Fifth card in The House of Suns (aka The Cosmos,) The Fallen Star is a card of ephemeral grandeur, temporary prominence, and the passing of what we thought enduring. This card is curious amongst the invariable Cosmos, The Fate of Stars, for it shows their grand illusion for the facade it is.
It is often a card of sorrow, and loss, and yet a bright flare of hope in an ageless world. All we have is a glimmer, all we know passes. It is as implied among its siblings one of the greatest cards of Illusion, and foolish presumptions. It shows that little is as we perceive it. The Fallen Star is not a star at all, but for a moment outshines many. The stars we think permanent change. Our understanding, and perspective changes. That which is enduring most often is also cyclical.
Reversed this card is the Comet, and the ephemeral becomes no more than what waxes and wanes. Repetitions, and returns. A card of ascendance, with an implied warning, as a new light in the sky, chases the sun. Yet the price of such a rise, is well known. None have ever taken the sky’s throne.
Here we see an odd arrangement of constellations not found together in the night sky. The Vessel (aka Traveler) The Ladle, and The Scythe. One looks not to the prominence of stars however, but to what thoughts drove mortals to see such images in the sky.
Before 200 B.E. The Scythe constellation would first rise above the equator on the first evening of Anumn, during the festival of harvests in Anderhale. This event drifted twenty days later over the next four hundred years, but has come nearly full circle back in the intervening centuries.
Below this we find The Ladle, half a sky out of position. The constellation Supper Minora appears after sunset for a few hours in latitudes north of the Sea of Helm. It is more visible in the summer. The Southern Ladle conversely is only visible north of Napir during late winter. It is larger, and has two more stars in the handle. Similarly though it is an evening constellation, and so it is popular in many lands to say:
“When stars a ruddy cooling sky stir, and twinkle doth the handle shine, tis then a right and proper time, for all good children to dine.”
Children’s Rhyme, possibly pre-imperial Napirees, or Thebian.
Lastly, and even more dramatically out of position The Vessel, or Traveler is a constellation never seen bellow the latitude of the North Sea. Here again harkening to the Comet interpretation of the card. “What travels returns. All that rises falls.”
In addition to The Scythe, The Tower clearly makes an appearance here as well. The mortal folly of standing against the inevitable, and yet, it stands. We have only our determination to endure.
Most interpret these details as all maters of cycles, and returns. Both that which is earned, and that which meets the worthy, innocent, and cruel in certain measure. As many cards of The Cosmos. The Fallen star is the certain of variability, and the variability in the certain. From the meal we must all eat to live, to the wages of life being death, and what goes around comes around. To the wanderlust that drives us out to seek a grander place. To prognosticate, and write our little fates in the stars.
This brings a final interpretation, with the card reversed. The Traveler Returns. What is wayward and wandering, comes back to where it began. Just as the procession of the stars have nearly brought the Scythe full circle.