The Gothic Tarot by Vargo – XVIII The Moon


The Moon here seems to be in a mandala again, like the Wheel Of Fortune, except that here, the guardians aren't good at all. At the top right stands a medusa woman with batwings, below a skull with wings, top left is a demon with horns and wings, and below another demon with bat wings. At the center is the crescent moon, with a female angel sit on it. This angel wears a white dress and has white wings as well. She seems to be inviting another angel to join her. But this other angel, male, is not a good one, with his black wings, a fallen angel maybe, and he wears a mask, hiding his nature.

I'll write again what my dictionary says about mandala:

The circle had guardians, clearing them one after the other represent levels of spiritual progression, until we reach the center. It also can be, with the magic of its symbols, the image and the driving force of spiritual ascension, from an interiorization of life and concentration of multiple on one; the me integrated in all, all integrated in me. The mandala is there to find integrity, if it is not there; and if it is there, to keep it.

You're back in the dark realm here and you can't trust what you see.

It's also possible that this angel on the Moon is a guide and she shows the right way, and that the fallen angel is following her through the night.


The four faces framing the moon represent to me four fears that stop people from living their dreams - fear of being laughed at, fear of being thought ' ugly' for showing your true self, fear of the nature of the beast within, and fear of failure and ruin, leading to the death of the dream. The female angel has conquered these fears, and sits on the edge of the universe of dreams, able to explore it. The Fallen angel, her shadow self, her opposite, emerges to confront her, but she has already faced her demons and has no fear of him, instead, she beckons him closer, so that she might study him further. It is by exploring our dreams that we learn more about ourselves.


Wow!!! I truly enjoy your inputs, the cards are clearer to me after.


I forgot to mention that Vargo's cards were based on earlier works, you can see some of them on his website. This card is called Born of the Night


Thanks! I'll have to check out those pic tures. I love his work.


I thought long and hard on this card during my 260 mile drive yesterday.

Look at the faces on the two characters – She is almost laughing at him – he does not look happy. And the art left me unsettled…

Until I looked at the progression…

In the Tower, we faced the collapse of our own illusions about ourselves. In the Star, we realize that the dark defines the light and visa versa. We know that in a larger sense, things are not as ‘perfect’ as we would like them to be.

And here we realize that even our friends may have shortcomings that we’d rather not acknowledge – even our loved ones are but mere mortals, flesh-covering bones.

The whole drive, I kept thinking back to the Movie “Paper Moon” and the song:

Its Only A Paper Moon (Paul Whiteman)
Say, it's only a paper moon,
Sailing over a cardboard sea,
But it wouldn't be make believe,
If you believed in me.

Yes, it's only a canvas sky,
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn't be make believe,
If you believed in me.

Without your love it's a honky tonk parade,
Without your love it's a melody played in a penny arcade.

It's a Barnum and Bailey world
just a phony as it can be,
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me.


This is one of my favorite cards from the deck.

When I first began reading on my own, I came up with several unique interpretations to cards that I didn't realize as "faulty" until I began more in depth Tarot and occult study, years later.

But, in my primal reading patterns, the Moon is never a bad card. I know, I know... "the Moon a time of illusion and betrayal, falseness seems reality."

But, I agree with Umbrae's vision. The Moon allows us to see things in a different light. With Yin eyes.

Our perceptions of reality, of the world around us when lit by moon light and not sun light, are sometimes the same, and sometimes different. Because the moon's light, even when full, still allows us to only see so much, it will always allow for the imagination to fill in what cannot be directly seen.

This is the essence of it to me. What do you fill in the dark places with? Are you scared of what you put there? Or does it comfort you?

In this card, at last, I see a card of comfort. The Dark One comes to his equal, his opposite, the Light One. Together, a harmony is found in energies.

Another way to illustrate what I'm trying to say....

Those faces in the corner... that's all perception too. If you perceive them there to do you harm... you shall suffer thusly.

If you perceive them there to do your will... well, that's entirely different then, isn't it? Then, they are not your attackers; they are your protectors while you wander in the in-between light, trying to see what's real.

The Sun comes next. The illumination of Reality will soon set in. For now, the imagination is left to color in much of what you perceive as real.

And in the Sun, we might see the same two, our angelic couple, once again. If so, what does this tell us about their relationship?


I got an interesting 3-card reading for myself yesterday: The Sun, Ace of Pentacles, The Moon.

I thought alot about the relationship between the Moon and Sun cards in this deck. At first, I thought it might be the same couple, but upon closer examination, I decided not (I'll look again after reading this, just to be sure, though!) The male in the Moon card has horns, does he not? and the Sun does not.

The woman/angel in the Moon, though (interesting, although it's usually the man in the moon, the Chinese Moon Festival has a legend about a woman, if I'm not mistaken!) seems to be welcoming the demon. That's my impression of her gesture of holding his face (or reaching for it? don't have the card in front of me!)

As for the light cast by the moon, it's actually "borrowed" from the sun, but without it, the night would be hopelessly dark, would it not? I can't help but see the Moon card as being kind of a lesser version of the Sun, as opposed to being about illusion, etc.


The Moon

There is a star field in the back ground surrounding a large crescent moon. On each of the four corners of the moon is a face with wings on the side. In the top right corner is a medusa head with leathery bat wings. In the bottom right corner is a skull with a armored skull cap and feathered wings. There is a tall fleur-de-lis on the top of the skull cap. In the bottom left corner is a face that looks like a demonized lion and it has leathery bat wings. In the top left corner is what seems to be a bearded jester, or possibly a short bearded green man. It has feathered wings on the sides. Seated very seductively on the inside arch of this moon is a fairy (angel?) with a very Amazonian look, and pointed ears. Flying just above her, but still within the confines of the crescent is what appears to be a darker male fairy (dark angel?) who has no clothing, and small horns protruding from his upper forehead. His wings are black in color and hers are white. She is reaching out her right hand to cup his chin. The stare into each others eyes intently, the angles of their faces suggest a kiss is about to occur.

What I see here are some key essentials to a traditional fairytale. We have romance, monsters, adventure and fantastical creatures. Dreams and illusions to fill ones head with wonders, excitement and fear. Now days we use movies to provide the same entertainment, and although you don’t normally invest as much of yourself in a good movie as you do a good book, the results are similar; a safe way to explore the unknown, the wicked, or the fantastic. Here we have an early scene where the two subjects of the story are falling for each other and you can just feel the love and passion being shown. Your heart beats faster as you imagine the kiss they are about to share. If you have a really good imagination, you will begin to feel the soft brush of the lips, hear the rustling and feel the tickle of the folding wings on your bare shoulder and then the urge to push the kiss harder. The winged heads looming on the fringes are the different creatures that will be met along this journey; the adventure and danger. Each will be met and dealt with before the story comes to an end, and when it is finished and you return to reality, they will linger in the back of your mind. Sometimes scaring you by representing your fears and sometimes challenging you by representing obstacles, but the true romantic will also remember that kiss……..


At first glance, I thought of a nuptial dance, as if the two character court each other. I also thought of a honeymoon.

There is some intensity of this card that I find soft, as the moonlight.