Putting the Star Woman in a Jungian Context

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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

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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.

From the Tower to the Star

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The collapse of the twin towers sent a wake up call to my soul. From that moment on I have been faithfully following my soul’s path, not my ego’s wishes.

I’m sure it’s not news to say — We’ve come to the end of the road and find ourselves in Rome, the alpha and the omega of our monotheistic times.

We have played the story all the way to the end and find every aspect of our collective lives near death, i.e., atmosphere, Bible, banking, culture, democracy, diplomacy, energy, economy, ecology, earth, evolution, finances, government, humanity, healthcare, insurance, justice, Koran, life, meaning, medicine, money, Newtonian physics, which is the basis of most of our planetary systems, news, oceans, patriarchy, psychology, quetzalcoatl, regulations, religions, science, society, soul, space, sports, time, universe, vision, weath, xanadu, Yom Kippur, zeitgeist.

One could crumble under these facts, or continue in a collective, pathological, and psychological defense of denial to save ego from the truth of soul’s existence. Why not? Denial and other distortions of reality have gotten us this far. I believe it is time to resuscitate life on earth and reconnect with our soul and the soul of the world, what Jung called the Anima Mundi.

I also believe there is a map to the chaos we find ourselves in.

To understand what’s next for our planet, I turn to the 17th card in the Tarot Deck — The Star (Ray of Hope) which represents the dawning of the age of Aquarius, and follows the Tower card.

Many have said we are moving to a more feminine way of life. This return spirals up from feminine unconsciousness to feminine consciousness.

The Star is a nature priestess who connects heaven and earth following the alchemical text the Emerald Tablet’s doctrine of correspondence, i.e., as above, so below. This is similar to the restart button in Revelation where chapter twenty-one speaks of a new heaven and a new earth.

The Star Woman reveals herself in her nakedness, without a mask, without clothing. She helps unite our outer world with our inner world. Her arrival suggests the end of Patriarchy on this planet, and the beginning of our connection with the dimensional universe, from the narcissistic I to the empathetic we, from logos to eros, from the physical to the subtle, and so on.

The answers to our earthly foibles lie in the subtle realm, not the physical realm. The patriarchal ego must die, giving rise to our eternal soul.

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I started writing this post yesterday, last night I dreamed I was anointed a priestess before I sang in a contest to complete my doctoral work. Interestingly, I am an ordained minister but I have, heretofore, not embarked on my ministerial work. I have had several dreams this month (April 2013) suggesting it is time for me to speak up. In every dream I have fallen in the face of my collective task because I was isolated and alone. The transition I am facing requires isolation in the alchemical vessel. This process will give rise to a new aquarian self.

To become the Star Woman is my new task. Wish me luck!

As I wrote these last lines, Jung’s scarab appeared in my window. OMG!
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A few days later, I went to past-life hypnotherapist and learned my relationship to the Star Woman. I am to scribe the universal laws for the new earth coming in now as the aquarian age, however, I must get over my Cassandra Complex. More to Come!!!

Meditation and the Tarot

A On my 2012 holiday vacation break I began a new soul / meditation practice that inspires me each morning.

Using Aleister Crowley / Lady Frieda Harris’s Thoth Tarot Deck I choose my SOUL, MIND and BODY cards.

Then using The Tarot Handbook by Angeles Arrien I read the spiritual interpretations.

Next I take these cards into my meditation using this great little meditation app called Insight Timer Meditation. I allow them to infuse their meaning deeply into my soul. As a result, I am reaching new levels of joy in my life.


There are three other books about the Thoth Tarot Deck worth mentioning:

Here are other depth psychological books on the Tarot: