Two Moons (Photo: Camelia Elias)

I have as yet to encounter a discourse about the Moon card in the Tarot that will not start with ‘creativity’ as one of the moon’s primary ‘meanings’.

I have a problem with this, especially when, in dynamic reading consultations that are not informed by the ‘little white book’, the Moon hardly ever points to a type of creativity that’s also constrained, and hence useful.

The reason why we need constraints when we deal with the creative impulse is simply because without structure, there’s no clear transmission. Think about artists and their need to explain what they do. The more abstract the work, the more elaborate the artist’s statement. In other words, creativity that has no distinct form is without value. Without value, creativity is useless.

So, let’s see about the supposedly creative Moon in this series of deconstructed cards in the martial arts spirit of cartomancy that I’ve started here.

I’ll give an example of a reading from a recent cycle of Tarot Prompts. A Tarot Prompt is a reading of 3 cards for a question.

The unusual approach that I take is the following: I lay down three cards and read them straight out. Without a question. Now you’d say: That’s just reading for your ‘daily’ shot of inspiration. Indeed. The only difference is that instead of coming up with some idea that can inspire me throughout the day, I let the cards formulate a question for me to think about instead. So, I reverse the process consciously.

The series of prompts (the standard is 11 prompts in a cycle) is a most popular offering. I run 2 cycles a year for large groups, and any time for individuals who’d like a sharp kick in the butt. The example below was created for an individual client.

I reproduce here the prompt in the exact form I delivered it, for the following cards:

Jean Noblet Marseille Tarot, 1650, as reconstructed by Jean-Claude Flornoy (Photo: Camelia Elias)

Devil, Moon, Magician

When you don’t get it, it’s difficult to take a course of action that’s rational.

First there’s the belief that there are no alternatives – that’s always the Devil’s job, to make you believe that there are no alternatives; it’s not like when you’re bound to addictive patterns or obsessions, you’re also aware of it.

If you’re in the grips of the Devil, you need outside intervention if you’re to get free.

If the Moon’s illusions are your rescue, then you’re pretty fucked, as you just sink even deeper into the pool of not getting it.

Do you ever experience that? A sense of sinking into not getting it, with the result of frustration that turns into resentment?

Such sinking into despair is in fact a good sign that there’s something that keeps you down, so you can dig into it, check with your unconscious.

You won’t be able to recognize what it is, as that’s the job of the unconscious, to stay hidden from manifest, rational expression, but you can start thinking about your mental resources.

You can at least pretend to get out of the miserable situation and fake it until you make it.

That’s the job of the Magician. To get you out. But know that his solution is still based on a premise of faking it.

What are you in denial about? Ask your demons about it, and then let your mental capability imagine another world.

Projection is good if you can direct it yourself, or orchestrate it.

Projection is beneficial if you know that that’s what you’re doing, project for the purpose of gaining clarity for a new course of action.

The feedback

The reaction to my reading above was one of excitement, as the person who ordered the prompts shared with me her own take on the cards, before she read what I had to say – what makes the prompt series exciting is also this part, when you can test your own insight against the way I go about it. Among the points she made about the three cards here, was this conclusion: ‘Be creative with your solutions and make magic happen’.

I said the following: ‘I always have a hard time seeing where creativity comes from in the Moon card. In order for creativity to be beneficial, it needs a level of consciousness and awareness as the basis for its expression. In the Moon card there’s no such thing.’

The point of constraint

Particularly in questions that call for being clear, on point, or indeed, call for strategies of being more creative, it’s a good idea to think of what you call ‘creativity’ and what you make of the ‘source of creativity.’

If the source of creativity is the unconscious that you, by definition, are never be conscious of other than through (in)auspicious stumbling into grace, so to speak – when you have a dream that’s explicit, or when you realize that your tongue just slipped and went ahead of your conscious communication, disclosing in the process what you really want or are all about – then you must consider how you frame what you want to say.

In questions of creativity without boundaries, what you need is not a self-congratulatory gesture that validates the vague, but rather a clear structure.

Therefore, always beware of the Moon informing your plans and deliveries, whether verbal or visual. If you have to let others know about your deep idea, then think about how you structure what you want to convey beyond falling into the trap of seducing yourself with the fog in your head: ‘Oh, the Moon card, I’m so creative…’

Muddled conversation has never seduced anyone, and it’s not even sure that if we called the ambiguity in our head ‘creative’ it will help much.

There’s only so much ‘creativity’ that people can handle.

If the creative impulse is not consciously organized and orchestrated, then it’s bound to remain in the realm of the merely insane.

Some thrive on the insane, but as such, the insane remains a singular expression of no benefit to others.

Stay in the loop for cartimantic activities.

About Camelia Elias
Camelia Elias, PhD, Dr.Phil., is a former university professor. After 20 years in the academia, she left her career to pursue her interests in teaching and writing on the philosophy and practice of reading cards. She works with contemplative arts, oracular language, and martial arts cartomancy and Zen at her own school, Aradia Academy. You can read more about the author here.

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