XVII-The Star

Alternate name: The Stars, Naked Truth

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."--Matthew 2:10

BASIC DESCRIPTION: A naked blond woman kneels on the shore with one foot on top of the water. She pours water from pitchers in each hand--one onto the land, one onto the water. The water flowing into the pond (?) creates ripples, while the water flowing onto the land creates five rivulets. Above her shines a large, yellow, eight-pointed star, surrounded by six white ones and another to the bottom left (eight stars total). Behind her is a small hill, topped by a small bush or tree, with a bird perched on top, apparently about to take flight. Some strange-looking little plants are scattered about. The woman's face resembles that of the Moon.
FIRST THING THAT STRUCK ME: She's naked--relaxed, free and unafraid.
TIME: Lammas to equinox, i.e. August

SYMBOLS: Color: Predominantly blue, for serenity and giving and receiving blessings.
Water: life, subconscious, emotions, baptism.
Nakedness: truth (nothing to hide), purity, and the revelation of nature's mysteries.
"Leland's Tuscan witches, who seemed to have a touch of the anarchist about them, were enjoined by the Goddess, 'As a sign that ye are truly free,/ Ye shall be naked in your rites.' Indeed many Witches, especially those of the Gardnerian lineage, do work their rituals naked, or 'sky-clad.' The purpose is not to titillate (although sexuality is not out of place in a coven) but rather to allow the body's energies to circulate freely; nakedness is also a mark of equality." -- Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions
Bird: I am familiar with birds as symbols of the soul. (And many superstitions about birds at deaths and funerals, etc.) Therefore, I would see it as the soul about to take flight, or some such. If the five rivulets of water are related to the five branches of the tree, perhaps the spirit fills the senses, which then "waters" the tree, which in turn becomes the basis, or "launching pad" for the bird, who looks like he's going to fly off to the star(s). Water cycle or life cycle?

TRADITIONAL MEANINGS UPRIGHT: Loss, theft, privation, abandonment; another reading says--hope and bright prospects. (Waite)
Hope, blessings, healing, wholeness, self-acceptance, openness, freedom, optimism, joy, beauty, faith, trust in oneself and the universe.
Brilliance, clarity, inspiration, insight, open mind, high intelligence, new solutions, notable accomplishment.
Generosity, giving and receiving freely, unselfish support, wishes coming true, appreciation for gifts and/or talents.
Serenity, humility, peace of mind, relaxing, calmness, tranquility, quiet time or place.
ALSO: Spiritual guide or guidance, unconventional or noteworthy person, astrological influence, star-gazing.

TRADITIONAL MEANINGS REVERSED: Arrogance, haughtiness, impotence. (Waite)
oss of hope, faith or enthusiasm; insecurity, pessimism, distrust, betrayal, depression, fear, decline.
Narrow mind, lack of insight, dullness of mind, slow to learn, bogged down by the trivial.
Slow to seek or extend help to or from others.
Restlessness, disturbance, lack of inner peace, annoyance.
ALSO: St. Elmo's Fire, blind leading the blind, good reputation tarnished, big plans fail.

BIBLICAL: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.--Rev. 22:17
MYTHOLOGICAL: Virgo, Astraea, Pleiades (?)
"Astraea was sent by the gods to spread blessings through the world of mortals . . . ."--Brian Williams
HISTORICAL: The pouring of precious liquids is an ancient ritual of blessing. (Williams)
ASTROLOGICAL: (1) Cancer, the "nurturer." (2) Venus--love, fertility; (GD) Aquarius--reformer
HEBREW LETTER: Tzaddi is not the Star.

ANIMAL/INSECT: bird (dove makes the most sense, but Waite seems to think ibis.); cicada
PLANT: jasmine, poinsetta (Weinachtsstern); healing herbs
OILS: Eucalyptus, fir, lime, blue chamomile (Greer).

MUSIC: "You're a shining star, no matter who you are, shining bright to see, what you can truly be." Sly; Cicadas and crickets. When I was young, I was told that this was the sound of the stars twinkling, because they start their music at twilight, when the stars first start appearing.
BOOK: Anything I ever read about Sirius or Orion. The helical rising of Sirius commences the 'dog days' in Egypt, and the flooding of the Nile River.
PUBLIC PEOPLE: Madonna! Looks just like her--blond and naked.
OCCUPATIONS: famous person; doctor or nurse; astronomer, astrologer, jeweler

OTHER: TaRoma (Greer): For ecological and planetary awareness, purification, ritual, vision and hope for the future, and self-esteem.

COMPARED TO OTHER CARDS: Compared to Temperance, the Star "shifts her attention/balance from contained to spilled water, from controlled to unregulated natural growth." (Hoover)

Personally, I see Temperance as a 'staying well' card and the Star as a 'getting well' card. For example, I have a friend who is overweight and wants to go on a crash diet. She was telling me, naturally, that they never work. I laid three cards for her yesterday, and Temperance came up in the 'body' position. I was explaining to her that recycling isn't just a good idea, it's the Law. The substance or fuel (i.e. food) is either burned up as energy or converted to a different form of matter (i.e. extra pounds). Just like every body or system in the Universe, it requires a balance in the cycle/recycle of energy & matter. In other words, her diet wouldn't really be a problem if she would exercise.

In the Ancestral Path Tarot, Temperance and the Star are the same woman. The book points out that in one instance, she is clothed and retaining all the liquid, not spilling a drop. In the other instance, she is unclothed, and freely pouring her blessings out. To me, this shows that the energy or matter is from a Source beyond the enclosed system (Temperance's two cups, the body, earth, &c.) While Temperance has a limited resource within her cups, and must maintain them, the Star woman appears to have unlimited resources flowing out. She can tap into the resources of the whole Universe. The Star is *beyond* the earth. And this card has a lot to do with the power of prayer, IMHO.

QUOTES FROM OTHER SOURCES: ". . . like a diamond in the sky."
"How can you fill yourself up with the Divine, when you're so full of yourself already?"--The People of the Silence
"As a tree planted by the rivers of water bringeth forth fruit in due season,
Every man find his purpose, find his reason."--Bob Marley

PERSONAL THOUGHTS: I don't like the asymmetrical arrangement of the stars on the RW. It looks like it's trying to be Pleiades, but it's not. Poser.

SITUATIONS IN MY LIFE: For about a week or two, my life was strangely wonderful. I was up on a pedestal, the center of attention, getting applause from every corner. My husband brought me flowers for no reason. A client called just to tell me I was doing a great job. I volunteered to help a business owner for a few hours, and later discovered that he had slipped 80 bucks in my purse. And one night, I even got a standing (or rather, dancing) ovation! People were chanting my name! I was receiving all sorts of complements and admiration everywhere I went. = D
I knew there had to be a card to match my experience--and not just a "life is good" card, but a "d*mn, I'M good" card! It took me nearly two months to figure it out--until I read Alexandra Genetti's description in The Wheel of Change Tarot book. It was a Star experience.

Long walks, sitting against huge trees, stretching out on the earth in green meadows, climbing a hill and enjoying the view, sitting on the beach til there's not a trace of color left in the sky, gazing in awe at the Milky Way or the crystal clear winter view of Orion and multi-colored Sirius, etc.; things that make me sense the Divine without (earth/Nature) and the Divine within (water/Soul) and how they're connected by the gift of Spirit. This is what I see in this card. It reminds of the feeling of joy that fills my soul when I feel the sun warming my body, or I hear certain music, or eat Aunt Muriel's pecan pie, or the first time I tasted Chateau Briand, or (pardon me) have good sex; things my smile can't resist, that just make me want to go "mmmm" or "aaah"!

The thing that made me feel the most alienated when I came to Switzerland is the different path the stars, as well as the sun, make across the sky. Since I grew up closer to the equator, I just took for granted that the stars moved more or less east to west across the sky. It was quite disorienting to see them taking such a long journey through the night at this more northern spot. My knowledge and observations of the skies has given me (at least) one advantage here on earth: I almost never get lost. That's really a blessing for me, 'cause I like to roam.  

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This page is excerpted in part from my original contributions to an online Tarot course discussion of this card graciously sponsored by Pandora's Bookstore.