The Star, The Moon, and The Sun: The 3 Aspects of Light in Tarot's Major Arcana

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I decided to explore the celestial orbs trio because all three cards showed up in one of my tarot readings I did for myself. It was a time when I really had trouble shining and appreciating my own light; the fact that all three of them appeared in a single reading made me feel warm and comforted--in a weird way, I felt like I was being watched over from above.

On a physical & scientific level…

On a physical level, all three celestial bodies come from the same source of light: the sun. Stars are luminous balls of gas in the depths of the galaxy, seen as a sparkling point of light on Earth. They are suns that are far, far away. The moon, on the other hand, reflects the light of the sun, albeit only 3-12%. The Sun, of course, refers to the  one particular to our solar system that Earth orbits along with other planets: the most important source of energy for Earth's lifeforms. A source of light, energy, and life.

On a symbolic & mythological level…

On a symbolic and mythological level, Star, Moon and Sun seem to be a trinity of the divine. Or at least, they are deeply connected with the divine because they are beyond Earth. They are way up there in the Heavens, way above the world of humans. They are looked up to; symbols of grandness, of the different kinds of light that shine upon us at different times in our lives, for different purposes.

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The Sun: the one true star shining bright

The presence of sunlight is empowering: clarity, openness, acceptance, Nowness, life. It is an abundant existence of life bursting forth, brimming over the world, rolling onto the landscape like a solar wave. At this time there is no need for stars and their energies of healing and hope. The Sun Is.


The Star: sparkling eyes of hope in nighttime

When it comes night time, however, that's when the stars shine. The Stars are miniature suns shining from a distance. Their light is far, but they exist, and they abound in the sky. They are impossible to see during the day and only visible in night's quiet. It doesn't matter that the light that reaches us may be a delayed existence, and that its original source may no longer be there at the time of its perception. What is important is that at this very moment, we are able to receive its light, even if it's just a flicker, a tiny portion of its reality, a fraction of a faraway existence. The light is real, at this very moment. It reminds us that there is a bigger reality out there, there are more stars out there than you can count, more suns out there than you can fathom.

There is a boundless Universe out there. So much warmth. So much radiance. So much life. So much Muchness and so much Isness. So much light available, so many possibilities, and so much potential. Knowing this should comfort us and prompt us on the journey of resting and healing--knowing that the night ends only for the day to return.

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The Moon: the shining silver orb of myth 

We all know that The Moon reflects light from the sun and glows from a borrowed light, glowing at night alongside the stars. The Moon: light borrower, the reflector. It only reflects 3-12% of the sun's light--on a symbolic level, it only partially reflects the truth and reality that encompass us. This makes sense since The Moon is associated with mysticism and mythology. Its half light is not a true light because it is borrowed. The Moon itself gives off no light of its own, but it can bend, receive, transmute, transform, and reshape light. The light of the moon is a borrowed light, just like the reality of the moon is a borrowed reality.

How interesting--a borrowed reality--borrowed meaning. The Moon is brimming with symbolism. It shows you truth through similes and metaphors and mythical representations, a different way of capturing our reality. It shows you that while in the moonscape everything seems to be changing and nothing is absolute and concrete, it hands you snippets of the one true light: the sun, so that when the sun rises once more, you will be ready to face the day.

What do you think of the “three celestial orbs”?