Exploring The Star

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring The Star and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


The Star is card number 17 in the deck and the eighteenth card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.

Card Examples

L-17Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

The Star is perhaps my favorite card in the tarot, and perhaps it is because of my first deck was in fact the Mythic Tarot. Here we have the depiction of Pandora’s Box. She has opened the box and all the evils of the world have been released. Depending on the version of the myth you read, either hope lingers or hope is captured. Either way this little, timid sprite, named Elpis, is retained within the box.

I like the upward gaze of the dragon in the Dragon Tarot card and there is a wishing star in the night sky above it. It feels inspiring and hopeful to look upon this image. I mean really, what’s more hopeful than the moment you wish upon a star?

The Universal Tarot card I find a bit strange. I understand that the nudity is intended to denote a sense of being comfortable in one’s own skin – like the bare feet thing in many of the other cards in this deck. I think it’s also suppose to convey innocence here. But I’m not really feeling it. Why is her foot not sinking into the water? What is she doing with the water exactly? And why is it the sky appears to be daylight even though there are stars present? I’m having a hard time connecting with the art here.

Finally we have the Tarot of Dreams. Again we have a nude woman, but this time I feel it hits the mark. We have a clear evening nightscape going on as she hovers above the water and creates a beacon of light with her pitchers.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • HOPE

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • HOPE

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

Let’s return to the story of Pandora’s Box for a moment shall we? Some argue that by trapping Elpis back in the box, hope is not available to mankind. Others argue that by releasing the evils into the world, the box now serves as a pantry rather than a prison.

My take on this is that is doesn’t matter. Hope comes to those that call upon it and cultivate it. Either way, in order to access hope you must open the box first. Zeus wanted to punish mankind and so he sent down a container filled with all these horrible things – even the tiny sprite with a name that’s alternately translated as expectation.

Now let me ask you this, how many times throughout Greek mythology has mankind achieved amazing things thanks to hope? Where a mortal or a demi-god won against the gods despite everything being stacked against them? This ladies and gentlemen is the power of hope. These heroes found courage and kept pressing forward because they hoped and expected to win.

So Zeus intended to punish mankind. He intended to make mortals suffer. In the end, he gave the world the greatest weapon and armor of all. Hope and inspiration. So keep calling upon it. Keep cultivating it. Keep opening that box. Don’t let it go.

The keyword I choose for this card is: HOPE.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

3 thoughts on “Exploring The Star

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