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Tarot Elements: The True Meaning of "The Star"

The Star of Tarot is a very watery, spiritual and high-vibration card, the only other one as supremely watery being the Ace of Cups. Predictably, both are among my top favorites.

It is also probably one of the most popular images of the Major Arcana, (particularly the Waite-Smith version, which I refer to) yet also one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted.

The Star is frequently interpreted with keywords like “hope”, “renewal” and “inspiration”. While inspiration may at least come closer than any other term to the true meaning, Arthur Edward Waite himself described the most commonly attributed interpretation of hope as “tawdry”.

Frankly, I have never understood how or where anyone ever got “hope” regarding the Star, even in my earliest days as a Tarot novice. It has been the repetitive insistence from countless Tarot teachers and “experts” that the Star means hope, combined with my repetitive intuitive suspicion that this can’t be correct, that led me into an extensive search and analysis of just what this card really means.

It was a great “I knew it!” moment when I finally read Waite’s Pictorial Key to the Tarot and his explanation of the Star, especially his calling out of the old “hope trope”. It was an even more enthralling and enlightening moment when astronomy and chemistry played a part in proving the real meaning of this card. But we’ll get to that.

The Star, according to Waite, is Sephirah Binah of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life; the Great Mother who gives and who is supernal understanding. He says the mottoes of the card are “Waters of Life freely” and “Gifts of the Spirit”.

So, people very ironically misunderstand the card that is about understanding. A lot. Is there maybe a lesson or message here?

He describes the female figure in the card as expressing eternal youth and beauty. The number of the card is 17, which reduces to 8 - the symbol for infinity or, more poetically, eternity. There are also eight stars on the card, the large one in the middle being surrounded by seven others.

The number 8 – as a lemniscate or infinity symbol – appears on only two other cards of the Major Arcana: the Magician and Strength. I think there is a clue here and a relationship between these cards and the Star.

The Magician, who most basically represents manifestation, is pointing a wand towards the heavens and his finger down to Earth, representing “As Above, So Below”, as well as a conduit between the two planes.

The suggestion throughout is therefore the possession and communication of the Power and Gifts of the Spirit,” Waite says of the posture and action of the Magician. So there is that key phrase that directly ties the Magician to the Star.

Supernal means “pertaining to heaven or the sky” or “celestial”…the stars. The Magician bears another symbol of eternity – the ouroboros, or the serpent around his waist eating its own tail.

This is familiar to most as a conventional symbol of eternity, but here it indicates more especially the eternity of attainment in the spirit.” (A.E. Waite)

In Strength we see a young woman taming a lion with ease. The lemniscate floats above her head just as it does the Magician’s. What do these cards have in common that may be indicated by the presence of this symbol? She too has a similar additional symbol of eternity around her waist, like the Magician.

However, in Strength it is a vine of blossoming greenery tying her to the lion, at least in early printings of the deck. In later reproductions it is unfortunately not illustrated as joining her to the lion though this is significant. I believe it symbolizes, among other things, a natural link between humans and animals. Ultimately we are animals ourselves and Strength conveys the necessary control over certain baser animal instincts.

Waite elaborates however,

[These higher meanings] are intimated in a concealed manner by the chain of flowers, which signifies, among other many other things, the sweet yoke and the light burden of Divine Law, when it has been taken into the heart of hearts.”

The flower chain around her waist very curiously resembles the flowering boughs over the Magicians head, perhaps a further representation of the feminine spirit and understanding being poured down on him from Above?

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Title: Occult Detective Quarterly #5

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Recently I had a lengthy discussion with my daughter about cellular memory. If you are not familiar with cellular memory, it is theorized that cells have specific memories and these memories are passed on should a person pass away and their organs donated.

The receiver of these organs may start to have memories from a place or event that they are not familiar with, as well, it is possible that they may have emotions over certain circumstances or during certain events that they have never before experienced.  It is believed that these memories and emotions come from the previous owner of the donated organs.

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Music's Magic and Power

 I'm having my own private Stevie Wonder festival. 

When I'm giving clients shamanic treatments (click here for info about them), I might listen to his music. It is so happy that it makes my spirit soar, which feeds my magic. 

 

Or, when I'm doing physical therapy exercises, the sheer joy in Stevie Wonder's music loosens my muscles and joints, so the physical therapy is all the more effective. 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Marketplace Is Sacred

 The following is adapted from my new book A Sacred Marketplace: Sell without Selling Out or Burning Out. Mysticism + Marketing = Sales.

The marketplace is sacred. It is where community gathers. 

I love the world of spirit. I am happy in it. I am also incredibly happy in the marketplace. It is where I get to share from my heart and soul. It is where I get to connect with other humans.

The marketplace is sacred. I am almost in tears as I write this because I am so deeply moved when I work with my students: When we are working together, we are in the real. We are discussing our actual lives, true feelings, soulful dreams, honest needs, terrible doubts, night-sweating terrors, dizzying triumphs, and more.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Question of Soul

Recently I was asked a question that gave me pause. It was a simple question that opened up whole worlds of inquiry which have echoed through many hundreds of years. The question was, “Do birds have souls?” This is not such an unusual question. For a very long time in history, we have been told that only humans have souls. As God gave mankind dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26), this seems to imply that, though animals have the ‘breath of life’ to animate them, they are not connected with the Divine in the same sense as mankind. They do not have souls nor do they go to heaven. We have come a long way in appreciating that animals have thoughts and feelings. Anyone who owns a pet (and this implication of ‘ownership’ becomes interesting language itself) can attest to the different, particular personalities that come through. Many of you reading this likely have already answered the question of animal’s souls in your own minds. For me it was an invitation to a more expansive question, “What exactly is a Soul and does it differ from Spirit?”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tiffany Lazic
    Tiffany Lazic says #
    Hi, Linda ~ Yes, I have had a similar experience with old beloved friends. You look into animals' eyes and you know there is a sou
  • Linda Margaretha OReilly
    Linda Margaretha OReilly says #
    I like to believe that animals have souls...I have visited with my dog in dreams and she was laughing and very happy.
  • Jean Bastide
    Jean Bastide says #
    THE ELFIN MAY-POLE Death and Bereavement: The May Queen Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892) http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/

In my last post, I talked about how to sense nature spirits. Once you've found a way to sense them that works for you, the next step is to try communicating with them.

Except...why would you want to? And why would they want to talk back?

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