Marseille«, founded in the 16th century by Nicolas Conver in Marseille and the »Rider-Waite-Tarot« by Arthur Edward Waite (1857–1942) and the artist Pamela Colman Smith (1879–1951), published 1910 by Rider & Son in London.
The card »The Moon« carries the number XVIII (18) and depicts two dogs or jackals that howl at the full moon that is adorned with a face with closed eyes. A lobster can be seen in the foreground, which crawls out of the water. The path in the center of the picture, leads into the distance of a nightly landscape.
This card is mostly linked to the unconscious and with meanings that can be found at the threshold to the conscious. It symbolizes feelings, longings and dreams, and the dark side of human nature. But the Moon also leads through the night and initiates valuable stimulus for inner growth.
Thus the key to the depth of the human soul is found in the moonlight …