The World Tarot (XXI)

Key Meanings

Wholeness. Completion. Success. Travel. 

The World Tarot—Original RWSThe World—Original RWS Tarot.

Meaning of the World Tarot

The World tarot is the final card of the Major Arcana, and it shows the ending of a cycle, and it indicates accomplishment, successful completion, and a synthesis or integration of parts of your personality, energy, or life. 

It can also suggest a voyage, flight, or a long distance journey of any sort. It might indicate a move or change of location.

If you’re asking a yes/no question, then the answer is likely to be yes (depending, as ever, on the other cards you draw).

Contentment and perfection are possible meanings.

In a relationship reading, this card may suggest that you may have many opportunities to find love, and it may be suggesting that nothing major is standing in your way. 

The World is about the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new cycle in life. It’s possible that you’re about to begin a new cycle relating to your love life—while this could indicate a new relationship, it could also indicate a deepening of an existing relationship (engagement or marriage).

Similarly, in a career reading, it indicates new opportunities to find work, look for promotion, or be an encouragement to move forward with new projects.

Reversed Meanings of the World Tarot

Reversed, the World tarot can take on the opposite meanings of the above: a lack of completion or success. It might mean some kind of  inertia or stagnation. Possibly it shows a failure to complete a task, or some type of imperfection.

However, the meanings of reversed cards are not necessarily the opposites of the upright meanings.

They can be read as the same as the upright meanings, but with lesser energy, or some kind of blockage.

An internalization of energy might be indicated.

There could be delays to the upright meaning, or some sort of review might be needed.

The World Tarot—Marseille (Jean Dodal)The World—Marseille Tarot (Jean Dodal).

Images, Symbols, and More

The World tarot pictures a naked woman dancing within a wreath, representing successful completion, which the dance could be celebrating. The dancer is the Anima Mundi, the World Soul.

In each of the four corners are four faces (although pictured differently, they’re the same as the figures in the Wheel of Fortune). 

Astrologically, these are the four fixed signs of the zodiac: the man relates to Aquarius, the eagle to Scorpio, the lion to Leo, and the bull to Taurus.

The four figures are a tetramorph relating to the Four Evangelists. These four figures are also mentioned in the Book of Revelation, 4:7:

The first creature was like a lion, the second like an ox, the third had a human face, the fourth was like an eagle in flight. 

The World is related to the world of matter. In the Thoth Tarot, this card is named Universe.

Astrologically, the World tarot is related to Saturn, the timekeeper.


Major Arcana

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