Without a doubt, the Star (Major Arcana 17) is one of the most welcoming cards in Tarot. In most decks the image is depicted by a young, beautiful, naked maiden filling and emptying her vessels of water in the backdrop of a calm and invigorating pool of water.
The image of the Star suggests a peaceful, contented and hopeful realization of our deepest dreams. For this reason, nearly everyone likes to see the Star show up in their readings.
|The Star - Legacy of the Divine|
However, what most people fail to realize is that the Star follows the Tower card – which depicts the complete and utter destruction of the ego and ego-based thinking. The Star represents truth, clarity and purity of intention. That is why the woman in the image is naked. She is no longer restricted by the cloak of earthly fears.
In fairness, it is easy to miss this connection because most Tarot decks depict the Star in a scene that looks only like the calm after the storm and omits any previous experiences that led us to this point.
My favorite version of the Star is by Ciro Marchetti, creator of The Legacy of the Divine Tarot. In this version, we see our young maiden being propelled from the rubble of the Tower like a phoenix rising from the ashes. No longer restricted by a limited ego-existence, the young woman is free to move forward confidently in the direction of her dreams.
It is an absolutely beautiful rendition because as she rises above the destruction of the Tower, we catch her glancing back at the mess with a look that can almost be described as gratitude. It is as if she is thanking the Universe for the cataclysmic events that freed her from her spiritual slumber.
And that leads us to one of the most important messages of the Star.
Despite our wishes, the freedom and promise offered by the Star comes only after we have faced our deepest fears and have had the courage to go beyond them. The rewards we seek that are represented by the Star come to us only when we have courageously faced down our biggest fears, stood up to our harshest critics (both in and outer), and persevered faithfully in the direction of our deepest truths.
In reality, the gift offered by the Star is not an outer one. Rather it is a completeness of soul and purpose that comes after facing the uncertainty of following frightening, but vaguely familiar paths and having the faith in ourselves to move forward on them when we can’t even imagine how we will ever be successful.