I’m not the deck collector some readers are, but I have accumulated a fair few. A favorite is the Heart of Stars Tarot by Thom Pham who very graciously gave his permission for me to share the images (and the ones from his new deck, The Runes of Mannaz) with you.
It’s one of my favorite decks for two reasons. The most obvious reason, of course, is the gorgeous artwork. The other reason is his use of famous characters and scenes from movies and TV for most of the cards. That is just how my brain an intuition works. Pop culture is a wonderful communication tool. Not everyone is familiar with the classic Tarot images, but lots and lots of people are familiar with movies and TV. Movies, songs, TV shows come to mind all of the time when I am reading for clients It works. It communicates the idea of a card in a familiar, relatable way far over and above the classic symbolism of the Marseille or Waite Smith Tarot alone.
For example, when I drew the Star card today, the Madonna song “Lucky Star” from her self titled 1983 album popped to mind and is ear-worming there as we speak. That is in no way paranormal considering how much I like 80s music and the fact that this was one of my favorite albums in its time. But at the same time, it can’t be dismissed out of hand when it comes to understanding the card’s message for today.
Since it’s actually been a long time since I’ve heard the song, I googled the lyrics to see if there were any message hints there. It’s just a nice little bubblegum pop puppy-love kind of thing. The line that caught my attention is “you shine on me wherever you are.” That in turn reminded me of how we all, everyone on Earth, see the same stars in the same patterns. Stars connect us as a unified audience for the night sky as well as reminding us that we are, all of us, connected to the larger cosmos. Stars made the stuff that we are made of – literally. As Carl Sagan famously said, “We are star stuff.”
It’s significant, too, that The Star is one of only two cards in this deck NOT based on a famous character or movie scene. The woman on the card is anonymous, the every-woman or every-man. She is both uniquely individual and she is all of us.
Even with pop culture references, getting to the right message for a client (or blog/podcast/youtube audience takes a few steps. Sometimes, like today, a card will daisy-chain widely different ideas into one cohesive thought.
Lucky star reminds us we are connected, stars shine on all of us wherever we are. The figure on the Heart of Stars card is both unique, unknown, and symbollic of any or all of us. We are individuals, yet deeply connected. We are individuals together. Although the small points of light in the sky might look the same, there are many sizes and types of stars, all at a unique distance from us that is constantly changing. Stars are individuals together in the cosmos, as are we.
The Star, and the domino chain of intuition reminds us that we are each wonderfully, gloriously, beautifully unique and wonderfully, gloriously, deeply connected.