Using Tarot to Illuminate the New Moon


The new moon is my favorite time of the lunar cycle.  While others are off worshipping the climactic (or releasing, if post-) energies of the full moon, my optimist self delights in the optimism of the new cycle.  With the new moon, we have the opportunity of a fresh new morning, and we get to choose how we move into it and through it.

When working with major life goals, one of the most magical practices we can employ is the New Moon Master Working, in which the goal is envisioned at a turning point of the year (such as a birthday or the Spring Equinox) and each new moon of the year is mapped out to support an aspect of the goal according to the sign the moon is in as it turns new, harnessing the energies of each sign as we move through the year, resulting in a holistic manifestation of our own design.  It takes a lot of commitment, but is a powerful way of manifesting change.

But when we’re not in the midst of heavy working and just check in month-to-month as we meander meaningfully (wait- is that an oxymoron?) through our cycles, turning to the cards can offer so much guidance and illumination.  Along with the invitation that the new moon brings, what are we overlooking?  What is ready to be released to enable this new focus?  Is there something I should be more aware of? What inner workings should we contemplate for a more comprehensive view of the upcoming cycle?  Consciously choosing our direction is imperative; but the cards reveal the unconscious needs that we may want to consider in order to more fully realize our potential, and the progression and repetition of the cards that appear from month to month is where the real gold is, when tracked and journaled.


For those who work primarily with 3-card spreads, a simple new moon example may be something like

This is a very basic spread, but can offer a lot of info for those who read with few cards.


IMG_6830It can also be optimized by adding layers, such as What / Why / How.  In the example below, What is the central present focus row, Why includes the underlying and perhaps more hidden influences, and How is the upper reasoning; which perhaps could even be read through more of a Lower Self / Middle Self / Higher Self sort of lens.  Regardless, the card in the center is the focal point of the spread with the surrounding cards informing a more dimensional view by reading not only down columns and across rows, but in taking in the larger picture in general.

When I learned to read cards, we were taught only to read in a 20-card tableau-style spread, so I love the larger spreads for the depth and layers they can offer.  I usually do a 10-card spread, which is sort of a morphing of the Celtic Cross with a spread of Lindsay Mack’s, with the positions based on my numerical meanings…  but I suppose that’s a post for another day!

Until then, I hope there is something here that may inspire you in your new moon practice.  Feel free to drop a comment if you’d like clarification on anything, or to share your own ideas.