We continue our series exploring the meaning of the Tarot cards this week with the Star, representing clarity, inspiration and hope.
The Star depicts a naked woman kneeling by a riverside. Her nudity reflects her purity and freedom from shame. She is at peace with herself and her environment, and so she is naked like Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. She has one foot on dry land and the other in the water, showing that she comfortably rests between the physical and spiritual, the subconscious and conscious, the visible and invisible. She has reached a serene balance between material living and spiritual enlightenment.
This card may instantly remind you of the Temperance card which also featured a character with one foot in the water and the other on land. Like the hermaphroditic angel of the Temperance card, the woman on the Star card also holds two jugs of water. But the difference is that the woman here is pouring both jugs out of water out. This outpouring of water—which is associated with love & emotions—shows that she is giving back the blessings she has received. She is sharing her bounty both physically and spiritually. The water pouring into the river represents the spiritual bridge that connects everything. The water pouring onto the dry land depicts the physical world, showing that she is sharing her abundance both materially and emotionally. The water pouring onto dry land divides into five separate streams, representing the five senses we use to experience the physical world.
Where the angel of Temperance was urging us to abandon materiality for higher spiritual truths, the woman of the Star reminds us to return back to the material world with the boon of the spiritual truths we received. Most importantly, the Star reminds us to share our realizations with others. Abandoning the world completely will not lead to total self-actualization. Instead, the world must be abandoned temporary in order to realize the spiritual nature of reality. But once the spiritual nature of reality is realized, then one is obligated to return to the hustle and bustle of daily life ready to share this enlightenment with others. The point is that anyone can avoid reality, but it takes a true master to participate in the world even while knowing it is but a shadow of the real truth.
The fertile land is green all around her, representing the material abundance that grows from spiritual realization. In the background, a fiery yellow bird rests on a tree. The tree represents our spinal column leading up to the branches of the brain, and the bird—reminiscent of the resurrected phoenix—represents the immortal spirit that dwells in each of us. The woman on this card has realized the secret of immortality: that our spirits are immortal even after our bodies die.
In the sky above, an eight-pointed star shines in the center. The eight points of the star refer back to the 8th card of the Major Arcana, which is the Strength card. The eight-pointed star represents the strength, courage and power that the woman has achieved along the spiritual journey. The giant central star is also reminiscent of the North Star which guides sailors and travelers through the night. The North Star is shown here as a symbol of divine guidance and knowing the way forward. Seven other stars shine around this central star. These seven smaller stars represent the seven chakras or energy centers of the body. When the seven chakras are cleansed and shining brightly, great power is achieved.
When the Star appears in readings, it can indicate that guidance is finally on the way. Hard times have been weathered such as the calamity of the Tower. But now the smoke is clearing and the North Star is shining down to show you the way forward. If you are asking if a certain path is right or wrong and you draw the Star, that’s a green light indicating that you are most definitely on the right path, even if it seems impossible. The Star is a hopeful card of renewal and rejuvenation, indicating that the hardest part of the struggle is over and that there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.
The Star also indicates inspiration and spiritual realization. A sudden flash of insight is now possible. You may abruptly realize the bigger picture of your life. Seeing this big picture will give you a strong sense of direction and determination to get there. If you have been feeling lost or confused, especially in career matters, the Star indicates an impending moment of clarity will reveal the way forward soon.
In reverse, the Star indicates discouragement, lack of hope and aimlessness. A reversed Star indicates that you have gone off course and that you may be directionless, or even headed in the wrong direction. Despair is a common feeling associated with the reversed Star. If you are asking a particular path and a reversed Star appears, that’s a red flag warning you not to pursue the path you are considering because it will lead to a dead end. A reversed Star represents someone who lacks faith or courage to change their circumstances. Usually, it indicates that without faith, the current darkness cannot be banished and that hope in the spirit is required to move forward.