What a great card! Especially for those who are returning to school today! The card today is The Star. In the Fool’s Journey, the star appears after the Tower. Anyone who has ever had the Tower in their reading knows that is definitely the card that shows up when your world is shaken to the core. The Star signifies hope.
If you’ve been going through a rough time, just try to remember the lesson of the wounded healer, The Hierophant, we had a few days ago…”what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
The Star is also a message about self-realization. If you feel like you’ve been I the dark, you will find the enlightenment you seek; you just need to look past the material world to the deeper things of life. It’s time to shed the masks of false pretense to be your most authentic self.
In this deck, the star is portrayed by Pandora, sitting nude in front of her box. The myth of Pandora has always been difficult to interpret. The commonly known version is that Pandora being the first woman was given a box by Zeus and told not to open it. He did this, knowing that Pandora being so very naturally curious would not be able to resist the temptation. Unbeknownst to Pandora, Zeus had filled the box with “evils” to plague mankind in retribution for Prometheus stealing fire and giving it to humans. Pandora, like Eve, is saddled with the downfall of “man” kind. Pandora shut the box again as quickly as she could but the only thing left in the box was hope. (Just as an aside… Pandora’s box was actually a jar but the word was misinterpreted.)
There are so many questions about this myth. Why was hope left in the box? Why was hope even in the box of ills to begin with? Does that mean hope is actually a bad thing? Does it mean that when bad things happen that there really is no hope?
Also, like Eve, Pandora gets a really bad rap. She is called “beautiful evil” and Hesiod describes her as having a “shameful mind and deceitful nature”. It’s said because she has the power of speech, she lies and is crafty. All of her descendents, ie women, would bring only torment to the “human” race (ie men). It is thanks to Pandora that men are now subject to the natural cycle of death and birth.
This myth appears to be another one that has been subject to change during the transition from the matriarchy to the patriarchal system. It is thought that originally, Pandora was the giver of gifts, and is linked with the Earth Mother Demeter.
This is why I love this card. If you look closely, the “evils” are beautiful dragonflies. It’s my thinking that what is released from Pandora ’s Box are “blessings in disguise”. Without hardship, there is no growth, and no wisdom gained. This is much like the “Forbidden Fruit” of the Adam and Eve myth. Pandora challenges the human race so that we do not stagnate in ignorance. The dragonfly represents this wisdom symbolically through the natural life cycle changes.
This card also challenges the bad reputation that Pandora has of being manipulative, cunning and evil. She is pictured nude, representing her youthful innocence, and her authenticity. She is seated on the ground in a fertile field with budding seeds ripe with potential. The water in the foreground demonstrates the emotional power of the card, but the reflection of the star doesn’t show the angel / or fairy in the reflection. I believe this means that sometimes even though hope is there, it’s hard to see.
The angel / fairy of the star is surrounded by a rainbow, again a symbol of hope. There is always the potential for good, no matter how bad the situation gets. The dragonflies remind us that change is natural and that situations that start out looking pretty bad are often exactly what we need to grow in the long run. Often when we look behind us we realize that those really bad times were turning points in our lives for something better.