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Mary El Tarot - The Star

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True, but it is fun to speculate!
I am finding that every once in a while when I read the book on the cards I have already reviewed, there is very little on specifics. The hints are there, but sometimes, that's all there are.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra View Post
The Star she uses in the deck is lovely, but the original one--the one that scares the bejeezus out of me--is more cosmic--it captures the bizarre hugeness of the night sky; I wish she'd kept that.
Agreed. I also agree with Bat Chicken that the sense of hope is not as strong in that original yet sometimes when we are hoping for something, we are filled with that sense of awe and majesty that the expanse of a clear night sky can give. There is a terribleness about that first Star picture which gets down to the scary but more honest sense of what the star is for me. A sort of "be careful what you wish for" kind of feeling.

Sorry, we are supposed to be talking about the current Star card, I know and it doesn't have these aspects to it which looses something for me. This new star is more like a judgement or world card in some ways. What we all wish for, the hopes and dreams of the masses, how benevolent she looks casting her hands over us but where is the rest of the Universe and how do our dreams impact on them; the animals and plants?
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That's a good point. It's a very strange background--very mineral-looking.
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Re: the six pointed star --

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bat Chicken View Post
Then there is the 6 pointed star on her dress. I have come across this before and thought I’d repeat part of the quote here from J.E. Cirlot's Dictionary of Symbols:

Quote:
… it is a symbol of the human soul as a 'conjunction' of consciousness and the unconscious…
In most depictions of the symbol, the center of the symbol is implied. In this one (also seen on the hand of the Emperor) the center is marked by lines and is actually there. The word that comes up under similar symbols in the alchemical term ‘coniunctio’

Quote:
Coniunctio is synonymous with the red and white rose, the snake or dragon that bites its own tail and the sun and the moon that are united.
These are all images that appear in the Mary El Tarot and the last one seems to predict the two following cards.

Thoughts?
I'm not sure I completely follow all of this. It's a little over my head, but it's good for my brain to stretch a bit. When you say in most depictions of this symbol, the center is implied -- do you mean the Star of David style hexagram? Two triangles overlapping, with a hexagonal center space?

The star-symbol on her dress appears to me to be a unicursal hexagram, drawn with one continuous line. I've read many places that this version of the six-pointed star was devised by A. Crowley, and he may have invented it independently, I don't know. But I've seen a version drawn by Giordano Bruno in the sixteenth century, called by him Figura Amoris. It's part of a trio of talisman-like figures, depicting the Hermetic trinity of Mind (mens), Intellect (intellectus), and Light or Love.

Bruno says, "Mens sits above all; intellectus sees and distributes all; love makes and disposes all. This last is light or fulgor which fills all things and is diffused through all. Whence it is called the anima mundi and spiritus universorum, and is that of which Virgil spoke when he said 'spiritus intus alit'."

Talk about a brain-stretcher But when I read this, I can see the whole Star painting as a sort of illustration of the third part of the Hermetic trinity, disposing or disseminating light and love to the peoples below.

Just a quick note on sources: I'm getting this from Dame Frances Yates' Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition; the work of Bruno's that she is writing about is (I believe) Articuli centum et sexaginta adversus huius tempestatis mathematicos atque philosophos; and Bruno in turn is drawing on the Corpus Hermeticum which is a collection of gnostic/neo-Platonic writings which, in Bruno's time, where thought to be of ancient Egyptian origin but are actually 2nd-3rd century. The Hermetica are the source for much of Western occultism, right down through the Golden Dawn and Thelema and our beloved esoteric tarot decks.


On a "weird coincidence" note, when I opened my copy of Frances Yate's book this morning, it fell open to a page where years ago I had underlined this sentence: "All religious persecution and all war in the name of religion breaks the law of love." I immediately thought about the link between this card and the Hierophant. As pointed out by Eyebright, the Star was the Hierophant in the earlier majors-only deck. In the full deck, we have the harsher Hierophant, who some of us see as the negative side of religion, the source of religious persecution, the overbearing and controlling Mother Church. I feel this Star is linked to the Hierophant, as the flip side, the positive side of religion -- the side that offers hope and upholds the law of love. The Christ associations that Eyebright brought up are very relevant here.

I just realized something -- I've been puzzling over why this card is so overwhelmingly red, rather than a deep dark starry sky. Perhaps it's to suggest the power of blood to wash us clean -- thanks Eyebright!

One more for weird coincidences -- yesterday I changed my signature to a line from U2's song "One" (Love is a temple, Love the higher law) before reading this line about the law of love, today. A nice little synch!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra View Post
Four of the points on the Star's belly star are labelled with Roman numerals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bat Chicken View Post
OK - an idea. 5 numbers - 5 elements? Why the 6th point with no numeral?
I'm not sure about the numbers, though if you follow them I think they go in the order in which one draws a unicursal hexagram. It's hard for me to make them out, exactly.

A thought on why the 6th point has no number, though -- if you superimpose a unicursal hexagram on the Tree of Life, so that the bottom point rests on Yesod, then the top point will rest on the Abyss...
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Certainly the unicursal hexagram in it's meaning of 'as above so below' would make sense with this image of the star.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laura_borealis View Post
...that of which Virgil spoke when he said 'spiritus intus alit'."
Just wanted to add -- Virgil's phrase means "The spirit nourishes within." (I had to look it up.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laura_borealis View Post
Re: the six pointed star --



I'm not sure I completely follow all of this. It's a little over my head, but it's good for my brain to stretch a bit. When you say in most depictions of this symbol, the center is implied -- do you mean the Star of David style hexagram? Two triangles overlapping, with a hexagonal center space?

The star-symbol on her dress appears to me to be a unicursal hexagram, drawn with one continuous line. I've read many places that this version of the six-pointed star was devised by A. Crowley, and he may have invented it independently, I don't know. But I've seen a version drawn by Giordano Bruno in the sixteenth century, called by him Figura Amoris. It's part of a trio of talisman-like figures, depicting the Hermetic trinity of Mind (mens), Intellect (intellectus), and Light or Love.

Bruno says, "Mens sits above all; intellectus sees and distributes all; love makes and disposes all. This last is light or fulgor which fills all things and is diffused through all. Whence it is called the anima mundi and spiritus universorum, and is that of which Virgil spoke when he said 'spiritus intus alit'."

Talk about a brain-stretcher But when I read this, I can see the whole Star painting as a sort of illustration of the third part of the Hermetic trinity, disposing or disseminating light and love to the peoples below.

Just a quick note on sources: I'm getting this from Dame Frances Yates' Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition; the work of Bruno's that she is writing about is (I believe) Articuli centum et sexaginta adversus huius tempestatis mathematicos atque philosophos; and Bruno in turn is drawing on the Corpus Hermeticum which is a collection of gnostic/neo-Platonic writings which, in Bruno's time, where thought to be of ancient Egyptian origin but are actually 2nd-3rd century. The Hermetica are the source for much of Western occultism, right down through the Golden Dawn and Thelema and our beloved esoteric tarot decks.


On a "weird coincidence" note, when I opened my copy of Frances Yate's book this morning, it fell open to a page where years ago I had underlined this sentence: "All religious persecution and all war in the name of religion breaks the law of love." I immediately thought about the link between this card and the Hierophant. As pointed out by Eyebright, the Star was the Hierophant in the earlier majors-only deck. In the full deck, we have the harsher Hierophant, who some of us see as the negative side of religion, the source of religious persecution, the overbearing and controlling Mother Church. I feel this Star is linked to the Hierophant, as the flip side, the positive side of religion -- the side that offers hope and upholds the law of love. The Christ associations that Eyebright brought up are very relevant here.

I just realized something -- I've been puzzling over why this card is so overwhelmingly red, rather than a deep dark starry sky. Perhaps it's to suggest the power of blood to wash us clean -- thanks Eyebright!

One more for weird coincidences -- yesterday I changed my signature to a line from U2's song "One" (Love is a temple, Love the higher law) before reading this line about the law of love, today. A nice little synch!






I'm not sure about the numbers, though if you follow them I think they go in the order in which one draws a unicursal hexagram. It's hard for me to make them out, exactly.

A thought on why the 6th point has no number, though -- if you superimpose a unicursal hexagram on the Tree of Life, so that the bottom point rests on Yesod, then the top point will rest on the Abyss...
Wow - Thank you for this. Brilliant observations and to be added to my notes! LOL!
And in answer to your first question, yes - that was my intent, but I think you have presented a far better argument here.
No doubt as I go through there is a very gnostic lean to this deck. I am a Qabalah newbie so I am excited by all associations at this stage...
There are cards in Tarot that no matter how much it is all in front of you, you struggle to 'get'. The Star has always been one of mine!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Milfoil View Post
Certainly the unicursal hexagram in it's meaning of 'as above so below' would make sense with this image of the star.
Yes, I agree!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bat Chicken View Post
I am a Qabalah newbie so I am excited by all associations at this stage...
Please, feel free to get excited about them out loud -- I am a Qabala newbie too! Any and all associations are welcome!
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Just thought to add my take on the Star, regarding the six point star on her belly.

I Magician
II The High Priestess
III The Empress
IV The Emperor
V The Pope (Hierophant)

un-numbered would be 6 The Lovers

Also adding some tidbit on the comment that this card was originally the Hierophant. well the circles, holes, in her hands and feet, and head, represent the Nail, which is a symbol used in Thoth decks on the Hierophant. The nail binds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TarotofSpirit
On the path toward understanding the mysteries of life, the Hierophant is known as the Sacrificial Priest. He is the star of sacrifice as well as the star of manifestation, that which brings forth. He is also known as the guiding star of divinity. His primary role is to illuminate. He illuminates sacred inner realities and teaches hidden laws, most important symbols of the illumination of a sacred reality is the birth of Christ in a lowly manger. The Birth of Christ consciousness represents the consciousness of the higher self of all of us. This sacred birth represents the spirit made flesh, the descent of the holy spirit to the condition of humanity. when I say the spirit is made flesh, I am speaking of rising above, or lighting the darkness of the unconsciousness or the darkness of ignorance. The light of super consciousness is realized. That is why the birth of Christ is called the birth of Light. He is both the eternal life force residing in the flesh and the guiding light, as well as the light of the star that guides the Maji to the birth.

Pamela Eakins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Borealis View Post
I'm not sure about the numbers, though if you follow them I think they go in the order in which one draws a unicursal hexagram. It's hard for me to make them out, exactly.

A thought on why the 6th point has no number, though -- if you superimpose a unicursal hexagram on the Tree of Life, so that the bottom point rests on Yesod, then the top point will rest on the Abyss...
Here are a couple of my thoughts on the numbered points on the unicursal hexagram in this card. I haven't really drawn any conclusions from these observations.

A unicursal hexagram drawn in the order of the roman numerals here would be used to invoke either fire or mars (assuming you completed it by going to the unlabeled 6th point and back to the 1st point). Fire could make sense in the context of this card, but I don't really see how mars would.

The abyss (or Da'at) is typically located at the throat. It seems to me that if you map the tree of life onto the body, the unnumbered 6th point of this hexagram is located where the 6th sephirah, Tiphareth, would be located. This point on the hexagram and Tiphareth also both correspond to the sun, which would reinforce that correlation. Tiphareth also has a correlation with the name YHShVH (the hebrew spelling of Jesus) and so could tie in with the Stigmata-like marks someone mentioned earlier in this thread. The name YHShVH is symbolic of the 4 elements with Spirit having descended into them (YHVH = Yod Heh Vav Heh = Fire Water Air Earth; Sh = Shin = Spirit), and so provides an interesting perspective on the divine aspects of The Star.

I do agree with the bottom point being very close to where Yesod would map on the body (also, this point of the hexagram and Yesod both correspond to the moon); unfortunately the numbers don't seem to correspond as well as the 6th point & Tipareth (since Yesod is the 9th sephirah).
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