(The above image is a copy of The World card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 7 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
After 21 cards, we have finally reached the end of the tarot deck with the completion of The Fool's journey. The World card is about accomplishment, about spiritual enlightenment, and about the knowledge that comes with experience. If you receive this card in your reading, take a moment to reflect on the road that got you there.
For more information about The World card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – WOMAN’S POSE
The central figure of the card, the nude woman, forms a unique pose that illustrates a paradox. The top-half of her body faces left, looking at the past, while the bottom-half of her body points to the right, moving toward the future. These two opposites, the past and the future, are balanced out in the woman’s body, causing her to be in the middle of the card, or in the present time.
Point 2 – TWO WANDS
The nude woman carries two wands. This is a callback and a completion of the image made in The Magician. While the magician held one wand (the conscious I), the woman in The World card holds two wands (the conscious I and the conscious you). The woman thus recognizes herself and the outside world around her, creating a paradoxical union between the subjective experience and the objective world.
Point 3 – PURPLE SASH
Wrapping around the woman is a purple sash. The sash coils is away that could be interpreted as either going up or going down; this thus matches the paradoxical movement of the snake and the Anubis in The Wheel of Fortune card. Historically, the color purple is seen as the color of royalty, making the sash a symbol of the woman’s authority.
Point 4 – WREATH
Circling the woman is a green wreath. This wreath can symbolize the cycles of life or the cycle of Tarot; while The World signals the end of current tarot journey, it also signals the beginning of the next one.
Point 5 – RED RIBBON
Tied around the two poles of the wreath are red ribbons. Theses ribbons resemble the infinity sign, signaling another callback to The Magician card. These ribbons not only illustrate the never-ending cycle of tarot, their red color symbolize the passion and vitality one gets from completing the journey.
Point 6 – FOUR HEADS IN THE CORNERS
The four heads in the corners of the card are a direct callback to The Wheel of Fortune card, They represent the four zodiacs (Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, and Scorpio), the four elements, the four minor tarot suits, and the four corners of the earth.
Point 7 – TAROT NUMBER
Some scholars have noted that the sum of the digits for The World card is 3, which is the number for The Empress. The difference between these two cards is 18, which is the number for The Moon, a card closely aligned with the feminine divine. Taken these three cards together, The World card transforms into an illustration of female deliverance.
An Upright World symbolizes completion. It is the end of The Fool’s journey. You have reached a graduation of spiritual maturity. Take a moment to reflect on the long road that led you here and appreciate all of the trials, epiphanies, and self-discovery that came about during the journey.
A Reverse World suggest that you are seeking completion or closure for something, perhaps a big project or a past relationship. A roadblock, however, is preventing that from happening. Take a moment to self-reflect and meditate. Work around any pushback you are receiving and do what you can to reach that completion.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.