The world tarot card is the final step of the journey, the last among the major arcana, and in a way can be seen as a final conclusion that holds all the lessons that the tarot had to teach through all the other major arcana that came before. With this final step, the cycle is over and the initiate is ready for enlightenment and ascension before the wheel turns and starts again.
Traditional meanings associated with the World card
The Fool’s journey through the arcane secrets of the tarot is finally over when the world tarot card has been reached. The most important lessons in life have been taught throughout this journey and the World card represents the final sum of all these lessons, preparing the body, mind, and soul for ascension to another state of being, before the cycle begins a new. This is an extremely positive card that promises happiness and success, a just reward for all the efforts that have been provided so far.
Upright: Fulfillment, achievements, integration, unity, and success.
Reversed: Inertia, stagnation, and final obstacle.
Upright world tarot card meaning
The beautiful, flying, naked woman taking center stage in the world tarot card is meant to represent absolute perfection and illumination. The fusion of the sacred and the profane, of human nature with the divine. She seems to be dancing within a large laurel wreath, itself surrounded with four figures: a man, an eagle, a bull, and a lion. This can either be seen as a nod to the throne of God in the book of revelations, or merely as symbols for the four classical elements (Earth, Water, Air, Fire). The dancing woman is holding two wands, one in each hand, echoing the one held by the Magician in the first numbered arcanum in the tarot deck (disregarding the fool as a special case).
The World represents the final moment in a spiritual journey where the seeker has finally reached enlightenment and is ready to ascend before the cycle begins again with the innocent Fool starting the cycle anew.
This is an extremely positive card, usually displaying some kind of inner harmony with your environment and the universe at large. It is a sign that some important goal has been achieved and that you now stand ready to share the lessons you have learned with the rest of the world, or move on to the next project. Wisdom will light the path of those who have reached this stage.
Reversed World card meaning
While the extremely positive essence of the world tarot card cannot be completely erased when it appears reversed in a reading, it nonetheless comes with a warning and can be the sign of a final obstacle standing on your path now that your final goal is ultimately within reach.
More often than not, this final obstacle is the result of any lingering doubt that might lurk in your mind, something that makes you question your own worth, skills, or abilities. These doubts can lock you in a state of inertia and stagnation, and the only way out is to gather enough willpower to push through and embrace your true nature.
The Fool’s Journey
If the Fool was satisfied with their own judgment, they are free to move on to the final step in their journey. Solving the puzzle of their own identity and self from all the pieces gathered on their journey through the 22 arcana of the tarot, the Fool’s journey ends in the World tarot card, when they finally become one with the world around them, in perfect harmony.
The cycle is over, but the Fool now understands that this sort of end is nothing but a new beginning, because nothing ever truly ends. Their body, mind, and soul have been irrevocably altered by their journey through the major arcana of the tarot, and soon they will deliberately become a candid and innocent fool again, starting the cycle anew, each time improving themselves and growing the power, knowledge, and wisdom of their soul.
The World in love tarot and meditation
The World is one of the best cards that can be drawn in a tarot spread meant to explore a relationship or a loving relationship. Indeed, it is a sign that this particular union can be a source of bliss and contentment, where each person in the relationship completes and illuminates the other, and vice versa. This usually means that this union will be stronger than the sum of its parts, and can look ahead in the same direction, building a happy future together.
Even if the World is an extremely positive card among the major arcana, this might be one of the most difficult to use for personal meditation. Indeed, the World is meant to represent enlightenment and personal illumination, and this is something that is quite difficult to fathom if you are simply not there yet in your own spiritual journey.
However, while not for the faint of heart, this exercise can be extremely rewarding because it reminds you of the final step on your journey, and can strengthen your courage and motivation to deal with any obstacle or hardship on your way.