Mythic Tarot - Moon


Hecate with her three faces stands in a pool of water behind Cerberus, the three-headed dog. She is crowned by the Moon in its three phases. A crab attempts to climb out of the pool. The darkness in the background of the card is only broken by the luminescence of her crown.

  • the three faces reflect the inevitable changing faces of life
  • associated with self-esteem or how one appears to others
  • one’s self, personal identity or façade
  • the three faces represent Hecate’s power over heaven, earth and the underworld
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • “to face the facts” is to deal with reality
    • “to face the music” is to deal with the consequences of one’s actions
    • “to face up to something” is to deal with and/or confess to something
    • “to fly in the face of something” is to disregard or ignore it
    • “to lose face” is to be humiliated
  • symbol of loyalty, fidelity and protective vigilance
  • guardian of both the passage to and the Underworld itself
  • the dogs of war
  • faithful companion in life becomes interpreter between the dead and the gods of the Underworld
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • Something that’s “going to the dogs” is something that’s deteriorating or falling into disarray
    • “to put on the dog” is to put on a show of class
    • “to let sleeping dogs lie” is to leave something alone
    • “to be in the doghouse” is to be in trouble
    • “dog eat dog” is to be aggressive or competitive
    • “every dog has his day” means that everyone gets a turn at success
    • “to be dog-tired” is to be exhausted
    • “a barking dog never bites” means that people who make the most or the loudest threats are least likely to take action
  • since it makes its way between water and earth, it represents the dream-world, which arises from the depths of the unknown to intrude upon the waking world in the form of powerful images and feelings that can’t be ignored
  • lunar symbol since it casts off its shell for a new one
  • its back and forth movement was sometimes associated with dishonesty
  • goddess of the Underworld, of night and darkness, of magic and enchantment, and of crossroads; controller of the hidden things of nature
  • Apollo’s twin sister as Artemis
  • gatekeeper of hidden realms and sacred knowledge
  • she was worshipped at gateways and junctions of three roads
  • she would send demons to earth to torment men through their dreams
  • she was most often found at crossroads, tombs and the scenes of crimes
  • he had the ancient power to bestow or withhold from mortals any desired gift
  • represents the mysterious watery depths of the unconscious
  • the light over her head suggests that she illuminates and brings wisdom
  • when meeting with Hecate, one’s individual boundaries dissolve, and the sense of direction and ego are lost
  • to live in the realm over which Hecate reigns is to live without knowledge and clarity although she herself brings light to dark places and reveals treasures that are hidden in the unconscious
  • represents a period of gestation, complete with confusion, anxiety and bewilderment as one is cleansed of the past and prepares for the future
  • its three phases represent past, present and future
  • image of the feminine that is vague, elusive and impersonal, embodying itself as shifting moods and confusion

Written in my workbook on 14 Aug 91:
Hecate and Cerberus represent what is at the bottom of the sea within me - anger and passion, fear and determination, and strength, with strength being dominant. The moon beams uncertainty while the water exudes indecision and confusion. The crab of truth is crawling out of the water.

My key colors were copen (indecision, hope) and lavender (tentative, uncertain).



Both Hecate and Cerberus are associated with the Underworld. The Moon for me represents the sub-conscious. I am therefore given to think that there is a lot of mileage in equating the Underworld in mythology as representative of the sub-conscious and I will bear this in mind as I study this deck further and as I remind myself of all the stories I knew as a child.


Hecate was also linked with magic arts, I think (if I remember my Argonautica well).