Sitting under a starry sky, a maiden pours water out of two red jugs – one jug is poured into a pool of water, and another is poured into the Earth. This Tarot card, called the Star, depicts a peaceful scene where the maiden, free from the confines of clothing, kneels beside a pond with small red flowers all around her. A huge heavenly star, with 7 smaller stars surrounding it, illuminates the sky above her. Gazing at this card may bring on a sense of calm contentment, coupled with a sense of awe. Much like an evening spent stargazing. The stars appear every evening, but how often do we watch them cross the sky? And when we do, are we not reminded of how insignificant we are compared to the awesome wonder and enormity of the universe? The stars have guided us for millennia – long before we even began to understand the infinite space they inhabit. Patterns discerned in the stars were woven into powerful myths, which we celebrated and worshiped. In today’s world, many of us live in cities where the stars are difficult to see. But even so, they remain, burning brightly night after night for eons.
The Star reminds us that we are connected to a vast web of life much larger than we can even fathom. The finite and infinite are connected in this card through the stars and the maiden. As water flows freely from both jugs, we also see a connection between the unconscious (the pool of water) and consciousness (dry, solid land). These connections are meant to comfort us, and bring us a sense of wholeness, completeness, and healing. The Star assures us that all will be well, that there is hope after all, that the trials and tribulations in life are meant to teach us that we are not the center of the universe. In fact, we are but a small grain connected to a vast array of other grains, which comprise a shoreline, which stretches infinitely. And the sooner we realize that we are not the center, though it may feel contradictory, the more at peace we will be.
If the Star inspires a night of searching for meteor showers – such as the Perseids in mid-August – or watching the Milky Way travel across the sky, then the perfect beverage to complement stargazing is a tea made from Blue Lotus. This perennial water lily found in Africa and Asia was one of several herbs used during ancient Egyptian times to achieve euphoric states of mind during shamanic healing rituals. The two most well-known alkaloids present in the plant, which lend its ecstatic effects, are apomorphine and nuciferine, which aid in the release of dopamine and serotonin in the body. In mild doses, a feeling of calm floods the senses, reducing anxiety, muscle tension, and insomnia. In larger doses that were popular during ancient times, and in combination with other herbs such as poppies, these same constituents in Blue Lotus create stimulating, aphrodisiac, and even hallucinogenic effects. Blue Lotus also contains a high number of antioxidants, including flavonoids such as quercetin, which have been shown to reduce hypertension, inflammation, type II diabetes, and heart disease.
It's easy to imagine the purple flowers of the Blue Lotus growing and blossoming in the cleansing pool of water in the Star card of the Tarot. The calming and mood enhancing aspects of the Blue Lotus, combined with its historic use in spiritual practices, makes it a perfect accompaniment to the Star – whose message is one of hope, peace, and connection.
*Tarot reading is based on the Rider-Waite Tarot Card deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith
Emboden, William. “The Sacred Journey in Dynastic Egypt: Shamanistic Trance in the Context of the Narcotic Water Lily and the Mandrake.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 20 January 2012. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.1989.10472144?journalCode=ujpd20
Kubala, Jillian. “Blue Lotus Flower: Uses, Benefits, and Safety.” Healthline, 25 September 2020. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blue-lotus-flower
Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. San Francisco, Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, 2007. P122-124