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A Star Is Born This Way

Queer Tarot, pt. 18

By Mx. Stevie (or Stephen) ColePublished about a year ago 5 min read

Hello, if you're new here! Hello too, if you're one of my regular readers following the series this far. Either way, we start with the usual catch up:

This is a blog series giving LGBTQIA+ people's perspectives on the Tarot cards. Tarot is a set of symbols added on to a deck of playing cards, depicting a spiritual journey, to be used for meditation or fortune telling. Catch up with the characters we've met on the journey so far by clicking on these links for the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess, the Empress, the Emperor, the Hierophant, the Lovers, the Chariot, Strength, the Hermit, the Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, the Devil, and the Tower. The particular version that's thought of today as the basic traditional Tarot, from which the myriad of decks are influenced and inspired, was drawn by mixed race bisexual lady Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith, whose insights I'm sure made it into this art commission given her by straight white men, whatever their expectations of her might have been. So I've asked LGBTQIA+ Tarot users in online groups to give me their viewpoints on the cards, and the result is this series of blogs.

And here we are at one of my favourite cads - The Star!

A lot of people, not surprisingly, relate this card to astrology, which is also pretty often studied alongside the the Tarot. Now I'm no big fan of astrology, but it can be a great way to introduce people to the idea that there are parts of people's persona that are outside the binary. The four houses of Astrology are named for the four elements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water - two of these are seen as masculine - air and fire - and two as feminine - earth and water; plus planets and the deities associated with them are seen as male and female - Mars and Venus especially; so, in other words, if you're using astrology to try and look into yourself, you're by its very nature acknowledging male/masculine and female/feminine inner influences upon the person you become. Plus, astrology was one of the systems of symbols C.G. Jung used to guide people towards the idea of men having an "inner woman" (anima) and women having an "inner man" (animus).

I skirt the line that separates the binary realms, is also usually the meaning of the images in the Tarot where the figure has one foot in each realm - this Celestial lady has one foot in the river and one on the bank, just like the Temperance card agender angel does, and is pouring water from the jars in her left and right hands, one into the river and the other onto the bank, just like the agender angel in the Temperance card is pouring water from one cup into another in each hand.

The androgyny of the angel in the Temperance card is put across by the body-shape-hiding robe, while here on this card is a figure stretching in the star light, naked - a seemingly female/feminine body. On the one hand, the nonbinary symbolism in the whole card might make it hasty to judge that this is definitely a woman; on the other hand, that's what I'm going to do, because this whole deck design sets free a whole variety of images of women's bodies being shown as sacred and deserving of veneration in an age where that socially REALLY WAS NOT how women's bodies were seen - completely the opposite, in fact! - and I really don't want to take that away from the unique lady-loving artist who designed the deck, so I'm absolutely going to believe she drew the veneration of bodies like hers into the deck from end to end completely on purpose.

(Side fact: the word Venerate actually comes from the worship of Venus)

Now, he's not exactly the most progressive writer when it comes to homosexuality - in fact, one of the very few times he wrote about it, he described it as an inferior form of love that he looked upon with pity! - but I'm going to use a scene from one of C.S. Lewis' stories to leave an image in your head to relate with this card, that I absolutely love. (To be honest, using a religious writer's words to make a point in favour of something far more humane than they were trying to put across, is something I like doing whenever I get the chance to do it!) During The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, while searching for Aslan's country, King Caspian and his crew encounter a gorgeous Princess/Priestess, who says that she is a Star. i'm going to paraphrase rather than quote whole segments verbatim, but basically one of the young kids from our world says that where he's from, stars aren't people, they're burning gas lights in the sky. Even in your world, replies a wise sage, that is not what the stars are; that is just what they're made of.

Props to a man who hadn't much good to say about genders or sexualities other than his own, for accidentally making the point that what a person is physically made of doesn't have to be the whole meaning of who they are, or what their destiny is.

This woman is a star. And if you bravely reveal yourself to the world as you truly are, especially if who you truly are is something different from what you appear to be to those who judge you by their own light, rather than the vision you see yourself by... Then, my queerly beloveds, so are you.


If you'd like a personal Tarot reading from me online, looking at things from these kinds of perspectives, you can reach me by clicking Here - and if you'd like to join my LGBTQIA+ Tarot group on bookface, you can do that by clicking Here.


About the Creator

Mx. Stevie (or Stephen) Cole




Tarot reader

Attracted to magic both practical & impractical

Writer of short stories and philosophical musings

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (3)

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  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydred11 months ago

    Extremely interesting and well written

  • Babs Iverson11 months ago


  • Heather Hubler11 months ago

    A very interesting and enjoyable read. I don't know much about tarot, but I do like to learn new things :)

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