Tarot: The Star

Tarot: The Star

Tarot: The Star

The Star represents the guidance that comes from our highest form of intuition. This card appears when an idea or direction is being revealed to us. The Star shows us where Divine Truth can be found and where new ideas will bear fruit. This wisdom prepares you the next leg of your journey. Rarely will a card in the Tarot tell you so definitively that a clear direction exists and that you know the way.

The north star is also seen as an affirmation of faith and hope. The famous poet Tagore once wrote, “Faith is the bird who feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark”. Similarly, the 17th card of the Major Arcana represents the promise of a new day. The Star asks you to lay down your burden and lift your eyes to the horizon. If you look closely, you can see the gentle promise of light.

The star comforts us in the dark of night, providing direction in times of uncertainty and hope in moments of despair. The Star is an outward projection of the light that exists within all of us, guiding our footsteps and illuminating the path ahead. A bright beacon in an inky sky, The Star shows us the way. Throughout the ages, travelers have used the guidance of the north star and sailors ignore the stars at their peril. All those who are lost at sea will find hope when the clouds part, revealing the way home.

Major Arcana Symbolism

Tarot Card NameThe Star
Traditional Card ImageryA woman kneeling by water
Traditional SymbolismLove and support, silver linings, beauty, coming home to yourself, enlightenment, being guided by intuition, bright prospects, inner light, being true to yourself, occult knowledge, self-care, the light at the end of a tunnel, integrity and honesty, creativity and inspiration, aspiration, positive new start, the astral plane, the rainbow after the flood, healing, promise, renewed purpose, hope
Card NumberXVII, 17
Classical ElementAir
Influencing ElementAether / Akasha
Traditional Upright MeaningHope, mending, creativity and inspiration, purpose, serenity, renewal, healing, spirituality, positivity, connected to higher self, good omen, potential, restored faith, rejuvenation
Traditional Reversed MeaningHopelessness, creative block, disconnection, crisis of faith, boredom, focusing on the negative, at odds with one’s self, monotony, negativity, loss, despair, despondence
Archetype In NatureThe symbolic power of the environment to embody our imaginings
ChakraCrown, Soul Star
Astrological CorrespondenceAquarius, Uranus
Yes or NoYes
Crystals and StonesMilky Quartz, Herkimer Diamond, White Jade, Moissanite, Abalone Shell, White Agate, Moonstone, White Marble, Goshenite, Mother of Pearl, Iris Agate, White Sapphire, Howlite, Selenite, White Zircon, Ammolite, White Quartz, Rainbow Moonstone, Pearl, White Onyx, Clear Topaz, Opal, Magnesite, Clear Quartz, Diamond, Purple Topaz, Angel Silica, Purpurite, Tanzanite, Purple Aventurine, Iolite, Super 7, Purple Agate, Amethyst, Purple Jade, Charoite, Purple Sapphire, Star Garnet, Sugilite, Lavender Fluorite, Purple Mica, Lavender Ametrine, Zoisite, Purple Zircon, Kunzite
The Star

Allegory of The Star

A strange emotion seized me. A fiery trembling ran in waves through all my body. My heart quickened its beating, tumult agitated my mind. I felt that I was surrounded by portentous mysteries. And presently shafts of Light penetrated my being and illuminated many things before in darkness, whose existence even I had never suspected. Veils vanished of which I had been before unaware. Voices spoke to me.

And suddenly all my former knowledge took a new and different meaning. I discovered unexpected correlations in things which hitherto I had thought foreign to each other. Objects distant and different from one another appeared near and similar. The facts of the world arranged themselves before my eyes according to a new pattern.

In the sky there appeared an enormous star surrounded by seven smaller stars. Their rays intermingled, filling space with immeasurable radiance and splendor. Then I knew I saw that Heaven of which Plotinus speaks:

“Where all things are diaphanous; and nothing is dark and resisting (Exc.)”

I understood that all the radiance here is thought; and the changing colors are emotions. And each ray, if we look into it, turns into images, symbols, voices and moods. And I saw that there is nothing inanimate, but all is soul, all is life, all is emotion and imagination.

And beneath the radiant stars beside the blue river I saw a naked maiden, young and beautiful. She stooped on one knee and poured water from two vessels, one of gold and one of silver. A little bird in a near by bush lifted its wings and was poised ready to fly away. For a moment I understood that I beheld the Soul of Nature.

“This is Nature’s Imagination”, said the voice gently.

“Nature dreams, improvises, creates worlds. Learn to unite your imagination with Her Imagination and nothing will ever be impossible for you. Lose the external world and seek it in yourself. Then you will find
Light.

“But remember, unless you have lost the Earth, you will not find Heaven. It is impossible to see both wrongly and rightly at the same time.”

-The Symbolism of the Tarot by P.D. Ouspensky (1913)

The Star (XVII)

The Star (XVII)

A great, radiant star of eight rays, is surrounded by seven smaller stars (also of eight rays). The female figure in the foreground is entirely naked. Her left knee is on the land and her right foot upon the
water. She pours Water of Life from two great jugs, irrigating sea and land. Behind her the ground rises.
On her right, a bird is perched upon a shrub or tree.

The figure on this card expresses eternal youth and beauty. The blazing star delivers the substance of the heavens and the elements to this living scene. This idea of this card has also been described as “Waters of Life freely” and “Gifts of the Spirit”. This card is a symbol of immortality and interior light.

In terms of higher thought, this figure appears as the type of Truth unveiled and represents glorious and undying beauty. She can be seen pouring out some small part of her priceless possession upon on the waters of the soul. She is the Great Mother who communicates the highest form of understanding (in small doses) to the manifestations below.

-Modern Translation of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910)

The Star Card Imagery

The Star, Dog-Star, or Sirius is also called fantastically the Star of the Magi. Grouped around this star are seven smaller ones. Beneath these luminaries is a naked female figure with her left knee upon the earth and her right foot upon the water. She is in the act of pouring fluids from two vessels. A bird is perched on a tree near her. A butterfly resting on a rose has been substituted in some later cards. The Star has also been referred to as “Hope”.

-Modern Translation of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910)

The Star Meaning

The Star Meaning

A nude female figure pours the Water of Universal Life from two cups. The creative power of The Sun has now descended to earth in the the form of this young girl, the image of eternal Youth. The fluids, which
she formerly poured from one vase to the other (as seen in the Temperance card ), she now throws upon the ground.

This young girl is crowned with seven stars; in the midst of them shines a very large and brilliant one. Near her an ibis (or sometimes a butterfly) rests upon a flower. Here we find the symbol of immortality. The soul (ibis or butterfly) will survive the body, which is only a place of trial (the ephemeral flower). The courage to bear these trials will come from above (the stars).

The fall of the Divine and of the Human into the Material has scarcely taken place, when a mysterious
voice whispers courage to the Sinner by showing him future re-instatement through trial. This card exactly balances the evil effects of the preceding one.

-Modern Translation of The Tarot of The Bohemians by Papus (1892)

Significations of The Star

  • Opposition to Destruction, No Destruction is Final, Everything is Eternal and Immortal in God = Immortality, Creation of the Human Soul
  • The Fall is Not Irreparable. This is Whispered to Us by the Intuitive Sentiment We Name Hope = Hope
  • The Visible Universe Contains the Source of its Divinization in Itself = The Force Which Dispenses the Essence of Life (Which Gives It the Means of Perpetually Renewing Its Creations After Destruction)

-Tarot of The Bohemians by Papus (1892)

The Star Card

The Star Card

The Meaning of The Star Card Throughout History

The Tarot deck is a beautiful synthesis of esoteric thought and archetypal imagery. The journey of the deck, shaped by the events and values of each era, has continued to evolve and take on new significance as it adapts to a larger cultural story. Often a tarot card will have a variety of names and meanings. Exploring the historical interpretations of each card will create a deeper understanding of this powerful method for divination and self-discovery.

Various Names for The Star Card

Tarot de Marseille (1650)The Star
Court de Gébelin (1781)The Dog Star
Etteilla (1783)Desolation / Air
Paul Christian (1870)The Star of the Magi
Golden Dawn (1888)The Daughter of the Firmament, the Dweller Between the Waters
Papus (1892)The Stars
Rider-Waite (1910)The Star
Thoth (1943)The Star
The Daughter of the Firmament, the Dweller Between the Waters

Card XVII: The Star

A nude female figure pours water upon the earth from two vases. In the heavens above her shines the Blazing Star of the Magi (surrounded by seven others), trees and plants grow beneath her magic influence (and on one the butterfly of Psyche alights). She is the star of Hope.

Upright: Hope, Expectation, Bright promises
Reversed: Hopes not fulfilled, Expectations disappointed or fulfilled in a minor degree

-The Tarot by S.L. MacGregor Mathers (1888)

Support Independent Bookstores With These Tarot Selections

Bring the Wisdom of the Tarot Into Your Life

We have put together a collection of some of our favorite Tarot items. The deep symbolism of the Tarot can be used to access a wellspring of inner wisdom and guidance. This method of divination is also an incredible tool for accessing your own powerful intuition.

Mystic Doorway is supported by our readers. When you purchase items through links on our site, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Support Independent Bookstores With These Tarot Selections

Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Their mission aims to strengthen the fragile ecosystem and keep local bookstores an integral part of our culture and communities.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

The Star (XVII) - The Illustrated Key to the Tarot published 1918, public domain
The Star (XVII) – The Illustrated Key to the Tarot published 1918, public domain

This guide by Arthur Edward Waite, the designer of the most widely known Tarot deck and distinguished scholar of the Kabbalah, is the essential Tarot reference. The pictorial key contains a detailed description of each card in the celebrated 78-card Rider-Waite Tarot deck, along with regular and reversed meanings. Contents describe symbols and secret tradition, ancient Celtic methods of divination, and wonderful illustrations of each Tarot card. This book is the perfect complement to old-style fortune telling and also serves to make the Tarot entirely accessible to modern-day readers. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot is the classic guide to the Rider-Waite deck and to Tarot symbolism in general.

Golden Art Nouveau Tarot

The Star (XVII) - Golden Art Nouveau Tarot by Giulia F. Massaglia © 2019 Lo Scarabeo srl. All rights reserved, used by permission.
The Star (XVII) – Golden Art Nouveau Tarot by Giulia F. Massaglia © 2019 Lo Scarabeo srl. All rights reserved, used by permission.

The gold-foil details of this outstanding deck perfectly complement the elegant designs and gracefully curved lines of the classic art nouveau style. Artist Giulia F. Massaglia captures the essence of the RWS symbolism and makes it truly sacred with her immaculate illustrations. Whether you’re reading for yourself, for friends, or for clients, the Golden Art Nouveau Tarot provides all the insights and wisdom of a traditional tarot with the addition of a stunning visual presentation. These cards add a glorious touch of sparkle and shine to your tarot practice.

The Sorcerers Tarot

The Star (XVII) - The Sorcerers Tarot by Lo Scarabeo © 2007 Lo Scarabeo srl. All rights reserved, used by permission.
The Star (XVII) – The Sorcerers Tarot by Lo Scarabeo © 2007 Lo Scarabeo srl. All rights reserved, used by permission.

Wiccans, high magicians, and sorcerers of all kinds will find a wealth of inspiration in this magic-infused tarot–teeming with spectacular, provocative imagery.

How will you Harness The Transformative Power of The Tarot?

We invite you to walk into a cosmic narrative in which we are all a unique element in each other’s story. Humanity has long used sacred tools for awakening the soul and illuminating our path toward enlightenment. The Tarot is simply an instrument. These cards amplify your inner wisdom and empower your highest truth.

What aspects of The Tarot can serve you as you walk through your own Mystic Doorway?

Check Out Our Pinterest Gallery for More Inspiration

What you have read is only the beginning…

Mystic Doorway is always gaining new insight into the rich symbolism of Tarot. We are looking forward to sharing with you as we continue to expand our knowledge of this divinatory tool. Check back with us soon to see what we’ve added to our Library.