Howlin’ at the Moon – a full moon tarot reading

An evening to myself, and a full moon?

I couldn’t resist seeking out a suitable spread, and came across this lovely one by Chanel Bayless.

It’s called ‘What’s Howlin’?’, and it’s based on figuring out the message you are communicating to the world. She designed it to be done in January – on the first full moon of the year – but I figured it could work just as well for any full moon.


Card positions

1. Your message. The message you are howling at the moon

2, 3 & 4. How you can communicate this.

First I draw one card. This is my message, the message I am howling at the moon and the world, the message I am sending out there, the message I am trying to get heard:

Ace of Swords

An invitation to speak the truth. Am I doing the inviting? Or is my howl the howl of truth? Am I desperately trying to find the truth, hoping to speak it? Taking my cue from Chanel’s example reading, the message I’m howling out is one of truth. Well, I like that! For me, this card represents a wisdom that can be used in different ways. The Ace is the opportunity to use the great power that wisdom brings…but it can be used to hurt, or to help. My message is about something I know.

I believe this is a feminist message. I often feel I struggle to make my voice heard on matters of gender equality – like I hear the challenge…and words fail me. I hear such sexist bullshit at work, see such misogyny in the media and all around me…and I’m always the person thinking, three hours later, ‘shit, I shoulda said THAT!’, and cursing my slow, nervous brain. This card isn’t about the message I’m howling…yet. It’s about the message I long to howl.

Then I draw three further cards and lay them in a line beneath the first. These represent the ways I can communicate my message:

Eight of Pentacles

The image is of a spider, spinning her web. It’s a magical craft no human can understand. In the companion book to my Shadowscapes deck, Stephanie Lau writes ‘It is a call to seek out knowledge, to pursue a higher understanding. But this must be done with practical experience – using one’s hands and mind and body to create‘. I hear ya, Eight of Pents. My feminist message will be delivered artfully, practically, creatively, tangibly. Hmm!

Nine of Wands

I’ve spent time with the Nine of Wands, and come to love his pride, his unbreakable spirit, his determination to hold fast to his truth and his belief. He has a strong and unshakable sense of justice…and I think he stands up for others too. That’s the fight for social justice right there. The need to be political, the need to challenge the idiots, to tell it like it really is.

The Sun

And this…the card of ultimate positivity – a golden light pours over everything, good fortune, happiness, security, warmth are mine.Maybe this even represents the recent change in the weather…as the sun begins to win over the cold, dreary months and spring emerges from the clouds, the bark, the soil, the hedgerow, this card fills me with hope. It’s telling me to be optimistic, to say it loud and proud.


Wolfy © Small Something (Nadia)


I’m getting a pretty clear message here. If I wanna howl the truth about gender inequality and how it’s manifest all around us (which of course I do!) I need to be doing this in real, practical ways. Real action, the ESOL classes I want to start, the campaigns I’m always planning in my head, the art I’d love to make…these will get my message out there. Sticking to my guns, even if it’s a battle, will clarify my feelings, and a strong sense of justice (or injustice) will empower my actions. And keeping the love, holding onto that sunshine and warmth, will keep me on track.

I’m inspired already 🙂

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  1. Roger says:

    Hi Beth,
    Wanting to expand my tarot experience I stumbled on your super fab site, signed up to bits and bobs and gave this spread ago for the full moon….1 high priestess, 2 ace of wands, 3 nine of wands, 4 two of cups..I think it relates directly to my tarot practice! Thanks.
    Great site by the way…witty, accessable and full of good stuff…..Roj

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