Upright: Completion, integration, accomplishment, travel
Reversed: Lack of completion, lack of closure
In the centre of the World is a dancing figure, rejoicing in the completion of the journey and celebrating not only this completion but also the new beginnings it promises. The dancer has one leg crossed over the other, just like the Hanged man. She is, in a sense, his opposite (i.e. the Hanged Man upright). As the Hanged Man looks infinitely inward, the dancer in the World card looks infinitely outward. In each of her hands she holds a wand or baton, representative of evolution and balance. She is surrounded by a thick, green wreath, symbolic of success, victory, achievement and accomplishment, and tied with the red ribbons of eternity. The red ribbons form the infinity symbol, representing the infinite rewards of positive effort in improving both ourselves and those around us. Within the laurel wreath are stars of light indicating attainment of enlightenment or cosmic consciousness.
The figures in each of the four corners of the World card are the same figures that appear on the Wheel of Fortune. Interestingly, the World card is very much associated with the Wheel of Fortune, reflecting the cyclical progression of time and the human experience. The four figures (a lion, bull, cherub and eagle) represent the four fixed signs of the zodiac – Leo, Taurus, Aquarius and Scorpio. These are symbolic of the four elements, four suits of the Tarot, four compass points, four seasons, and the four corners of the universe. And all are within the dancer’s sight and power. The planetary ruler is Saturn, the symbol of time.
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The World signifies completion, achievement and fulfilment. All of your efforts are finally paying off and you have reached the end of a journey or have completed a major life cycle. You have endured hardships and challenges along the way but these have only made you stronger and significantly wiser and more experienced than when you first started on your journey.
A long-term project, period of study, relationship, or career has come full circle and you are now feeling a sense of closure as well as achievement and accomplishment. It could represent a graduation, a marriage, the birth of a child (representing the end of a pregnancy), or the attainment of a long held dream or aspiration. You have finally accomplished your goal or purpose. Everything has come together, and you are in the right place, doing the right thing, achieving what you have envisioned, and feeling fulfilled and complete. In this sense, the World card also heralds new beginnings that naturally emerge out of the completion cycle.
There will also be well-earned praise, celebration and success for your achievements, and if there is not, then you had better organise something because you have worked incredibly hard to get here! All of your hard work, devotion, and planning has finally paid off and it is well worth celebrating!If you have not quite reached this point of completion, you are very close! You need to attain a degree of understanding that enables you to graduate to a higher level and enjoy real success. This rare time of culmination must be identified and honoured. Look at the past month / six months / year and think about how far you have come and what you have achieved. You may be quite surprised at your progress and how much you have worked towards completing the cycle of success. You may also see the projects you are currently working on have even better results than expected.
The World also represents a period where you can see the entire process or system for what it is and you understand your place within that system. This card is about a deeper understanding of your role and your impact within a certain environment and where you truly ‘fit’. This card can also point to a strong feeling of unity and wholeness with the world or in a particular situation. Everything is starting to fall into place and you can be ‘one’ with the situation.
You will be more involved in your community or interests. You have a strong desire to contribute, to ‘give back’, or to use a special gift or talent to help make the world a better place. You are coming from a good place now of love, knowledge and experience and you are ready to share this with others.
From a more literal perspective, the World can indicate world travel, particularly on a large scale. You may be lucky enough to be embarking on a six month overseas trip, or are working/studying/living overseas for an extended period of time. Similarly, this card reinforces universal understanding and global awareness. Wherever you will go, you will encounter new experiences and welcoming hosts who will embrace you and invite you into their worlds.
Upright, the World represents completion. When reversed, however, the World suggests that you are trying to achieve completion in your life but you may not be taking all the steps necessary to achieve your goals. There is a tendency to take the easiest or quickest path to attain your goal but often this does not lead to the outcome you had originally intended. Instead, through facing up to the challenges along the way, you will learn and grow exponentially and will feel such an amazing sense of achievement when you finally make it to your goal. So, do not be afraid to set yourself ‘stretch’ goals, even if it means enduring hardships or challenges along the way. This will make victory even sweeter.
The reversed World can also indicate a time when you are close to reaching completion but for whatever reason, you lose focus and slack off right at the end. You only have a short way to go, so why lose focus now? Re-energise yourself and remind yourself how wonderful life will be when you have finally reached your goal.
You may also be experiencing a lack of closure in your life, preventing you from embarking on the next journey or challenge. I often see this reversed card when a relationship suddenly comes to an end without explanation. The partner cannot make sense of what has happened and is struggling to come to terms with the end of the relationship. Things are left unsaid and people are left hanging, not knowing what to expect or where they stand. If you see the reversed World in a reading, look to the other cards in the reading to identify what needs closure and how you can finally reach your point of completion.
Sometimes, the reversed World can indicate that desired change will be delayed and that more time and energy must be devoted to your project or life transition before you can experience the promised completion. This may feel very frustrating but patience and perseverance will pay off in the end. You may feel stifled, even trapped but do not give up. Keep on a steady course for now.