One of the things I love about the tarot community is that most people are enthusiastic to keep learning. I’ve been digging into the Tarot de Marseille system. Though it seems a little strange to call it a system, given that many writers have totally different takes on the cards. Makes me feel better about the way I’ve interpreted TdM-type cards before now: based on numerology and intuitive prompts from the actual card images 🙂
For this week, I’m drawing from the Grimaud Ancien Tarot de Marseille (2015), and using the interpretations from Yoav Ben-Dov’s book Tarot – The Open Reading (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013).
Eight of Wands, Ten of Swords, XVIII – The Moon
It’s fascinating, in Yoav’s interpretation the Eight of Wands is associated with facing a roadblock. Quite the reverse to the Rider-Waite-Smith notion of speedy movement! Yet, I can see it, with the big X created by two sets of four rods. He also talks about losing long-term perspective, and about only being able to advance by following the rules.
For the Ten of Swords, his main keyword is ‘exhaustion’. Ben-Dov also suggest it shows a complex situation with many conflicting interests. I also really like the suggestion of needing to find an ally to attack the problem from a different direction. In fact, looking at the two swords that are trying to slice through the other eight that form a closed form, I think of the saying ‘Two heads are better than one’. Two brains can come at a problem from different directions, and see things from alternate vantage points.
In terms of alternative perspectives, it’s interesting that for the Moon Ben-Dov talks about deep emotions, perhaps related to a mother figure, and longing for the unreachable. He also mentions finding hidden strengths – none of which are interpretations I would normally think about for this Major. Ben-Dov’s brief ‘message’ from the card is: don’t be afraid to go deep down!
He does mention a different experience of reality, and for the Moon reversed vague and disturbing feelings and a period of depression, as well as danger lurking under the surface. So, his reverse reading is closer to more RWS associations.
Pulling It Together
For myself, this feels like a good follow-on from last week’s reading, which said that I need to relinquish control and trust to something beyond myself. I can see the roadblock in my path, and how I’ve been trying to get around it by circumventing ‘the rules’. That path has led to a degree of exhaustion, and I like the suggestion to find an ally in this, or at least a different perspective. This new path will help me to go deep and perhaps find hidden strengths. I can do this by following some rules that others have found to work, and with an outside perspective to help me keep on track…
As for the title, this reading made me think of the Mike Oldfield song ‘Moonlight Shadow‘ – enjoy!
To read journal prompts based on these cards, click here.