Instead it is meant to be a walk through my mind, showing how I take apart cards without delving into too much research or comparison. It is meant to act as a guided example of how other learning practitioners could do the same with their own decks or intuitive development.
What I’m Considering
As I sit down to write this, I am thinking of the same thing that I was thinking of when I picked up my deck to start shuffling: Forgiveness.
I have so many questions regarding forgiveness. It’s silly, because if anyone were to ask me about forgiveness in their own lives, I would quite happily chatter on to them about it.
However, after a birthday gift from an estranged family member last month, I have been pondering so much about it in my own life. I work toward a more peaceful and stressless state, but there are still certain things I cling to, the hurt toward this family member is one of them.
So I considered what forgiveness means, or rather, centered my mind on the word and began shuffling.
Immediately, XVII The Star popped out
When I was learning the tarot, I always remembered the Star because of Jiminy Cricket singing ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’, and always associated it with hopes and wishful thinking.
Taking it a step further, the stars have always been used as a method of guidance, and thus I compiled the two to understand the star as knowledge of being on the right track. I’m aiming for something (among the stars) and The Star as a card is to let me know I’m using the right tools to direct me.
But how does this fall into forgiveness?
Let’s examine the card more deeply.
Looking at the Star
The Star is a woman shown to be kneeling by water with one foot in and one foot out. She has two jugs of water that she’s pouring, onto the earth and the other into the water. She looks down at what she’s doing with the jug going into the water, her arm over the foot which is in the water as well. Above her is an eight-pointed star, and seven other stars around her. Behind her is a tree with a bird in it.
Numerologically, The Star corresponds with the number eight, which is shown in the points in the stars depicted as well as by the stars around her. Not only that, but the card itself is 17, which reduces to the number 8 (1+7=8).
8 refers to the concept of justice. If it’s turned on its side, it’s the infinity symbol, which is a reminder that under the infinite universal laws, we are all equal, which refers to the theme of justice (this is also why sometimes the Justice card is the Eight card in certain decks, rather than Strength).
When considering the number and how they generally correspond to the minor arcana, the eights have more to do with mastery and action. Consider, say, the Eight of Wands, which is an indication of rapid movement and thinking quickly, while the Eight of Coins is perfecting an art through studious practice.
Water and Earth
Considering the themes used as well, the pouring of water into water, and of water over land, or earth. Water corresponds to the energy of the cups: love, intuition, emotion, creativity, etc., while earth corresponds to the suit of the Coins: the material world, making things manifest, career and money. This is how it is that we make dreams and ambitions manifest, by pouring our passion into them.
Tying It Together
Considering the above attributes, and the theme of forgiveness, I see The Star as a reminder that we are all human, and that if I truly want to exercise my ability to forgive, and if I want to elevate myself to a higher understanding, I must remember that we are all the same under the Laws of the Universe.
I have my own jugs filled with water, with which I can pour where I would like.
How do you like to go about exploring new decks? What sticks out and rings true to you in their symbolism? Let me know in the comments.
Read about more of the Major Arcana