Wow. It’s amazing what happens when you decide to set yourself free. When you let go of all the struggle and burden you have been carrying on your shoulders and shake free and realize that under all that stuff, there your wings have been all along!
For me, it couldn’t have been better timing if i’d planned it (which I didn’t). Spring is in the air in Melbourne and the trees are in beautiful blossom. Everything that has been dormant and underground is starting to emerge new and fresh and full of that life energy which is particular to spring. The season of darkness gives way to the light and old skin is shed, so the snake dance must be felt in the body and expressed in joy.
As it happens, this week I took a workshop on New Beginnings that had been booked in months ago. It was the first time I’d done this particular one and I felt none of the usual nervousness beforehand. Instead, I felt an incredible lightness of being and calm confidence in allowing the night to be influenced by spontaneity and inspiration in the moment. There were a few basic aspects I wanted to cover, like a white sage cleansing ritual to get rid of any old or unwanted energy, and the creation of a candle spell to call in our wishes, but apart from that, I allowed the night to progress as it flowed from each of the participants, my own energy and the wonderful energy of the waxing moon passing through Sagittarius.
It was truly magical. The energy was so high (fire of Sagittarius thank you!) and everyone was buzzing. We ran onto the rooftop of the Witch’s House in our black witches hats and cast circle under the moon, the stars and the city lights. I called in the elements, with particular emphasis on the East, element of Air, being the direction of the sunrise and of new beginnings. Inspiration came immediately, in the form of a ritual with us 7 women in a circle around the one man amongst us. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for women to enjoy the role of the goddess and for men to be able to receive this energy with gratitude and awe. It is truly powerful and transformative. It doesn’t require careful planning, just being in harmony and trusting those you are with to open their hearts and minds. Play!
It feels like the Star is shining bright right now. Personally, after the pain and loss and destruction of The Tower, the release of addiction (this time in relationship) – it is time for peace and the exhileration that comes from new hope and lightness of spirit. In the Star, there is the beautiful feeling of being totally in the moment. There is no path leading anywhere, no sense of duty or calling to move to a particular destination, just a sense of peace and balance and freedom in the present. Hope returns with the Star, and illuminates all that once lay in darkness. Indeed, if you feel lost in darkness, the simple act of going outside at night and looking up, drinking in the starshine, will work magic.
I also love the fact that the woman in the Star is totally naked in her freedom, just like in “The Charge of the Goddess” where it is written, “..and as a sign that ye be truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites.” Rachel Pollack also mentions this aspect in her wonderful book “Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom”:
“The Star appears below the Empress and the Wheel. In the Empress we saw the natural world glorified in the passions. But the Empress was heavily clothed to indicate that she expresses her emotion through things outside herself – nature, lovers and children. In the Star we see the inner self joyfully experiencing itself. The Star maiden combines the two female archetypes, the inner sensitivity of the High Priestess brought out and expressed with the passion of the Empress.” (p.124)
Being naked in our culture has so many taboos associated with it that few of us ever get to really enjoy the simple freedom of our own bodies aside from the areas deemed acceptable, such as the bedroom or bathroom. For a long time, I was way too shy to ever undress in public, even in changerooms I would go into the privacy of a cubicle rather than be naked in front of others. It was only around the age of 27 during a beautiful women’s ritual that I first was gently and respectfully led to find the joy in my own naked body in front of others. In a circle, I chose two women to be my maidens and they undressed me of my old clothes and after the ritual dressed me in my specially chosen “Goddess” attire. That moment changed my life in terms of the way I felt about my body forever. It was definitely a case of shedding old skin, a true snake ritual.
It might seem an odd thing to focus on, the nakedness of the Star maiden, but to me it is an integral part of what this card means, not just academically but physically, in the material world. To delight in one’s own body is freedom in a real sense of the word. To know there is no “perfect” body and let that whole concept go, is liberating. Every body has its own unique beauty, and the way we move it and how comfortable we are with it, mirrors how we feel about ourselves on a much deeper level. It is why I am pole dancing, why I am doing burlesque. It is not so much about who is watching, but more about the absolute delight of enjoying one’s own body, and the way it expresses so much emotion.
Last Friday night I went to a horror/burlesque show called Gorrelesque. In a room packed with Goths, Rockabilly and Psychobilly kids, under cobwebs and bats and through the haze of dry ice mist, I watched in respect as women of all different sizes got up and did their thing. One woman of truly awesome proportion got up in skimpy leopardskin and danced to the Cramps. Just seeing her up there, shaking her booty and sliding into the splits to the words “The way I walk is just the way I walk/ The way I talk is just the way I talk”, was so cool. The crowd loved it, and made the noise to show it. Full respect to those who just do it, no matter how much our society has tried to drum into us that we have to look a certain way to be acceptable.
The Star transcends limitations and exhortations that you are too fat, too pale, too old, too young, too short, too hairy, too whatever. When you just stop caring what others might think or say, and realize that you are made of the same stuff stars are made of, and here to shine bright before you fizzle out and die, then you truly have a new beginning- and a most exciting one – to start exploring.