In this post I will ground the Star Woman in Jungian psychology as a guiding archetype for the Aquarian Age.
There are eight critical archetypes in Jung’s individuation process. Four are part of the personal world (microcosm / earth) and four are part of the collective world (macrocosm / heaven).
The four personal archetypes are: persona, ego, shadow and the trickster. The four collective archetypes: are animus (or anima for men), Self, serpent, and Sophia. (If you click on the figure it gets bigger.)
The Personal Archetypes
The persona is the face we show to the world; it can also be understood as the roles we play in society. The ego is our identity/personality, the “I” that we think we are. The shadow, is our alter-personality; it is composed of all that we think we are not. The trickster is the first inner male character a woman meets on her individuation journey. Previously Jungians have simply classified this figure as the animus in compliment to the man’s anima. However, in my research by female authors, e.g. Helen Luke, and my personal experience, a woman meets the trickster first. Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women who Run with the Wolves names the trickster the predator in her second chapter. This character appears to initiate women into her inner creative world and higher levels of consciousness. (I will write more about the trickster in another blog post.)
The Collective Archetypes
The Self represents heaven, and the serpent represents earth. They are the first opposites created, light and dark, spirit and matter, etc. The animus is the women’s inner world personality, and Sophia (Star Woman) is the personality of the higher self of the earthly collective.
Most spiritual traditions regard ascension (serpent to Self/God) as the very essence of the soul’s journey. This is why I, tongue in check, call Jung’s individuation process the resurrection of the serpent in alignment with Gnostic beliefs. The spiritual and collective evolutionary task presenting earthlings at this time is to sacrifice the hubristic ego to the guidance of the Star Woman.
I could write a book on these first few paragraphs. (Oh yeah, I did! It’s called my dissertation.) Many volumes have been written about the archetypes of Jung’s individuation process, one of my favorites is Murray Stein’s Jung’s Map of the Soul. This blog post is only about one of these archetypes — Sophia/The Star Woman.
Why the Tarot
Before I launch into explaining the Star Woman, many may be wondering why the Tarot? In fact, Jung was interested in several divination practices like the I Ching and the Tarot. Both of these systems are signposts for one’s individuation journey. The I Ching also known as the Book of Changes documents 64 different changes in the cycle of life. The Tarot documents 22 stations the fool makes on his way to universal consciousness. I have in a previous post been discussing earth’s individuation from the Tower card to the Star card in the Tarot.
I said all this to put the Star Woman in context so that I could say a few words about her importance in the Aquarian age, the entering millennium.
The Star cards in the Tarot
The card on the left is from Aliester Crowley’s Thoth deck; and the card on the right is from the very popular Rider Waite deck. It is not my intention to talk about the differences, however, the guiding card for me is the card on the left, Lady Freida Harris’ surrealist’s depiction of the Star Woman for our times.
A woman, naked and kneeling on her left knee, pours from a vase in her right hand silver waters into a river, by which grow roses, the haunts of coloured butterflies. With her left hand, she pours golden waters over her head, which are lost in her long hair. Her attitude suggests the Swastika. Above flames a great star of seven rays. (Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot: An Authoritative Examination of the World’s Most Fascinating and Magical Tarot Card by Lon Milo DuQuette, p. 143)
The Star Woman as Guide for our Chaotic Times
The Star Woman is the medium connecting the collective with the personal, heaven with earth. “She is concerned with both, and through her ministrations the two interact creatively” (Nichols, p. 295). This is a critical statement because it puts earth and heaven on equal footing. This brings to mind Jung’s essay called “Answer to Job,” where he posits the necessary incarnation of Jesus Christ to learn what man knows that god does not. The ancient Emerald Tablet, the touchstone of alchemical texts and Egyptian/Hermetic philosophy, states “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.” In this statement we see, again, the mutuality of heaven (Above) and earth (Below) in the creation of the Unus Mundi (One Thing). (Let me note here that Jung’s work on the Anima Mundi, the soul of the world, is the Star Woman.)
Personally, this means your inner soul figure (animus for women) mediates between the Star Woman and your ego.
The Aquarian age is a time when the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world is very thin giving anyone and everyone access to their higher psychic faculties. This is the goal of Jungian psychology. “Jung contends that man’s salvation lies within the depths of his psyche, and that each of us must labor in his own individual way to discover and free the golden essence which lies buried within our psycho-physical nature” *Nichols, p. 297).
From where I sit it looks like we are being prepared for another war in the Middle East which has the potential to irrupt into World War 3 with Russia. This may be the final fall of the old structures represented by the Tower card in the Tarot. While the desert religions believe this is the harbinger for their Messiah(s), I believe, as Jung did and many post-religious people do, that the savior is within.