History and Iconography
The earliest known list of the Trumps (Sermones de Ludo Cum Aliis) calls this card La Stella (The Star). The Visconti-Sforza Tarot quite simply depicts a woman who, with an unmoved expression, looks at a large, eight-pointed star held in her left hand. Her red cloak is adorned with golden stars and her long, blue dress with a motif of horizontal rays on top of vertical rays.
The Rosenwald Sheet keeps things even more straightforward, only showing an eight-pointed star with a motif at the top and bottom of the card. On the Cary Sheet, however, the image is much more elaborate: the card portrays a nude figure who pours water from two large jugs into a flowing stream in which the tail of at least one fish is visible. The figure has long hair and a tattoo of a star on his/her right shoulder. A large, eight-pointed star shines brightly in the sky and is surrounded by four smaller stars. Iconographically, the card particularly brings to mind depictions of Aquarius.
In the Tarot de Marseille, L’Étoile (The Star) shows a nude woman who pours water from a vase in her left hand into a pond, and water from a vase in her right hand onto the ground. For some reason, her bellybutton is accentuated in both the Noblet and the Dodal. In the background two trees or bushes can be seen, usually with the silhouette of a bird. A large star shines in the sky, surrounded by six smaller stars. The four elements seem to be present here: earth (the ground and sand), air (the sky and bird), fire (the stars) and water.
The Star in the Waite-Smith Tarot is more or less the same as in the Tarot de Marseille. A nude woman is again shown pouring water in a pond and on the earth; to stress this balance, she now has one foot in the water and the other on solid ground (as did the archangel on the Temperance card in the same deck). The profile of a bird is also seen sitting on a tree, this time resembling an ibis. An eight-pointed star shines brightly in the sky as well, surrounded by seven smaller stars.
Suggested Divinatory Meanings
Stars shine brightly in the nightly sky and offer guidance and orientation for those who feel lost; as a result, this card especially signifies spiritual renewal, harmony, hope for the future, and potential and possibilities. Carole Sédillot writes in Ombres et Lumières du Tarot: "One needs only to look up to the infinite to perceive her [The Star] and break through the darkness, in order to connect with the divine."
These are not accepted outside of those who follow such attributions
Golden Dawn oriented (and derivatives)
Numeral : XVII; 17
In other languages
- Dutch: Ster
- French: L'Étoile
- German: Der Stern
- Hungarian: Csillag
- Italian: Le Stelle, La Stella
- Portuguese: A Estrela
- Spanish: La Estrella