A naked woman is kneeling on one knee at the shoreline of a small body of water. She kneels such that her left knee is resting securely on the ground while her right foot is planted firmly upon the still water. She carries two pitchers of water, and is pouring out the one in her left hand on the dry ground while pouring out the other into the same body of water her foot stands on. She is focused on her actions. Above her, in the cloudless sky, is a great eight-pointed star that fills up much of the field of view. To the viewer’s right of the grand star are three smaller eight-pointed stars. To the viewer’s left are four smaller eight-pointed stars. The night scene is illuminated solely by these eight stars. The landscape is grassy, with small flowering plants here and there. In the near distance stands a tree on a small hill, with a bird standing on the top of the tree. Mountains can be seen in the far distance.
Waite is quick to complain that seeing this card as a card of hope is “tawdry”. I would put that such a meaning is inaccurate. The Star by itself neither brings nor confers hope upon the Querent, but gives the Querent access to an understanding of the situation that may allow such hope to rise on its own. The sincerity of the hope that comes is heavily dependent on the understanding gained by the Querent. If the Querent does not understand, then they are left more despairing that if the reading was never performed.
I take this card to be “Wisdom”. The wisdom is brought by a third-party to the situation if paired with a court card, or a card indicating a person of authority. If paired with a card of great personal significance to the Querent, then they already have the understanding needed to sort out the situation. They just need to have confidence in themselves and be willing to listen to their heart.
Ill-dignified, what should be the illuminating light of wisdom becomes the false light of the oncoming train. Instead of finding understanding, the Querent finds confusion and deceit. If the Tower immediately follows the Star, what the Querent understood to be a fundamental underpinning of their world is fatally flawed and is about to be taken away. Other pairing cards can indicate intentional deceit, and false guidance.