One of the biggest challenges of adapting Star Wars into a set of Tarot cards is the lack of female characters. Sure, there are a lot of female characters in the Extended Universe but that may or may not be cannon. This whole problem of the lack of females in the Star Wars movies reminds me when me and my sister used to play with our toys. Although my childhood memories are hazy, I do remember a diminutive Darth Vader riding in the passenger’s seat as Barbie took him for a ride on her pink Corvette.
The female parts are a little underwritten.
Our last card was “one”, the Magician. We are at number two, the Divine Feminine. Where a Magician has to train and study to perfect his craft, The High Priestess just is. It just happens. Traditionally, for boys to become men, they have to go through initiation, or they have to prove themselves as a man. When a girl becomes a woman, one day it just biologically happens. Personally, it reminds me of how me and my sister separately learned Tarot. She just picked up on it and would give very intuitive readings. I read books, went to lectures, practiced and made mistakes.
Now, I know I might tread into language that might be politically incorrect. “Masculine” doesn’t necessarily mean “a man” and “feminine” doesn’t necessarily mean “a woman”. I have met women way more masculine than any man I’ve met and men who are way more feminine than any woman I’ve met. And I’ll probably use other terminology that has nothing to do with gender issues, but with explaining my understanding of Tarot.
So The High Priestess is “The better half.” She is kind of like a female magician, maybe even a wife or girlfriend. But also The High Priestess used to be The Popess, a female Heirophant (or the Pope). The feminine principle is hidden, mysterious and subconscious. Within Christendom, in the Holy Trinity, The Holy Spirit is feminine. We can understand what the Father and the Son are, but the Holy Spirit is a lot more abstract. So is The Force.
Often times, this subtle power that the feminine has has been mistaken for the women being the weaker sex. Subtle doesn’t mean weak. Gravity is a very subtle force in the Universe. But without it, there would be no stars or planets or galaxies. Can you imagine what your life would be without your mother? And if you were motherless, didn’t you often dream about what it would be like to have one? Being a woman is powerful. There are countless times I’ve made a fool of myself to a nice girl. They really don’t have to do much, hell, they don’t have to even be that pretty.
I work in a very masculine, geeky, industry. When its just men in the room, it has a certain energy. When you introduce some women– and I don’t mean “we’re going to hook up with our co-workers”– when you just bring women into a very male environment, things change. Its a bit lighter, more balanced and a bit more sociable.
Behind every great man there’s a woman.
A long time ago, George Lucas had a wife, Marcia Lucas. She was the editor on George Lucas’s early films. They had a divorce toward the end of Return of The Jedi. Being a creative person, you’re probably going to talk about a good amount of your ideas to whoever’s sleeping in your bed. And if that person is smart and creative, they’re going to call out on your bullshit. They’re going to tell you when your work sucks or when they don’t understand this or that. They will be supportive, but they will be honest. I could just imagine George Lucas showing Marcia his first draft of Star Wars and Marcia telling him what she liked and what she didn’t understand. I could imagine them disagreeing on how this shot or that shot should be edited. I can also imagine how messy this divorce was since the Oscar Award Winning Editor, Marcia Lucas, has only been mentioned in passing from official LucasFilm books. She might have not been a writer or producer or director in the creation of Star Wars, but I can’t see a woman in her position, both as an editor and a wife, have some sort of influence on the films.
I have an innate ability to take good material and make it better, or take bad material and make it fair. I’m compulsive about it. I think I’m even an editor in real life.
The Prequels are a good example of a Magician (ego) without their better half, High Priestess (subconscious). When George Lucas made “A New Hope” he was just a film school graduate who made some interesting films. When he made “The Phantom Menace” he was GEORGE LUCAS and no one questioned his ideas or his authority. No one took him aside and told him, “I’m not so sure about this Jar Jar character.” And the only person who could say anything like that was no longer sleeping in his bed.
So, here we have Princess Leia hiding secret plans in R2D2. And then when Luke Skywalker sees a part of this message, he had to find out who this girl is as if she was a part of him.
When you compare Luke Skywalker to Princess Leia, Luke is defined by what he is doing. Princess Leia is defined by what is revealed. As we got to know Princess Leia, we assume she’s a damsel in distress, but later on we find out that she’s not a bad shot. Her love for Han Solo is hidden, even by her, although its apparent to Han Solo. She was a hidden Jedi. She never knew she was Darth Vader’s daughter or Luke Skywalker’s twin sister. Plus, that metal bikini was a revelation in and of itself.
She is the better half of Luke Skywalker, separated at birth and sort of attracted to each other in an incestuous way. When Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were being written, you could get a sense that the whole brother/sister thing was written a little later. It could have easily been written where they weren’t siblings and they lived happily ever after.
The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And… my sister has it. Yes. It’s you, Leia.
On The Khabbalistic Tree of Life, The High Priestess is associated with the path between Kether and Tiphareth. Tiphareth means “Beauty” and its associated with the heart, the sun, the son (as in Jesus Christ), other god-like men like the Buddha. Kether means “Crown” and it gets more abstract, its God in the highest. It kind of see this as a trinity. Two Sephora held together by the mysterious and sacred feminine. That if you travel past the Christ or the Buddha or the best part of yourself, you can reach the Divine, the Force.
Tao produces one
One produces two
Two produce three
Three produce myriad things
Derek Lin Translation
Do you think Luke could have ever done it without the love (as ambiguous you want to define that word) for his sister? My Dad just turned 7. I can’t imagine him living without my Mother by his side? Behind every great man is a great woman. Behind Darth Vader’s anger is his dead mother. A great Force is hidden behind your subconscious. If you do not recognize this side of yourself: the feminine, intuitive, secret, hidden side of yourself, then you might just end up with a cold, robotic, asthmatic heart. You might end up as some shriveled up old power-hungry Emperor. You might end up with too many damn Star Wars figures displayed in your room. Maybe if you got rid of half of them, you can make room for someone to share your bed with.
May The Force Be With You.
Next, The Empress (But I haven’t done that, so the next is The Hanged Man>>
More resources on the High Priestess:
The Pictorial Key to The Tarot