Every man and every woman is a star. The Book of the Law 1:3
Crowley’s own description of the Star in the Book of Thoth (1) is completely useless in terms of card’s working knowledge; as brilliant as most of his other observations are , here he sounds as a baffled newbie who, not knowing how to interpret the card in a reading, starts describing its artwork ad nauseum.
It is possible that Crowley didn’t get it – after all, he was (as arrogant as he is presented usually) humble enough in his correspondence with Frieda Harris to admit that he personally did not grasp all of the cards, and the confusion arising from his infamous Emperor/Star swap (2) makes this explanation sounds even more logical…
Usually enlightening Lon Milo’s book here is merely paraphrasing TBOT and Waite, in his ‘Pictorial Key’ is , if possible, even more vague: “The summary of several tawdry explanations says that it is a card of hope. On other planes it has been certified as immortality and interior light. For the majority of prepared minds, the figure will appear as the type of Truth unveiled, glorious in undying beauty, pouring on the waters of the soul some part and measure of her priceless possession. But she is in reality the Great Mother in the Kabalistic Sephira Binah, which is supernal Understanding, who communicates to the Sephiroth that are below in the measure that they can receive her influx.” (3)
The thing is that Waite (un)necessarily mystified his writings, Lon Milo has kept a lot of what he had to say for his course “Sexual Alchemy of the Thoth Tarot” and as per A.C., he actually puts it all there, albeit veiled: “I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.”
Because the Star is the female orgasm, her male counterpart being the ejaculation depicted on the Tower.
Observing the sperm being formed in goat’s testicles on the card numbered XV, the Devil, the ejaculation of the Tower (XVI) and, following the Star (XVII), womb-like Moon (XVIII), some go as far as to name it ‘The Sperm’s journey’…
I guess that’s tongue in cheek to the usual combining the elements of Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey ‘ with Tarot, which to me is equally inapplicable to it as Jungian stuff is. (I dare you to do a Tarot reading using Sallie Nichols’ “Jung and Tarot”! )
Which is – i do think that any story can be told through Tarot – and more so any mystical or philosophical system can be applied to it – but does it have anything to do with Tarot itself, and more so – with Thoth Tarot, is all another story.
Apropos, Joseph Campbell knew close to nothing about Tarot, and as erudite as he was, Tarot has never been his main focus.
Anyhow, back to Thoth. Whether it’s actually The Star that goes attributed to Sephirat Binah or it’s the Empress, is anyone’s guess; to me, for various mostly intuitive reasons, it does make sense that it’s the Star that’s related to the Supernal Mother – and to me personally that’s exactly why it is so difficult to explain.
According to Kabbalists, the only they day in the year when we can experience this energy in its totality, is Yom Kipur, the so-called ‘Day of Atonement.’
Traditionally, one is repenting for the transgressions during the process of ‘Teshuva’ – asking forgiveness from other people – while Yom Kippur is the day crowning the process when the forgiveness is asked from God.
Kabbalistically, Teshuva is a process of returning to one’s own unadulterated self and in many ways it resonates with Crowley’s ‘do what though wilt’, probably one of his most misinterpreted concepts.
In this vein, i must add that what’s usually labeled in Kabbalah as ‘desire’, the driving force behind all our actions, is what’s Crowley names “will”; more or less it is the things to which we are naturally drawn to and feel attraction for. Usually, these are distorted by socialization and i believe that by late adolescence most of us are pretty much at loss about what we actually want. Thus our most important choices are mostly conditioned by outer circumstances at the end usually have little to do with our own affinities and preferences.
Teshuva, mystically, is the way of the Kabbalist to re-discover his own Self.
Yom Kippur is a full fast, from sunset to darkness the following night, and, besides all the restrictions of Shabbat, it carries four additional ones – washing and bathing, anointing one’s body (with cosmetics, deodorants, etc.), wearing leather shoes , and engaging in sexual relations are prohibited.
One would say – what a challenging day it must be! The truth is that it is the only day when we can ascend to Binah – and experiencing its energies does feel (for the lack of better comparison) as a prolonged orgasm. It’s the only day when we can free ourselves from the domination of the physical body and other conditioning – and i must say that nothing can beat the experience.
That’s the very feeling i recall as i am watching the Star which choose to come out for me in the Daily Draw, as i start remembering what my own soul’s urges were once upon a time…
Copyright © L.R.S., All Rights Reserved
(1) TBOT, XVII The Star http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/crowley/libro_thoth05.htm
(2) Why did Crowley switch the Emperor and the Star? http://www.psyche.com/psyche/tarot/RevivedTarot/crowley.html
(3) The Pictorial Key to the Tarot http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/pkt/index.htm
(4) Kosher Torah, the Secret of Yom Kipur http://www.koshertorah.com/PDF/yom-kippur.pdf