The Star/ Schattenspiel Tarot
©Linda Dawn Hammond 1996/2005
The STAR/ Schattenspiel Tarot
Meanings and Details
XVII The Star
The Star represents hope. It follows directly after The Tower, and all turmoil has abated. One is soothed by the serenity of nature. A young woman is seen kneeling beside a heart-shaped pond. (Appropriately, the pond lies on land belonging to a Claire Hopen. The Sacrifice, or Hanging Man, was photographed in a barn on the same property.)
The woman is holding two pitchers which contain the Water of Life. With one pitcher she nourishes the earth, with the other she returns the water to the pond. The image suggests baptism, healing, and an equilibrium between the conscious and the unconscious, as represented by the earth and the water. I used infra-red film to enhance the transparent quality of the water. The film transforms the living elements within the photograph, registering them differently than inorganic objects which transmit no heat.
The majestic tree on the horizon represents our destiny- the Tree of Life. A trio of ducks swim in the pond. Salmon could be heard splashing as they broke the surface of the water. A black cat entered the frame and remained throughout the duration of the shoot. Incidentally, the "Magician" was also visited by a black cat, who can be found hiding between the vines on the wall.
There is one large octagonal star and seven smaller stars in the sky. The number 8 recalls the symbol of eternity. The card itself is numbered 17, which is also seen as 1 plus 7.
Stars are revealed in the sky because the sun has been eclipsed by the moon. The stars speak of truth and serve as a guide. Although untraditional, it could be read as Selene eclipsing Apollo, and in the shadow of her passing, the path is revealed. The Christian version of the card depicts the three magi and the star which guided them to Jesus. This particular version is an ode to nature and the goddess.
The photograph of the eclipse of the Sun was taken separately and added later. The main image was originally black and white and digitally colourized. While it appears serene, it was actually a cold, wet and miserable day- my model exhibited great patience and endurance! Within the border is an Italian water jug, decorated with an image of St. Francis of Assisi speaking to the animals.
Text and photography: Linda Dawn Hammond
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Linda Dawn Hammond, 2003. The images posted on this site are of lower resolution than the originals.
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