The top third of the card is dominated by a stylized rendition of the waxing crescent moon. The whole of the disc is drawn, and within it the “man in the moon” faces towards the ground at an angle implying the moon is halfway between moonrise and the height of the night. The eyes of the apparition are closed and the mouth is slightly frowning. Spikes of light emanate from the moon disc, giving the idea of the brilliance that is the full moon. 15 small licks of what could be dew or cold fire appear to fall from the moon onto the landscape below. Two great towers are on either side of the card in the near distance. In the foreground, a dog and a wolf, facing up towards the moon, stand aggressively on either side of a small path. In the foreground, a stagnant river or small pond is seen, with a crayfish emerging from the waters onto the small path which continues between the canines, between the towers, and into the far distance where it disappears over the mountains.
This is the Land of Illusion, where the concrete and the sure is hidden but the abstract and the possible become tangible. Here also is the Land of Dreams and the gateway into the depths of the subconscious or the exit from that realm. However, the problem is how to tell which way is out when everything is not as it seems.
To find Fear has taken one of the towers is not surprising. To find Hubris has taken the other, often is. Once we are sure of something, we hold on to that belief in certainty to a fault. No wonder then, that Hubris would have a stronghold in the Land of Illusions, unwilling to accept that it is not as powerful as it believes it is and holding on to its position until its tower (Tower?) come crumbling down.
Not all illusions are malefic. Sometimes we need the dreams and the apparitions to confront those parts of ourselves that our conscious mind does not want to see. With stories of allegory, we can safely tend to the wounds on our soul.
For the Querent, this is a neutral card. It may signify they are deluding themselves with vain wishes and willful blindness. It may signify others around them are gaslighting them and withholding vital information. It is important for the Querent to find and understand why they are in the Land of Illusion, and what is keeping them there if they’d rather not be. I’ve found often the Querent’s mode of exit is simply a matter of accepting the circumstances as they are and facing the truth of the matter.
Waite refers to the calming of the “animal mind”, and the rejection of those nameless aspects in the deep. I disagree. Our bodies are very much a part of who and what we are. To hold the “intellectual mind” above the flesh is to intentionally cut away a part of ourselves. Even in the Land of Illusions and Dreams, we still have the final choice in how we live our lives and what paths we choose to walk.
Leaving the Land of Illusion means accepting what we are, as we are. This makes the landscape clear to us, and we are able to enter or leave at will. Anything else only twists the path around our feet.