Major Arcana XVII - The Star
The Star is the sign of hope right after the Dark Night of the Soul.
As far as we know, you're still in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but you have a chance at getting out, and you have a bit of divine protection to help you along on your path.
This conception of The Star is easy to remember when you think about the Major Arcana in terms of The Fool's Journey.
- Card 15 is the Devil
- Card 16 is the Tower
- Card 17 is the Star
- Card 18 is the Moon
- Card 19 is the Sun.
This is wonderful for me, because it reminds me of a path through difficult times.
Within the context of this transition through struggles, I see these symbols relating to one another as described below:
The Devil is a symbol of bondage, in a willful way. In the traditional deck, we have women and men who are demons and have a loose chain around their neck. They could leave at any point, but they're staying where they are at, for now.
The Tower has to do with a downfall, or sudden revelation. In the traditional deck, we have the idea of a prideful pinnacle collapsing down. -- Ruin, letting it all go.
While the Tower looks like the end, it's not. After the collapse and ruin -- Aka, the Dark Night of the Soul -- we have a sign of hope and divine protection -- this is The Star.
Everything is not all better at this point, but you have your guidance in place. This point of divine protection, hope and generosity, which leads you away from the collapse.
From there, the traveler moves into the Moon -- Fear, Illusion, Bewilderment, and finally into The Sun -- in which the clarity and illumination of 'enlightenment' replace the darkness.
This description is only a segment of what is called "The Fool's Journey."
In reality, all of the Major Arcana are interconnected within this journey. Recalling this part of the journey is helpful for me to remember the context of The Star -- particularly since there are so many 'dark nights of the soul' that we come across in life.
Resource: For more information on "The Fool's Journey".