By Sarah Taylor
The way that certain elements in this week’s three cards are communicating with each other — or appearing not to communicate with each other — drew my interest immediately on turning them over.
Let’s look at the key relationship described by the figures of The Star and the Knight of Swords (the King of Swords in the Rider-Waite Smith deck) first. It is these two cards, what they refer to, and how they correspond that form the focus for what is going on and how you might be experiencing this.
First up: card type. As a member of the tarot’s major arcana, The Star is associated with what is happening on a Soul level. A major arcana card speaks to the evolution of who you are, and who you are being called to become, at the very core of you. Soul is disinterested (not “uninterested” — “disinterested” is significantly different in meaning) in the demands, distractions and strictures of your day-to-day life. What it is interested in is its expression through the unique being that you are. It seeks expression; it seeks evolution; it seeks your willingness to partner with it in order to bring it through.
The Star’s sense of remove from the day-to-day is particularly powerful, because it is one of the transpersonal cards in the major arcana: the earlier cards describe the soul journey at a personal and individual level; the later ones — after The Hanged Man — shift away from the personal and broaden the scope of who it is that we understand ourselves to be. We are no longer separated individuals. We are intricately and inextricably connected with everyone and everything. When we hit the latter part of the major arcana in a conscious way, we stop paying lip service to the following phrase and really begin to understand and experience it:
“As above, so below; as within, so without.”
As we grow, so we remove our blinkers and feel the full force of a relationship with life that, if we were to move into it fearlessly and fully, would render most of our hang-ups, our worries and our petty pissiness immediately obsolete.
The Star is rendering something obsolete. Can you feel it? She is disinterested in the conflict that has happened to the right of the reading, in the Five of Swords. She is disinterested in apparent “Defeat.” She is present, self-contained, unmoved, and simply radiating. She radiates light, while the Knight focuses it. This is the difference between the transpersonal and the personal; it is the difference between Soul and an aspect of the personality. They are both doing their jobs perfectly — and their presence together offers both contrast and, paradoxically, a way of working together to move something through.
So there is the Knight, focusing his inner beam of light — consciousness, awareness — on the figure in the Five of Swords. His back to The Star, he holds a black moon in his head at the same level as the star in that first card. His eye is light-filled while hers is black. Light and dark, dark and light, expressed through the transpersonal and the personal.
The Star is described as the “Conjunction with universal intelligence.” The Knight of Swords is the manifestation of personal intelligence and its application in your life. Simultaneously, they are demonstrating something to you, as you stand in the Five of Swords, dwarfed by buildings that have been reduced to mere shells by the shells hurled during a battle. Because the Knight, as an aspect of you, is activating your capacity for wisdom and insight, and drawing your attention to the reality that you, in spite of everything, are looking at a star. The Star.
Maybe you feel loss. Maybe you are afraid. The mind is a powerful thing, and has the ability to concretise your thoughts into all manners of reality. Likewise, when used in service to Soul, as opposed to enslaving it, your intellect can create enough space in your certainties to let some light through.
And here is the light: what you are beginning to understand is that the flow, the grace, the inspiration that are The Star are not, and never were, unavailable to you. They are right here, closer than you think. She is right here, closer than you think. Far, far closer than you think.
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: The Star (Aquarius), Knight of Swords (the fiery aspect of air/Gemini), Five of Swords (Venus in Aquarius)
If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.