I think it's interesting to compare the same card from very different decks. Each deck creator puts his/her own interpretations into the artwork; sometimes there isn't much deviation from the standard RWS meanings - a little extra flourish here or there, slightly different colors, but nothing that changes things too much. Other times, the art (and the LWB) really change or add greatly to the meanings. A reader can choose to ignore those changes and interpret the cards according to what he/she has learned and is accustomed to, or he/she can work more by intuition and the specific deck creator/artist's interpretations in the LWB or companion book that comes with the deck. I am going to compare the Moons from three decks: Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS), Chyrsalis Tarot, and Thoth Tarot.
First RWS- A night scene. Two large, foreboding towers are shown. They also can be seen as tombstones, because the same symbol appears on the card of Death. Two wild beasts, a dog and a wolf, howl at the Moon and a crab appears in the water (as the Moon rules over the zodiac of Cancer) and crawls from onto the land. The Moon is shedding the moisture of fertilizing dew. The figure in the moon is seems to be frowning and reflects obviously displeasure. The card can be considered as the fears of the natural mind. There is a pathway into the distant, dark unknown. The light of the Moon illuminates all the things you can't see in daylight. Overall, it's strange and uncomfortable scene. The standard indications of this card are possible deception and illusory situations , moodiness, hidden truths, and the rising of intuition. Overall, it's not a very positive card in RWS.
In Chrysalis Tarot, we find an ornate quarter moon in forefront of the card, smiling as rays of white light radiate off it, illuminating the water beneath and faint ornate patterns in the sky around it. There is a tiny green island in the middle of the water with a lone standing figure with arms raised. The key word in the LWB is "Reflection" and the moon is described as embracing "the tiny island as a mother might embrace a bewildered child." This Moon is about creative reflection and (again in the LWB) "joyful celebration of your success" in energizing your goals and aspirations with positive thoughts." The Chrysalis moon here too is about diving deep into intuition through inner voice, dreams, etc, but it is also an empowering and embracing figure, rather than disturbing as in RWS.
In the complex imagery of the Thoth Moon we find the two towers from RWS with two wolf-headed figures of Annubis, Egyptian God of Death, each with a jackal, standing guard in front of each tower. The moon here is a waning moon and it is clearly the land of the dead. The jackals are scavengers and ready to fall upon and devour the corpses of the dead who pass between the two ominous towers. It is all shadows and uncertainty and danger; it takes great courage to pass through this threatening dark landscape. It is not for the confused, uncertain and faint of heart; here there is no benevolence of the embracing Chrysalis and the dark aspects of RWS have been heightened. However, within this dark imagery is a glimmer of light and hope; there is also the sacred Egyptian scarab beetle holding a symbol of the sun between its pincers, a renewing positive sign, indicating there is light in the darkness - the light can be understood as consciousness illuminating the illusory shadows. One of the messages is to open up to what is hidden - again through listening to intuition, dreams, shadow work, though it may be difficult and frightening.
We can say that all three Moons do encourage tapping into one's intuition and unconscious to reveal what is hidden, though RWS and Thoth do present the experience as frightening and dangerous. As the moon can be seen as a metaphor for the feminine, visible in these two decks is an inherent fear, then, of that aspect of being - the female. The female is the unknown darkness, the unconscious, emotions, uncertainty. The Chrysalis is by far the most female/unconscious/spirit-friendly. All three, however, are ultimately about embracing the totality of one's complete self, the darkness and the light, which will lead to transformation, though in RWS this possible transformation is not apparent within the card itself. RWS is a warning regarding not only oneself, but others and exterior situations; . It is quite interesting to see the similarities and differences of these three decks. I'm sure with all the many hundreds of decks out there, this one comparison could end up as a book, and an interesting one at that!
I am an intuitive counselor and visionary artist who has studied and worked with Tarot for over 20 years. I am an avid collector of tarot art, as well as a creator. I am the creator of four oracle decks. I also have an extensive collection of tarot art images on Pinterest.com which you can enjoy.