I originally shared this on instagram but decided I wanted to preserve it on my blog due to the ephemeral nature of social media and as a chance to expound upon this thought.
I grew up on the Great Lakes and spent my formative years always orienting myself to Grand Traverse Bay—it’s what determined direction of travel, perspective, a sense of placement. every trip to the grocery store, to school, to a friend’s house, meant riding along its curve—a now rare moment where our movements have to bend to the landscape instead of the other way around. there’s something delightful about being able to be standing in a parking lot downtown and, when asked where a new shop is, just turn and point to an area on its shores. it kept the horizon feeling open, breezy, almost like a window that is perpetually open bringing in the scent of water. now living in North Carolina, I’ve been able to adopt the ocean as a substitute, but I often miss being by a body of water and the magic, the magnetism that it brings.
being by the water, I was raised on the mythology of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinac Island—stories of loss to the water and creation within it. in the stories of the boats lost to the lakes, Lighthouses became a mythical fixture. They could provide guidance through the most tumultuous storms, guaranteeing safety, piercing the darkness with its constant light.
For these reasons, when I was on the ferry last night headed to the beach and saw its constant shining, I immediately thought of The Star. Its power comes from not just shining, but shining into and despite the darkness. Even as you can’t see your surroundings, as you almost become lost in the darkness, it is a constant guide if you can just focus on taking one step at a time forward—a constant process of re-orientation to the point that promises safety, nourishment, vitality. Whatever that might may represent to you, it is your guide as you traverse the darkness, and it demands trust, focus, and resiliency.
traditionally the star represents hope, optimism, happiness. sometimes we feel that way and the tarot mirrors us, we get to smile and see ourselves reflected. but sometimes we draw the star in a placement of advice, during a difficult time, or something that will come in the future. it is then you can ask the following:
where is your lighthouse?
Are you oriented towards its light?
what does its light represent to you in this moment?
Are you charting the course forward towards it—or do you feel like running away, finding the darkness, the confusion more comfortable?
what work do you need to do to reach its light?
the work that you must put in to reach the star in a time of difficulty also balances out the ethereal and idealistic nature of the star. while the star provides us the hope we need, we must show up to do the work. so through battling the ocean, consistently re-orienting ourselves towards its light as we get pushed by the waves, is exactly what we need to take the star and turn it into an incorporated part of our life.