Over the past few months I’ve been introducing you to the mystical and practical world of the Tarot. So far, we’ve journeyed bravely through the Major Arcana cards, meeting universal archetypes that resonate with us human beings at the soul level. Last time we confronted (and made friends with) our own personal demons in The Devil, and let the chips fall where they may with The Tower, and now we’re so ready for a gentle encounter with two of the most celestial and soothing cards of the Tarot, The Star and The Moon. Look up, make a wish, give a howl, and read on.
Just in case you’re not familiar with the Tarot, here’s a quick snapshot of what the Major Arcana cards are before we dive into this month’s featured players.
A traditional Tarot deck has 78 cards. Every card in a Tarot deck is valuable and necessary. Each has a role to play in our readings and each reflects an aspect of our past, present or future. But it’s the Major Arcana that first captures the heart of a new reader, as the Major Arcana is the heart of the Tarot.
There are 22 Major Arcana, and they are numbered from zero (The Fool) to 21 (The World). The Major Arcana, or “Big Mysteries”, represent the lessons, milestones, initiations, opportunities for growth and transformation that we encounter as we live our lives on earth in these ephemeral physical forms. They support us, inspire us, challenge us, break our hearts, heal us, and help us to move towards our own highest personal development. When they appear in your Tarot readings, pay close attention to them, because they always deliver a significant and helpful message.
And now that you’ve got stars in your eyes, let’s move on to the next two cards in the Fool’s Journey. First, The Star, Arcana 17.
This card is an exhale after you’ve been holding your breath. It’s the easing of muscles that have been tense for so long that you forgot what it feels like to be relaxed. In the sequence of the Major Arcana, The Star appears after extremely challenging cards, after the rollercoaster of Death to Temperance, the Devil to the Tower. This is calm and quiet after the storm, and healing after circumstances that shake our faith in ourselves and the world. The Star is the embodiment of peace and grace.
On the card, a naked woman kneels by a pond, surrounded by soft green land and a sky filled with stars. She holds a jug in each hand, pouring water onto the grass and flowers from one, and back into the pond with the other. One of her feet rests on the land, while the other rests on the surface of the pond in a quietly miraculous way. She offers healing, cleansing and replenishment to the body and the soul, the physical and the emotional.
So what does it mean when The Star appears in your cards?
The Star is a homecoming. She’s a return to yourself. If you’ve been through a difficult time, and lost sight of who you really are at your core, the Star helps you to find your way back, and to remember the purpose that guides you. Be gentle with yourself, take time to heal and replenish, there is nothing urgent that needs your attention beyond this.
We wish upon a star, and we also look to the stars for guidance and direction. When The Star appears, divine guidance is available to you, so be sure to watch for signs and synchronicities. The Star lets you know that there is hope in the situation that is going on around you right now, that you can dare to have faith that all will be well and that wishes do come true.
And now, meet The Moon, Arcana 18.
The Moon is magnificent, inspiring, and unsettling. When the moon rises, emotions also rise. The moon activates something ancient and primal within us, and we understand that there is much more to this life than what we experience during the light of day. The moon stirs things up, she draws up and out what we prefer to keep hidden or what we fear, and she can provoke temporary wildness and madness when she’s in her full power.
The landscape of the Moon card looks like a half-remembered dream. It is strange and shadowy. All of the inhabitants of the card, none of which are human, are focused on the huge yellow moon that hangs in the sky, but the Moon isn’t looking at them. And that Moon, she appears to be in all phases at once, perhaps even in the midst of eclipsing the Sun, judging by the rays that surround her. To go forward, we need to pass by two creatures who flank the path, the dog and the wolf, the domesticated companion and the wild one. Which one are you, the dog or the wolf? Or both?
So what does it mean when The Moon appears in your cards?
It can be frustrating, but oftentimes when the Moon comes up, the cards are letting you know that they are not going to give you the clear answer to your question that you desire. There is confusion around the situation, or you’re not asking the right question, or the timing isn’t right to reveal this information.
So, trust your intuition over your other senses and your logical mind, and keep moving forward, even if you’re not sure where you are heading, and even if you are afraid. Immerse yourself in the mystery, knowing that everything will be revealed when the moon, or you, are in the right phase or place in the cycle. Let your emotions surface, and pay attention to the messages in your dreams. And, if you have an affinity with the actual moon, and this card often comes up for you, consider adding some moon phase related rituals to your spiritual or divination practice.
What do you think of The Star? What wish would you make, and what guidance would she offer? And The Moon, what feelings does it stir up in you? Can you surrender to her ebbs and flows?
Next time I’ll introduce you to two bright and shiny cards that are waiting down the road, waiting to help the Fool to break free and rise up, The Sun and Judgement. Turn your face up to the sun, and listen for the rustle of angel wings, until you join me then.
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