Sources of the Waite/Smith Tarot Symbols by Robert V. O'Neill The Star

The Star

Central StarWirthT de MarseilleRosenwald
8-pointedWirthT de MarseilleVisconti-Sforza
Gold StarWirthT de MarseilleVisconti-Sforza
7 starsWirthT de Marseille
Hills in backWestcottT de MarseilleVisconti-Sforza
Tree on hillWirthT de MarseilleMet Sheet
Ibis in TreeWirthT de Marseille
PondWirthT de MarseilleCary Sheet
Naked figureWirthT de MarseilleMet Sheet
Right Foot on waterWestcottConver
Left Knee on landWirthT de MarseilleCary Sheet
Gold pitchersWestcottMayerCary Sheet
IdenticalWestcottT de Marseille
Right into waterWirthT de MarseilleCary Sheet
L onto LandWirthConver
Looks in waterWirthT de MarseilleCary Sheet


  1. Water breaks into 5 Rivulets; in the Golden Dawn Philosophus Initiation Ritual it is said: “...pouring upon the earth the Waters of Creation which unite and form a River at her feet, the River going forth from the Supernal Eden which floweth and faileth not” (Regardie, p 188). However, according to Genesis, there are 4 rivers flowing from Eden, not five (???). There is another possiblity given in Waite’s Manual of Cartomancy (p 135): “...the gifts of the Spirit poured upon the earth of the individual.”

  2. This card is assigned to Aquarius, the Waterbearer, in the Golden Dawn System. The correspondence seems to fit the figure in the Star image.

  3. Waite probably viewed the cards following the Tower as the final stages of the mystical journey. In The Secret Tradition in Alchemy (p 285), he says “The revelation comes in a stillness which is as if after a tempest: it is then that the darkness dissolves, the sun rises and the treasure is found. That treasure is, according to Thomas Vaughan, a Mystery of Christ, and according to the Rosicrucians it is the deep secret of a Meeting in the Spirit.”

Based on original research by Robert V. O'Neill. To add to this collection of information, please email Robert V. O'Neill.

The Fool
The Magician
The High Priestess
The Empress
The Emperor
The Hierophant
The Lovers
The Chariot
The Hermit
Wheel of Fortune
The Hanged Man
The Devil
The Tower
The Star
The Moon
The Sun
The World
Introduction to Sources of the Waite/Smith Tarot Symbols

Additional Tarot History Resources Related to
Sources of the Waite/Smith Tarot Symbols

Holly's Rider-Waite Site A. E. Waite
The Hermitage: A Tarot History Site Villa Revak