Key 17: The Star









Daughter of the Firmament; Dweller between the Waters

“The Twenty-eighth Path is the Natural Intelligence, and is so called because through it is consummated and perfected the nature of every existent being under the orb of the Sun, in perfection.”  (Sepher Yetzirah)

Few people understand the meaning of the Star.  It is often one of those cards that people describe as ‘boring’, particularly after the seemingly more dramatic Tower or Devil cards.  This is partly confirmed by the Golden Dawn keyword being ‘meditation’ – although a necessary part of the spiritual path, it never has an association with danger and excitement.

When creating the Star card we found that the archetypal influence is a sensual, uplifting energy – unsurprisingly, since Venus predominates the image in her most youthful and beautiful aspect.  She reflects the Hebrew letter Tzaddi (hook) in the water below.  It is interesting to note that Crowley felt that a hook was the wrong symbol for the Star, and changed it to Heh (window).  In doing so, he seems to have opened up a way for sex magic to be used in conjunction with the scarlet woman.

 To me, Tzaddi as a hook has the suggestion of sexual magnetism that brings two people together, uniting them for the purpose of procreation.  Pat and Chris Zalewski, in their book ‘The Magical Tarot,’ say that the original symbol for Tzaddi was a rod, the masculine principle, which was later divided into two. (p 176)

As Venus is placed in Aquarius she radiates sensual magnetism, manifesting as a colour wheel (which here demonstrates that magenta is the true primary ‘red,’ the energy of which is more feminine than masculine – see Colour Theory section of Study.)   She invites us into her sphere of sensation – a rhapsodic expression of love.

The rays of colour emanate from her sexual centre outwards, creating fertile ground which has an anticlockwise movement, showing the expanding energy of her nature.  In the background can be seen the Tree of Life: Involution, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: Evolution.   

Above her head is the Star of Venus, also considered to be the star Sirius, which completes an arc over her head, depicting the night sky of the Goddess Nuit.

As the Supernal Mother, Aima Elohim, she holds the jugs of Chokmah and Binah, pouring out the sacred waters of life which unite as one river below.  Shaped as a heart, it shows the true nature of this card:  A sustaining and replenishing force of love, bringing about the healing of a wounded world.

In the sequence of the Major Keys, the Star follows the destruction of the Tower.   In the aftermath of that carnage, the mysteries of the Tarot tell us there is a period of calm and hope where we plan the construction of our new life.  It should also be remembered that in the myth of Christian Rosenkreuz, the Vault was entered through the Venus Wall after the demolition of the surrounding obstructions.   

The hint that the Star is giving us is that after the blinding divine realization that shatters our life, we should rebuild our life on the idea of love and hope. 


Sexual magnetism.  Attraction.  Sensuality.  Self-awareness.  Inspiration and meditation.  The rising feelings of wonder for Creation.  Astrological influences.  Hope for the best outcome.  Altruistic love.  A period of calm and reflection.  Going within to find the answers.  Healing.

Copyright ©  Harry Wendrich, 2011