Introduction To The Major Arcana Part 5: The World

The World represents completion, first and foremost. The picture shows a naked woman. She is dancing inside of a laurel wreath, which, in some Tarot sets, may be an ouroboros. Around her are the four faces of the tetramorph: ox, lion, eagle, and man. These are the faces of the four living creatures seen by the prophet Ezekiel. They are also the four elements of earth, wind, water, and fire, and the four fixed Zodiacs that bear those elements. The woman holds a wand in each hand, similarly to the Magician. This shows that the World is a completion of the Magician card. The woman's head looks backward, to her past, while her body walks forward on her journey.

The Upright World represents the positive aspects of this arcanum. The completion and globality of the World are present. In romance, this can mean an ideal relationship or an ideal future. What you have always wished for is coming to pass. In finance, it means success, whatever success means in your current phase of life. A promotion, a new job, or especially moving to a new location to pursue a new line of work. The World has connotations of newness along with its central message of completeness. A new event in life where everything falls together is the basic idea of the World.

The Reversed World represents one of two things: The World's basic message taken to an unhealthy extreme, or the reverse of that method. The World is about freshness and completion. So the unhealthy extreme of that would be a completion that leaves you stagnant, where everything is finished and you're left itching for something new. The negation of it would be the total absence of completion, a completion that is held just out of reach.

In a past-present-future spread, The World means the following:

  1. As past, the World means the completion that your present stability is based on. Whatever you have now is based on the accomplishments that most recently reached completion in your life. The Upright World in your past shows a positive influence on your present situation. The Reversed World as past means that things came to completion, but not exactly in the way you wanted, and that you are now living out the burden of that legacy. It can also mean that things were complete and just fine, but grew stagnant.
  2. As present, the World means that you've arrived. Now is a time to enjoy the completion that has come to you, or that is right around the corner. Everything has come together, and now is a time to either enjoy the fruits of your labors, or introspect about what comes next. The reversed World in this position points to the negative aspects of the arcanum. It means that you are feeling a sense of completion, but something is missing.
  3. As future, the World means that your ship will soon come in. The Upright World in this context means that you are approaching completion and will soon enjoy the fruits of your labor, which will be a bumper crop. The Reversed World in this position is calling you to reconsider what is truly important to you, and to re-jig it if necessary. Remember that you are the only person whose opinion truly counts in the end.

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