The World

lled The Globe, One-ness, The Universe.

Attainment & Liberation

"The microcosm, the sum of all in all.  This Universal Arcanum, the final and eternal secret of transcendent initiation, is represented in the Tarot by a naked girl, who touches the earth only by one foot, has a magnetic rod in each hand, and seems to be running in a crown held up by an angel, an eagle, a bull, and a lion.  Fundamentally, the figure is analogous to the cherub of Jekeskiel, of which a representation is given, and to the Indian symbol of ADDA-NARI, which again is analogous to the ADONAI of Jekeskiel, who is vulgarly called Ezekiel.  The comprehension of this figure is the key of all occult sciences."
-Eliphas Levi, The Doctrine and Ritual of Transcendental Magic, 1885

Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, The Glastonbury Tarot, England, 1999
Using vividly-colored, slightly abstracted figures, the British artist Lisa Tenzin-Dolma draws on the legends of the Holy Grail and other mythologies for her Glastonbury arcana.

The World is the twenty-first and final key to the Major Arcana in Tarot.  The Element of The World is Earth and the planetary affiliation is with Saturn.

Qualities of The World are Catharsis, Totality, and Completion.  Alternative names for The World are The Globe, One-ness, and The Universe.  Symbols are Dancing Figure, Wreath of Laurels, Lion, Bull, Cherub, Eagle, and Zodiac.

In German the World is called Die Welt.  In French, Le Monde.  And in Italian, Il Mondo.

SYMBOLOGY

A woman draped in a purple cloth dances joyfully at the center of the World card, one leg crossed over the other, and in each hand, a wand.  She is the symbol of balance and evolution, her dance dynamic and ever changing.  A green oval wreath of laurels frame her body, signifying victory, completion, the cycle of birth and renewal.  In traditional decks, a figure appears in each corner of the card, the same figures on the Wheel of Fortune card:  a lion, bull, cherub, and eagle.  These creatures represent the zodiac signs of Leo, Taurus, Aquarius and Scorpio, as well as the four elements and evangelicals.  Together, they symbolize the harmony between all energy, the World card itself signifying congruence and completion.

ATTRIBUTES

The Fool has arrived at both the end and the start of his journey.  He has struggled, persisted, and evolved.  The World signifies catharsis, the ultimate unity of inner and outer self.  Everything is connected.  The World embodies nirvana and enlightenment, the ecstatic realization that the individual is forever joined with the larger whole.  The World celebrates the summit reached, union attained.  And with this realization comes an uncontainable joy.  The World says, "YES."  It asks for gratitude and revelry, the joining in with great cosmic dance.  The student has become master, and just as the World card marks the end of one quest, it also hails the beginning of another. 

Ferenc Pinter, Tarot of the Imagination, Italy, 2001
Mining the subconscious for his surrealistic interpretations of the Tarot, the Italian artist Ferenc Pinter created a densely symbolic modern iconography for his Imagination deck.