Lunar Cycles


The following is one idea for how you can use the tarot along with the energies of the natural lunar cycle to reach a goal, complete a task, or simply live more in tune with the energies of the moon. The theme of this month-long tarot reading is to pay special attention to the phases of the moon and how they influence your goals and tasks during the month. The overall concept is to choose one area to focus on for the coming lunar month, and use the energies of the moon to help you bring it to fruition during the month. This should be something that can be realistically accomplished in this time frame, or a small part of something larger that can be broken down into month-long increments. I have found that a month is a useful timeframe for accomplishing reasonable tasks, getting focused, and feeling good about the result, and this is one reason why lunar cycles are so valuable. We can use tarot to help us focus the lunar energies in a more specific way as we go through the cycle.

As you go through the month, keep a record of what happens with respect to the goal or area you have chosen to focus on. Be as specific as possible – if something noteworthy happens with respect to that goal, write down the date and time that it happened, including a length of time if applicable. At a consistent time each day, also write down your feelings about the task that day – good, bad, indifferent, focused on something else entirely, confused, elated, depressed, encouraged, etc. Since the moon governs your emotional life, this record of your emotions will be very interesting to look at later. Also write down any progress you make toward your goal or lack of progress, as you go along, and especially near the end of the month, as a retrospective. At the end of the lunar month, take a close look at these journals and evaluate how and whether the lunar energies and the tarot readings helped you achieve your goal.

Phases of the Moon

Before the lunar cycle starts, look up the dates and times when the moon enters each phase, making sure to adjust them for your time zone. These can be found on a website such as (check the right-hand sidebar for links to pages specific to each month – the next lunar cycle starts on December 4, and runs through January 2, 2003). Then draw the indicated number of cards as soon as possible after the moon enters that phase. There are two cards for each quarter moon phase and one card for each of the intermediate phases.

  • New Moon Cards: One card is the seed, the idea, the overall focus of the entire coming month – you can use this to choose your goal for the month, or for evaluating the types of challenges and activities and energies you will need to deal with in order to achieve your goal. The second card is the initial planning for your idea – how to make it happen, what research you might need to do, getting your reserves together and getting ready.
  • Crescent Moon Card: One card is drawn here to represent your first actions toward your goal – there is positive energy flowing between the sun and the moon during this phase, so making use of that energy to get off to a good start is the focus here.
  • First Quarter Moon Cards: Choose one card to represent difficulties, problems or adjustments to your plans that you might need to make, and another card to represent the action you need to take in order to positively resolve this blocking energy.
  • Gibbous Moon Card: This card indicates what you need to do to bring your project or goal to fruition at the full moon – any last-minute adjustments or changes of course, final issues to resolve, or just how to deal most productively with what may be a very busy time.
  • Full Moon Cards: One card is chosen to represent what you are bringing into being at the full moon. This can be compared to the card you drew at the New Moon to see if you are creating what you expected to bring about, or something different. This is the culmination of your efforts this cycle, though not necessarily your last chance to complete something. The second card represents how to find balance in this emotional time when the sun and the moon are in opposition and tugging you different ways. This card shows how to integrate the emotional and intellectual sides of whatever you are bringing into being.
  • Disseminating Moon Card: This card represents what you can do with this creation – celebrate, learn from it, give it away, teach others about it, write an article, check it off your list, or?
  • Third Quarter Cards: One card is chosen to represent any last thing you need to do to finish up this cycle, tie up loose ends, settle issues, put on the finishing touches and begin the process of releasing this task. The second card is an evaluation card – how did things go? What can you learn from what happened this cycle? What was done well or poorly?
  • Balsamic Moon Card: This card represents how to achieve a complete release of what has happened this cycle, and how you can rest and recover from its activities. This card suggests a way to recharge your energies, release any negativity, and even release attachment to your positive outcomes. This is a time to quiet your mind and body for renewal of the cycle.

You may also wish to take into account the special energies supplied by the sign that the moon is in. For example, a new moon in an earth sign might be a good time to set a practical goal. A first quarter moon in Leo might represent challenges that come in the form of having to deal with people's need for recognition. These astrological energies can be taken into consideration as you frame your questions and draw your cards.

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