Understanding Tarot: The Star

Tarot card art from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot Deck

The Understanding Tarot series is written by Claire Chilvers. It follows the Fool’s journey through the Major Arcana. You can find out more about Claire’s insights and readings at @ClaireChilversTarot

The Star- Connecting to the Universe on a whole new level

Every night, since the dawn of time, the stars have provided a mesmerising backdrop to our earthly home.

We don’t always see them, obviously during the day the Sun brightens our skies and they disappear from view. And at night, sometimes clouds block us from seeing them too.

But, it is not always the weather that prevents us from experiencing their beauty – sometimes we choose not to look at them, shutting ourselves away from the world, or we are just too busy and wrapped up in our own events to notice them. 

They have been popping up in these articles too. Have you noticed them, before now, on our Fool’s journey through the Major Arcana?

When we followed our Fool in his early years he was met by The Empress who was wearing a crown of stars on her head. One of her key messages was that all of the Universe was connected.

As the Fool carried on through his journey of life, maybe he remembered that message she gave him or maybe he got sidetracked and forgot. 

But the stars reappeared again when he reached adolescence. The Charioteer who steered him through his first overwhelming encounter, also adorned a crown with a beautiful bright star in its centre. His carriage also had a blue veil adorned with stars, hinting of the vastness of the world and that his adventure was somehow part of a bigger plan. But, his time with The Chariot was a challenging one, so you wouldn’t blame The Fool if he wasn’t focused on this greater message.

As The Fool reached adulthood, and sought answers to the questions that troubled him, he also found solace with The Hermit, who showed him enlightenment. Illuminating his path with a lantern lit with a star encased within it, showing him the way. But as soon as he received this message, everything changed. It is so easy to get distracted when life gets in the way.

The Fool is older and wiser now. This second cycle of the Major Arcana that he has almost completed has been demanding, to say the least. In my last article and The Fool’s most recent episode, we saw him forcibly thrown from The Tower, a thunderstorm raged and lightning destroyed all that he knew. He was left with nothing – a dramatic and chaotic ending in his life. 

I often feel that The Star appears immediately after this traumatic time of the Tower. The Fool does not need to wait too long before he is given guidance on how to move on. After all, most of us (in our darkest moments or most traumatic times) have no doubt felt inclined to look to the heavens for answers, perhaps, instinctively feeling that the stars are always there trying to show us the way. 

The beautiful maiden who greets The Fool as he arrives at this juncture is symbolic of the position he finds himself in. Her nakedness represents the duality of his own situation – some would see this as symbolising the potential to be reborn and start afresh, but, for others, nakedness can highlight a vulnerability that can lead to crippling fear and anxiety.

People arrive at this point at different stages of their life, remember, the occurrence of The Tower can be a welcome relief to some, others a desperate disappointment, which would ultimately affect their view of this Star maiden when she appears as the next life lesson to grasp.

She has two vessels filled with water and is staring so intently at the one she is pouring into the pond, symbolising the conscious mind, however, she seems to be ignoring the equal amounts of water that are spilled onto the ground by the other one. The water disappears, a fitting analogy of the unconscious mind and our intuition that is often ignored at this transformative and overwhelming time. 

She has one foot in water and one on the ground. We have seen this stance before with Temperance. The pieces of the puzzle of life are falling into place and being shown at this time for good reason.

As the Fool fell from the Tower, twenty-one flames fell around him too, reminding him of his connection to every part of the Major Arcana and, how every decision, emotion, thought and coincidence led him to the point he is at now. It is at this point, when the Fool finally sees the connections that are working all around him at every moment, and his place within the Universe.

As he looks to the sky for more answers, he sees the seven small stars, reminding him of his own seven chakras that whirl within his earthly body. And in the centre of them all, the one gigantic star that has been guiding him all along. He cannot fail to notice it this time around. 

The Star is often seen as a ‘Wish’ card or a card of good fortune. But, on this Fool’s Journey, I feel it is more a ‘Eureka’ moment. Suddenly, he can feel how the intricate movements of the planetary shiftings affect him, he feels the waxing and waning of the Moon and its’ effects on his emotions, he hears his intuition and knows it is his soul calling out to him to direct him on his way.

He understands that he is only a small being in an immense Universe, but, has found his self-esteem, his sense of direction, and purpose, which ensures he does not dismiss himself as unimportant.

He sees himself as part of the Universe, connected to all things and working together in unison. At this point, The Fool understands that he is never alone. And what a comfort to have after the difficult lessons he has faced. 

To accept this fact will lead to a higher version of himself than he had ever thought possible. Indeed, if he is to truly take this lesson to heart then the potential is limitless. 

If he chooses to continue, then from this card on, there are no more lessons from earthly mentors. The ascension is shown in the cards. It is celestial bodies that teach him from now on, The Moon, The Sun, The Angel of Judgement and, of course, The World. 

But, the completion of this journey is not definite and we all have free will and choice to decide if we wish to advance to this higher, more connected, intuitive version of ourselves. It does not always follow that everyone happily accepts this calling, and this is the duality of the offerings in this card which can be seen in our own lives. 

Again, we must see the events that have led us to this point. Having broken free from the clutches of The Devil and dealing with the aftermath of the tumultuous Tower means we are greeted by The Star at a time when we are recovering from dramatic, chaotic, or life-changing events. A message of hope and potential is often drowned out by the shockwaves.

The Star’s message is ‘Anything can happen from this point on’. For some this is an abundance of freedom and opportunity, for others, it is a terrifying and uncomfortable unknowing. 

The Star can only shine brightly in the darkest of nights, and sometimes the timing of that is not ideal. 

The message can be so overwhelming that it frightens people to retreat back to something more comfortable, and if we are taking backward steps we find another (perhaps unsuitable) Tower to take shelter in or move even further back to find a new Devil to chain ourselves to.

This can often be seen in people who keep repeating the same pattern over and over again in their careers, relationships, or those who try to break free from a restricting habit or addiction. 

These articles have been written in chronological order, showing the stages the Fool passes through and how he gains knowledge of himself and the Universe along the way. But, we all know that life is not like that.

And for anyone who has had the frustrating message of a Major Arcana Tarot card that keeps reappearing in every reading they have, they will know that sometimes the Universe needs us to go back and repeat a module until we get it right.

The appearance of The Star is the equivalent of allowing The Fool to pass through to the highest degree of education, the knowledge and rewards are unimaginable.

Indeed one of the wonderful aspects of this card is that we cannot possibly foresee the wonders that await for us – although the Universe knows exactly where they would like us to be, as does our own soul. 

This card, perhaps more than any other, is urging us to step outside our comfort zone. It requires an awareness that things may never be the same again, but, also a complete and thorough trust in ourselves and the Universe that it will be ok. That is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and sometimes we do not manage it. Sometimes we do shy away from the opportunity and go ‘backwards’ a few stages. But, that is ok.

If we all followed the exact same journey, in exactly the same order life would be boring. Everyone’s journey is different, and, some people take the scenic route to get to this point rather than travelling directly. 

So, when your time comes to look at the sky and ask ‘What now?’ And the nerves and worry are churning around in your stomach. And you feel a mixture of vulnerability and excitement, remember The Star’s message – ‘Anything can happen from this point on.’ And trust that vague and uncertain message is for the highest good.

As I write this article I am eagerly awaiting a glimpse of The Christmas Star that is to appear in our sky. The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be lighting up our Universe and urging us all to look up at its beauty, shining brightly down to us all – a reminder that we can all feel its presence and we are all connected. 

Throughout this transformative year, we have had the underlying theme that 2020’s message was to encourage us all to elevate to a higher consciousness. Perhaps our Christmas Star will give us all a message to help us achieve this as we move into a New Year together. 

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