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No. 20

Tarot 20

La Stella, The Star: Some decks depict astrologers viewing a large star. Other decks depict the Morning Star, Venus. Venus is the brightest natural object in the night sky, except for the Moon.

In the Milanese deck from the 1400s - in the Cary Collection - the nude in the foreground looks androgynous. She pours liquid, and perhaps it is water. As for the intention of putting a bird into the picture, very little is known for certain, if anything. [Huson]

During the Renaissance, the period that saw the development of the tarot playing cards, they awakened to classic heritage of Greeks and Romans, and sought to incorporate parts of it too. In Greek mythology Aphrodite of love attraction is called Star of the Sea, among other things. In Roman mythology, which borrowed a lot from Greeks, she is named Venus, and presented as the Morning and Evening Star. [Alexander]

In the Rider-Waite deck a nude female at a stream in a pastoral landscape is pouring from two jugs. She seems to prepare something as she pours from one pitcher on the ground, and from the other (back) into the water. Above her are unreasonably large stars. The largest of them is directly above her head. [Hollander]

Possible Alignment

In the present arrangement of tarot trumps from 1 through 22, in the order shown in the introduction, The Star shares the eighth life field (area) with The Chariot. Any connection between them may not seem obvious, as little is known of what The Star should be taken to mean originally.


Tarot study, Literature  


Agrell, Sigurd. Die pergamenische Zauberscheibe und das Tarochspiel. Lund: The University of Lund, (Sweden), 1936:148-49.

Alexander, Skye. The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need: Interpret the Cards That Hold Your Future. Ill ed. Cincinnati, OH: Adams Media, 2008:93-96. Online at Google Books (limited view)

Farley, Helen. A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism. London: I. B. Tauris, 2009. ⍽▢⍽ Helen Farley is Lecturer in Studies in Religion and Esotericism at the University of Queensland. Her book is a researched and well written study of tarot symbolism and the changing imagery in the cards. She explores ways in which the tarot reflects aspects of European culture from Medieval Italy until our times.

Hollander, P. Scott. Tarot for Beginners: An Easy Guide to Understanding and Interpreting the Tarot. Illustrated ed. Woodbury MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 1995:91-93. Online at Google Books (limited view).

Huson, Paul. Mystical Origins of the tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. Rochester, VM: Inner Traditions / Bear and Company, 2004:135-39. Online at Google Books (limited view).

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