The thirteen white stars
The star “constellation” is composed of twelve stars surrounding a central one 1. The twelve peripheral stars represent the cosmic or manifested world as it appears to us; the central star symbolizes the Centre, the Principle or Being at the origin of all manifestation.
How this manifestation proceeds comes from the Tao Te King telling: “one produced two, two produced three and three produced all numbers”. So, the next number, four, constitutes the basis of the full manifestation development. These first four numbers, the sum of which equals ten, may be arranged in four “rows” containing respectively one, two three and four stars and called Pythagorean tetraktys.
Two of these arrangements, drawn vertically and looking like arrows, are possible within the thirteen star pattern: one pointing upwards (in red) and the other downwards (in blue). Each of them represents the tetraktys: the number 1, located at the summit, refers to the Principle or Being, the number 2 to its polarization into opposites and the number 3 = 1+2 to its non-manifested and manifested aspects. These numbers have an “ontological” character while the number 4, at the basis, is equivalent to all numbers and symbolizes the universal manifestation. Indeed, the quaternary generates ten (1+2+3+4= 10) and therefore all numbers.
Both vertical arrangements are more commonly depicted as two (red and blue) triangles composing the famous Solomon seal, which may be seen at the top of the right drawing of the one dollar note (see dollar and euro). Note that both ways of drawing two vertical arrangements associated with the tetraktys, within thirteen stars laid out according to a central symmetry, are the only possible 2.
The star situated at the Centre is also central for both red and blue arrangements. So, these arrangements meet in perfect harmony in relation to the central star representing the Principle or Being. Moreover, the arrangement pointing upwards (in red) and related to fire has a celestial nature while the one pointing downwards and associated with water (in blue) has a terrestrial nature. Therefore, the “constellation” symbolizes the perfect union of celestial and terrestrial aspects realized within the “Universal Man”, mediator par excellence between Heaven and Earth. In properly Christian terms, the union between divine and human nature is personified by the Christ, who really has this mediator role.