Small lights prick the night sky and ignite our imagination. This light has traveled far distances over millennia to arrive here on earth. We stand in their ancient glow in our own present moment and sense an eternal flow.
This is not just a poetic idea but a physical reality. We are made of the same stuff as the stars and all is connected to a common point at the birth of the universe. In The Universe Story, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme look at the sweep of existence and offer a new story that weaves together science, cosmology, and history with a poetic and spiritual awareness. They write:
“In the very first instant [of the Universe’s existence] when the primitive particles rushed forth, every one of them connected to every other one in the entire universe. At no time in the future existence of the universe would they ever arrive at a point of disconnection.”
The Tarot’s Star offers an invitation to this deep connection in multiple ways.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith card, we see a woman standing directly below a large star while pouring water upon both the land and into a pool. Looking at this image with the lens of Celtic cosmology, she is open to, and the connection point between, the three realms: sky or the dwelling place of the Deities; the sacred earth; and water or the otherworld where the ancestors dwell. She unites everything. There is no separation between heaven and earth, the sacred and the mundane.
In Marcia Masino’s meditations in Best Tarot Practices – that have served as an inspiration for Journey into the Tarot – she identifies the 7 small stars on the Rider-Waite-Smith card as being the Pleiades, Venus’s 7 handmaidens who offered spiritual gifts. Masino then makes a connection between these gifts and the 7 chakras which when attended to and balanced offer gifts of physical and energetic well-being.
I first encountered the chakras years ago I worked with a spiritual teacher with a very eclectic practice. She led guided meditations and frequently used chakra balancing. She didn’t explain their origin or any rationale behind them. Although I tend to be someone who likes to learn about spiritual and religious traditions and concepts (see Celtic realms reference above, for example), I didn’t look too much into chakras’ concepts or background. I just kept experiencing them in the meditations with my teacher and then by continuing them on my own. Energetically and physically, I experienced a sense of balance and openness both internally as well as externally to universal energy when I did my chakra meditations.
When I began the Journey into the Tarot sessions, I naturally used chakra balancing as the opening to prepare for the active imagination journey into the cards. I thought I might shift into something else but the chakras just seemed to continue to make sense and I even increased my attention to which chakras might need special attention depending on the card being entered. (FYI, there is no standard correspondences to the chakras as it is not a system with historical connections to the Tarot, but check out the wonderful work Lisa Frideborg Lloyd’s of Tarotize doing on the chakras.)
You could say that I’ve been feeling my way in the dark with just little flashes of inspiration (stars!) to guide me. But as I emerged from my own experience of the chakra-inspired meditation on The Star and began to doodle about this post, it hit me: the chakras resonate with me because they are stars within my body reflecting the stars in the sky. They draw my attention to my inner constellation of gifts. As I tune into them and work to clear any obstructions (to shift the clouds!), my unique light woven from these strands shines forth. These points within us are mirrors of the sky’s constellations that offer us guidance and constancy in their movements.
We are not just connected, we are the same. We are the stars and the stars are us.
There is a hermetic axiom, “As above, so below.” I have heard it many times, but having undergone my own meditative experience culminating in a flash of the kind of understanding that comes from mind, body, and spirit, I now know it in a profound way.
I journeyed into the Star and found myself … and you as well. For it is all of us who have the 7 inner stars’ or chakras’ gifts of support, creativity, will power, love, communication, vision, and infinite consciousness at the core of being and shining outward into the larger world. With new awareness comes new reasonability. Perhaps today is the day that we start to let our actions toward ourselves and others be driven by this awareness that we are all stars. This is the invitation I found when I journeyed into The Star.
[Note on images: The first Star card and the 9 of Fire are from the Gaian Tarot and used with the generous and gracious permission of Joanna Powell Colbert. The second start card is from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck ® US Games Systems, Used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.]