XVIII The Moon
Red Scott
Memoirs of a Geisha

Notes on the card: Dreams, visions, intuition and creativity, these are all aspects of the MOON card in the Tarot. We see them through the eyes of little Chiyo, a young girl of nine, sold to the Okiya (Geisha house) and those qualities become the driving force for her future as one of the most celebrated Geisha in Japan. Chiyo's mother is terminally ill and her fisherman father is forced to sell his two daughters for their sakes (as well as that of himself and mama.) The MOON controls the tides and one of the first things we learn about Chiyo is that she has eyes the color of rain and is believed to be ruled by the element of water. (Another bow to the MOON card.) Chiyo begins her new life as a "maiko" or "geisha in training" but it isn't until she first meets "The Chairman" that her vision becomes clarified and she dreams ONLY of one day becoming his. As she hones her skills she takes the name "Sayuri" and becomes adept with the shamizen instrument and the dance. Later in her life, she does finally fulfill her long held dream-wish and becomes The Chairman's "only." I've mirrored her life changes to reflect that of the MOON'S cyclical changes and also, to underscore the "maiden, mother, crone" aspects of the card. We see a MOON face shining down on the scene that is distinctly representative of a Geisha. There are two sliding rice paper doors, leading one into the mysterious world of the Geisha much like the pillars in a standard MOON card. The "Floating World of Willow and Flower," another reference to the world of Geisha I've further indicated by the blossoms floating between the doors. Finally, the black on black willow images are seen in the background. As explained by Mameha, Sayuri's older sister and mentor, "the very word Geisha means artist and to be a Geisha is to be a moving, living work of art."

XVIII - The Moon

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