ATU IV The Star


Atu IV: The Star

Letter: ה Hé (H, E)

Number: 5

Proximity: Sephira #2 (Chokmah) to Sephira #4 (Chesed)

Ruling Pentagram:

Pent #15 “Constituting”: Air of (Chên) The Arousing, Thunder (Above/Below)

Fire of (Kun) The Receptive, Earth (Without/Within)

Berashith: “Elohim said let there be luminaries”

Corner Hexagrams:

(Upper right) Fire: Hex #42: (I) Increase

(Lower left) Air: Hex #41: (Sun) Decrease

(Upper left) Water: Hex #31: (Hsien) Influence / Wooing

(Lower right) Earth: Hex #32: (Hêng) Duration


Keywords (Dignified): Illuminating, Beneficent, Inspirational, Beautiful, Charismatic, Enduring, Optimistic, Clarifying, Ennobling, Empowering, Uplifting, Transplendent, Nurturing, Aspiring, Harmonious, Conscious

Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Misfortune, Despair, Disappointment, Pessimism, Fatalism, Broken Dreams.


Historical: The Star card is one of several paths that have been positioned incorrectly, according to the Proximity Principle of Mutational Alchemy.
     In the Golden Dawn system it is usually placed between Sephira #7 (Netzach) and Sephira #9 (Yesod) and is assigned the Hebrew letter/number Tzaddi (90.)
     It is moved several times. The Book of the Law, (Liber Al Vel Legis) stated in 1904,  “All these old letters of my Book are aright; but [Tzaddi] is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise.”
    Crowley responded, first by switching the Hebrew letters with The Emperor, but he didn’t change the ATU numeration. He then switched its positioning on the Tree, with the Star, but again, didn’t change the ATU numeration.
     The Star, with the correct letter, He, should logically correspond to the 5th Proximity Principal path between Sephira #2, (Chokmah,) and Sephira #4, (Chesed). Because paths are often numbered 11–32, its positional placement is path #15, the same as its corresponding Pentagram. Inasmuch as ATU numerations should also adhere to the Proximity Principle, the Star card acquires the additional value of ATU IV, previously assigned to the Emperor card.

Golden Dawn: Called The Star (The Daughter of the Firmament), the Star card corresponds to the zodiacal Aquarius and places between Sephira #7 (Netzach) and Sephira #9 (Yesod) in the Golden Dawn system.
    This card is dominated by Venus symbolism, and includes an image of a young woman, pouring water from a vessel, reminiscent of the zodiacal Aquarius sign, as its default alchemical association. It is generally defined as an auspicious card, bringing good fortune, and also signifying lofty aspirations in line with the Will of Heaven.

Thoth: Crowley builds upon this card’s traditional Aquarian association, and incorporates various archetypes, endemic to his own magickal philosophy. The essential imagery remains about the same, with somewhat less emphasis placed on Venus. Based upon his interpretation of instructions found in the transmitted Liber Al vel Legis, Crowley swaps The Star, and The Emperor positions, placing The Star between Sephira #2 (Chokmah,) and Sephira #6, (Tiphareth,) where it then acquires the Hebrew letter/number Hé (5). Since the original Emperor positioning was incorrect, the newly planted Star card is also incorrect.
     Liber Al vel Legis is silent with respect to path positions, addressing *Letters* only in their popular correspondence to Tarot images at the time. Our own positional corrections do not contradict it, in any way, despite the fact that Crowley’s own astrological rationalizations find no particular validation in Mutational Alchemy principles. In general, if it isn’t *broken*, with respect to Mutational Alchemy chronological organization, no attempt has been made to *fix* it. Archetypes vary from age to age, and even alphabetical orders may do so, as well. The Proximity Principle takes all of this into account, and only applies itself to rational numerical alignments.

Curiously, Crowley describes the Emperor card as if it were still in the upper part of the tree, receiving the light of Kether. He may have formed an emotional attachment to the work of Eliphas Levi, whom he claimed to be one and the same, reincarnated.

Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: It doesn’t take much observational skill to recognize, that virtually all traditional Tarot systems, up to this point in time, have been rooted in contemporary views of astrology, thus, the Star immediately assumes the conversation of *heavenly stars*, as we know, and experience them.
     Mutational Alchemy is not concerned with cataloging astrological ideas, so much as it is interested in the anatomics of the Body of Light, as outlined in Tantricism, and alluded to time, and time again, throughout most of the great mystery traditions, down through the ages. Mutational Alchemy is fundamentally a transformational alchemical enginery, that looks to systems like the Tree of Life, (among others,) to tell us what *human stars* may be, and, it may also tell us something useful, as to how we might simulate this kind of physical Perfection for ourselves.
     Thus, the only star that very much concerns us here is the star of Consciousness itself. That this type of Star may find certain parallels among Heavenly stars, should come as no great surprise, as the laws of physics that govern the Without, are very often echoed seamlessly in the Within. Hermetic Alchemy has known this for a very long time, and Mutational Alchemy is a specialized extension of Hermetic Alchemy, seeking to capture a falsifiable physics of the *Star*, that we, (humans,) ultimately are.
     In application, most of the traditional meanings of this card, as it surfaces in divination, will be more or less the same as in former decks, but the emphasis here is more on the principle of *Higher Self*, than it is on the estimated Will of Heaven.
     We would expect this card to be representative of extraordinary insight, of breakthroughs in understanding, of visionary expansion, and abundant energetic infusion, coming at us more from Within, than Without. Its technical construction here is rooted in the idea of Wholeness, and transmutational Completion. Its corresponding hexagrams speak of Ebb & Flow, of Constancy in the midst of Change, and Order in the face of Chaos.
     Its Reciprocal Inverse is The Moon card, bearing the same hexagrams, in opposite organization. But this Moon is not the astrological moon, so much as it is the Lunar side of Consciousness itself. Every card in this deck is about Consciousness, first and foremost, while astrology, or other arcane disciplines, are viewed as complementary, but not of paramount importance.

The Scene: Rooted in the premise that “every man and every woman is a star”, the Star image depicted here, is built upon the balancing of both Manifest, and Hidden paths within the Tree of Life. The 22 Manifest Paths are better understood, by most students of Qabbalah, or modern western magickal disciplines, and, there are hundreds of books available by this point in time illuminating various aspects of their system.
     Lesser known are the 16 Hidden Paths. These are legitimate paths, not included in the 22 Manifest Paths system, that, otherwise, operate exactly the same way. Together, they form a coherent glyph in themselves, looking strikingly like some exotic diamond. Thus, it is typically referred to, in Mutational Alchemy, as the *Hidden Diamond*. The Star as depicted here, is rooted in the premise that the alchemical marriage of these two great Pathworkings is preeminently the key to Body of Light Wholeness, and thus, to Higher Self, and finally, Completion. It is a visual mapping of these two great cosmological divisions coming together in undivided balance, and equilibrium. This is the meaning of the Great Work, as defined in Mutational Alchemy, and is deemed the most viable road accessible to us, leading out of the darkness, and on to the stars, for every human being.