Tarot Tuesday and Shakespeare


“O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon/
That monthly changes in her circled orb/
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.”

I’ve always loved that line from “Romeo and Juliet.”

In terms of actual bibliography, “Romeo and Juliet” is not Shakespeare’s strongest work, but there are a lot of lines that read and strike the ear more musically than those in other plays.

For me, “Macbeth” is our man Billy’s very best work in terms of content and technical craft. I love every single thing about the Scottish play.

I could be biased by my love of all things Scottish, though. That’s entirely likely, actually. Undeniable, even.

But for musical lines that strike hard and leave a dent, “Romeo and Juliet” has far and away the most knockouts. For me.

Anyhow, I’m doing Tarot Tuesday on Monday this week because tomorrow (Tuesday) I have to go see Dr. Boger. Dr. Boger is a dentist who is very kind, and medicates me (probably more for his own sake than mine, but I’m okay with that) before I come to see him.

My teeth are a hot-ass mess. I’m working on it. But there is something viscerally horrifying to me about teeth. I don’t know why. Don’t ask me to explain. I don’t understand it myself. But the fact is that the very concept of a socket, the fact that such a thing exists, gives me physical chills. Same for roots. And nerves and pulps and enamels and all of it. It’s so gross. My mouth is literally filling with saliva and I am completely covered in gooseflesh right now just talking about it. Teeth, make that oral anything, just is something I can’t handle.

Dr. Boger is going to be expecting me to show up with .5 miligrams of Halcion in my system tomorrow morning.

If you’ve never heard of Halcion, it’s what Jeffrey Dahmer used to subdue his victims before he drilled holes in their heads and attempted to turn them into sex zombies.

I’m not saying that there’s a parallel to be drawn. Because I like Dr. Boger. He is the only dentist I’ve ever met for whom I did not harbor any level of desire to throat punch just based on general principle.

Dr. Boger’s use of Halcion is entirely beneficent. And I love him for it.

That being said, once he combines powerful anxiolytics with the moon air that is nitrous oxide, I will be basically useless for the remainder of the day. I may blog tomorrow, but I will not remember it and I will have no coherent strategy or point to make – let alone ability to make one if I had it – if I do.


Congratualtions. You get the goods a day early.

You’re welecome.

Now. Getting back to tragic lovers:

While I acknowledge that pragmatic Juliette is right – the moon is not particularly the best thing to compare with love if what you’re after is stability – I do love the moon. And The Moon, card 18 (“A ‘ghealach” in Scottish Gaelic, assuming of course that I’m not being lied to and disclaiming right from the start that I am not making the translation of tarot titles into Gaelic a doctoral dissertation topic), is this week’s card.


There are people in the world who worship the sun, and would love nothing more than to spend the rest of their lives soaking it up on a beach somewhere.

That sounds like a compelling punishment for shoplifting or other misdemeanors to me. I have an actual, legit allergy to the sun. I’ve always been sensitive. But it seems to be getting worse with age. Last year I wound up on two back-to-back Prednisone packs  after not properly slathering and/or covering myself before taking my kiddos to the county fair. My chest and shoulders looked like one big blister. It was so itchy. I’ve never had poison ivy, but I’d imagine that’s what it’s like. I can only compare the sensation to chicken pox. Times one million.

And whether or not I burn and blister, I always exit encounters with stark sunlight bearing a mild to moderate headache that may or may not develop into a full-on migraine and enough nausea to warrant a Zofran. Thank goodness I have access to Zofran regularly. Or I’d just have to hibernate my way through the whole of summer.

But laying aside the physical properties of the sun, I find its symbolic properties equally off-putting. It’s brash and unabashed. It’s bright. It’s hostile. It confronts. The sun is great. I get that we need daylight.

Blah blah blah.

But the moon.

Oh, I swoon at the very word. It’s cool. It’s silver. The moon is pale, like me. It is liquid and gentle and soft.

Billy Corgan made the world’s best music video of all time about the moon.

And how can you not love that moon face of his, after all?

And, they went to the bottom of the ocean, too. Actually, that is something: The idea of the moon mirrors for me that of the ocean. It’s alien, still, quiet, and dark, dangerous, extreme, and isolated, but so, so stunningly beautiful in its danger and stark isolation.

Ugh. Okay.

Clearly, I’m a little in love with the moon.

We can move on now.

I promise to move on.


Right now.


So right off the bat we can talk about the fact that the moon, silvery and present exclusively in the dark, represents the unconscious or subconscious whereas the sun, which illuminates to the nth degree, represents conscious awareness.

Being in the land of the moon, on this card, means that we’re operating in the shadowy area of our own minds. What we can’t see clearly, and can’t easily access or understand.

Like brave, brave Billy Corgan (I love him, you shut right up), who went fearlessly to the moon and the bottom of the sea, going to the unsconscious takes some cojones. It’s weird. It doesn’t follow the rules. It’s not openly hostile but it’s unfamiliar and we are ill-suited to the environment, especially the first few times we venture there.

Of course it makes us nervous.

“Help me understand why you would want to strap a tank of air onto your back and jump into sixty feet of water to swim with eels and sharks and other strange, potentially very dangerous creatures,” is the query I most often field when people who would not love scuba diving find out that I scuba dive.

And there’s never going to be a day when those people and I make a true connection. Because just as they don’t understand why on God’s green earth I would ever want to do something of that nature, I do not undestand how they could live their whole lives and never want to.

It’s not a value statement. I’m just saying, I can’t get my head to a place where actively experiencing a NatGeo documentary is not one of the fucking coolest possible experiences in this life.

I also cannot understand what would compell anyone to play, or watch, organized sports. And yet they do.

Crazy stuff.

You say football, I say philosophical self-evaluation and diving to depths that are supposed to crush man alive.

It’s all good.

Anyhow, we can see the weirdness of the moon and her environment reflected in the card itself.


So. Much. Water.

Water, the element associated with emotion, is prevalent in this card. If we consider ourselves to be coming into the card, then we are coming from water. And if we follow the path approached by the crustacean (crustaceans are naturally weird -ass animals in and of themselves, and perfectly suited to the weird-ass terrain of the moon and the unconscious, and yes, I know that there is no liquid water on the moon but I’m pretty sure that crustaceans are only pretending to need water so that they can rise up and overthrow humanity one day and do so by completely exploiting the element of surprise, and force man to worhsip the molluskian overlords…I mean…hypothetically), then we can see that we are headed back into water. Deeper, choppier, more difficutl water, as a matter of fact.

Our brief path from water to water, the small swath of land from one emotional state to the next, appears to be guarded by a pair of doggies.

They look like biters. They look a bit mad.

Like lunatics.


Get it?

I’m goddamn hilarious. I know. You don’t need to say it.

Whatever. You know you love it.

What’s going on here is that we’re being asked to go from a sunlit environment, in which we can rely entirely on our intellectual minds, into an environment that asks us to rely on intiution as a compass. And the dogs, as they did in card zero for The Fool, represent potential guides. They look a bit mad, sure, but maybe they’re only frighening for the same reason that the environment is a bit frightening – it is novel, unfamiliar, and uncertain.

We must learn the rules of this strange world in order to best navigate. Or, we must learn to accept that there are no hard-and-fast rules, and to roll with the uncertainty by relying on instinct rather than logic.

It surprises me, actually, that I do like the moon. But one thing that I’ve been recognizing as I go through the major arcana card by card is that I’ve always had a strong intution. But I’ve fallen for the false promise that logic, properly weilded, is the end of pain.

You can’t get hurt if you just follow reason, I’ve been telling myself for so, so long.

And the truth is that I was entirely too gut-reaction before. When I started my undergraduate degree and realized how much control Philosophy allowed me to feel as though I had – learning to reason arguments and evaluate the world through the scientific method that reigns supreme in the B.S. Psych academic track – I completely forsook intuition altogether.

Emotional bootstrapping became the name of the game.

But I am beginning to see that I’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater, and the reason for the extreme dissonance I felt in my marriage is the product of trying to ignore the physical presence of intutiion in my life. My body was trying to tell me things that my mind was not willing to acknowledge.

If I’d have listened a little more closely to my instinct, would I have been there when the state attorney general pounded on my door? I don’t know. It’s entirely possible that I might have sent his ass packing long before they were on to him.

I just can’t know.

But The Moon is asking me to confront that possibility, and it’s telling me that I need to make a little room for intuition in my life going forward.

I tend to be a woman of extremes. I’m either intuitive or intelligent. Things are either reasonable or entirely illogical. I’m agnostic, for fuck’s sake. I’m the ultimate fence-sitter. “Show me that it works and how it works and I will turn on a dime,” as The Minch says.

Side note: I am recognizing a pretty serious bias in favor of pale, white musicians on my part.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Hmm. Okay.


In any case, I could go on and on with this card, and in other situations I might but I think I’ve worked my way through what matters for me here, today, and also my Vyvanse feels like it’s working less and less.

I may need to start taking the prozosin at bedtime again. I feel like it’s making the fog worse during the day.


Distraction for the win, again. This blog post is a diarama of my entire cognitive life.

Recognizing that if we’re willing to embrace intution there is much to be gained from the unfamliar but beatiful and exotic environment of the unsconscous.

That’s the point.

I think.

Who the hell even knows. We’re all just making it up as we go along anyway.

It’s fine.


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