The Moon – Joan Lindsay

illusion, intuition, uncertainty, confusion, complexity, secrets, unconscious

Image by Kateryna Shamanska 

As Little Red Tarot writes “the Moon, that great, grey rock in the sky that governs our oceans, pulls the tides and with them our moods, is at the heart of many, many myths. It represents mystery and madness, the unseen, shadows and sorcery”.

The general meaning of The Moon Tarot card in an upright position is that everything is not as it seems. It’s intense, it’s shadowy, it’s wild, it’s emotional, and it highlights our deepest fears and anxieties. It is perceived to be a card of illusion and deception, and therefore often suggests a time when something is not as it appears to be.

Interpretive drawing of Joan Lindsay by Heather Blakey October 2022
Joan à Beckett Lindsay (1896-1984), author of Picnic at Hanging Rock and artist, was born on 16 November 1896 at East St Kilda, Melbourne, third daughter of Theyre à Beckett Weigall, barrister, and his wife Annie Sophie Henrietta, née Hamilton. Joan’s maternal grandfather, Sir Robert Hamilton, was governor of Tasmania (1887-93), and her great uncle, Sir William à Beckett, the first Chief Justice of Victoria.

It is not hard to imagine that the hauntingly beautiful Moon card might be a significator card for inspired writers of the ilk of Mary Shelley and Australian author, Joan Lindsay who dug deep into the murky world of intuition and drew upon all the marvelous Moon energy.

Hanging Rock is famous as an ominous yet enticing character in Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock.

If Miranda and a quartet of schoolgirls, who vanished at the Rock after a picnic on Valentine’s Day 1900, had been just a less adventurous, we might not have been taken into the depths of this mystery shrouded rock.

Lindsay had read all the folk lore about missing children in the new colony. She knew Macedon Ranges intimately and appreciated the mystique of Hanging Rock. She knew it to be a mysterious, threatening, untamed rock, rising out of the volcanic plains. It readily lent its voice and encouraged her to release a gothic tale that would secure itself a place in folklore.

Lindsay implied that the story of the missing girls was based on truth. Whether or not it was does not really matter now. We forgive her for any creative license for she takes her reader on a captivating journey of mystery and intrigue, tells a yarn that has inspired readers and film makers alike.