Card Meaning: XVII The Star

The Star
Element: Air
Astrology: Aquarius
Hebrew letter: Tzaddi, צ


   Probably the most benevolent card in the deck, it resolves problems presented in The Tower card. After usually painful resolution of the obsolete mental constructions seen in The Tower card, new hope, new star appears on the horizon to guide us back on our way. The starry night in the background gives to this card a peaceful, meditative appearance. No wonder the hebrew letter for this card, Tsadi, means fish-hook, like there is a need to throw the hook deep in our inner self, to reveal the unseen and hidden, the place where the real knowledge lies. This card is the first in the radiant triad of The Star-The Moon-The Sun cards. The order of that lights is not random, they are sequenced toward greater light, that brings greater clarity. The Star in this case can represent the Venus, the planet in the past usually called The Morning Star, the symbol of the new begginings, rejuvenation and rebirth. This card brings the seed of the new birth within you, birth of your higher consciousness in your daily mind.


   In the Flemish deck by Vandenborre, Le Etoille ("The Star") shows an astronomer looking at a star above him with a divider, he is seated at the left-hand corner and there is a tower in the right-hand corner. The large star is surrounded with the smaller stars. In the Sermones de Ludo Cum Aliis this card is called La Stella (The Star). The Visconti-Sforza Tarot depicts a woman who looks at a large, eight-pointed star held in her left hand. Her red cloak is adorned with golden stars and her long blue dress with a motif of horizontal and vertical rays. The Rosenwald Sheet is showing an eight-pointed star as a main motif. On the Cary Sheet, the card portrays a nude figure who pours water from two large jugs into a flowing stream in which the tail of at least one fish is visible. The figure has long hair and a tattoo of a star on its right shoulder. A large, eight-pointed star shines in the sky and is surrounded by four smaller stars. The card particularly brings to mind imagery of Aquarius. In the Tarot de Marseille, L’Étoile (The Star) shows a very similar scene as in the Rider-Waite tarot.


   On its positive side this card represents hope, bright future, inner guidance, vision and the new life. If you are considering any new project or relationship this card is an excellent omen. It can indicate emotional and spiritual awareness, good health and artistic endavours. The Star by itself doesn't indicate the final resolution of the problem, but it does indicate a good prospect for successs and fulfilment. On its negative side it can indicate pessimism, cynicism, self doubt and rejected opportunities.

woman pouring down water, lake, four elements, stars

   A woman, in her natural, sinless state of nakedness, pours water in a pond and on a soil. Former represents subconscious and universal, the latter material world. Both are replenished by water from the vases. With one knee the woman is supporting herself on the ground and with the other she is almost half in the water, but she is not disturbing a surface of the pool. Here, the pool of subconsciouss is able to support conscious mind, we can see here the analogy of walking on the water, the miracle of trusting to powers that are well beyond us. Where there is a trust, miracles can happen. We can also see that for miracles to really happen we must combine our material efforts with watery - emotional and spiritual efforts. This card is reminiscent of The Temperance, but while in The Temperance the water between two cups are mixed with each other, here, water is mixed with universal consciousness in the form of the pool of water. Of course, the main focus is on the star with eight points, eight cardinal points on compass, symbolizing omnipresence of God's grace. Around the main star is 7 smaller stars. 7 + 1 and we again have eight. Every smaller star also has 8 spokes. This 7 stars represents 7 energy centars in human body called Chakras on the East, also, there is connection through numbers with one central star indicating unity through seven realms of the Universe. Eight stars also represent eight inner planets in astrology. On the hill behind the woman there is a tree with a bird on it. The bird is Ibis, symbol for the ancient Egyptians of the god Toth. This bird is the sacred bird of the soul, it carries messages from the Gods to humans, another motif of divine insipration in this card. Also, it represents the element Air, pool represents Water, land represents Earth and the stars Fire, thus bringing all four elements in alchemical wedding just like in the card The Temperance. We can see again the distant mountains in the background, a common motif in the Major Arcana that reminds us that this is just a step on the path.

A great, radiant star of eight rays, surrounded by seven lesser stars--also of eight rays. The female figure in the foreground is entirely naked. Her left knee is on the land and her right foot upon the water. She pours Water of Life from two great ewers, irrigating sea and land. Behind her is rising ground and on the right a shrub or tree, whereon a bird alights. The figure expresses eternal youth and beauty. The star is l'étoile flamboyante, which appears in Masonic symbolism, but has been confused therein. That which the figure communicates to the living scene is the substance of the heavens and the elements. It has been said truly that the mottoes of this card are "Waters of Life freely" and "Gifts of the Spirit."

The summary of several tawdry explanations says that it is a card of hope. On other planes it has been certified as immortality and interior light. For the majority of prepared minds, the figure will appear as the type of Truth unveiled, glorious in undying beauty, pouring on the waters of the soul some part and measure of her priceless possession. But she is in reality the Great Mother in the Kabalistic Sephira Binah, which is supernal Understanding, who communicates to the Sephiroth that are below in the measure that they can receive her influx.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by A.E. Waite

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