The World card is the coveted reward which awaits the querent after all the trials they have weathered on their path to success and self-realisation.
The four animals who began their journey of discovery in the Wheel of Fortune as fledgling adepts have now lost their wings, relinquished their books, and have reached the pinnacle of enlightenment. They have accomplished their journey of mastery and have acquired wisdom, knowledge, self-actualisation, and spiritual ascension.
When the World appears in a reading it marks the end of a cycle: it signifies that all the requisite elements have been put in place for the querent to advance and fulfil their mission in life.
This is a card primarily concerned with the future, and as such warns that the past is not to be revisited. World travel, extreme public recognition, international links, and global trade are all indicated with the World. Given that this is a major arcana card, the likelihood of these achievements will not be insignificant.
In a more mundane sense, the World can indicate the querent's physical world around them, encompassing their dwelling, garden, and even hobbies. The World is astrologically connected with the planet Saturn which rules obligations. All things associated with the positive aspects of Saturn are indicated, such as traditional commitments (marriage for example), heritage, maturity, aptitude for occult study, and the fruits of hard earned labour.
The World is number 21 in the major arcana and fuses the qualities of these two digits. 2 represents choices, partnerships, and the need for support. 1 represents starting afresh. The sum of these digits is 3 which reflects the seed of manifestation and the beginning of life. From this we can deduce that through careful choices and self-assertion, goals and ambitions will be reached.
In the Rider Waite deck, the unclothed spirit of the Earth, sometimes known as Gaia, is surrounded by a wreath of laurel leaves symbolising accolades, power and achievement. The position of the laurels seems to protect her like a fence, hinting that she has reached an unsurpassable station in life, and that few can match her achievements. More literally, it can suggest "life coming full circle". The four animals first depicted in the Wheel of Fortune in the primary colour yellow, have now developed and are shown with more realistic nuanced colouration, reflecting how they have matured and are now whole characters. The books they had in the Wheel of Fortune are not shown in the World card, a sign that they have acquired a new level of intellectual mastery.
In a love reading the World card can either be wonderfully positive or hideously negative. If you are on the search for love, the World suggests that you will meet someone who is able to give you everything you want in life. As a couple you may even travel together and become "international citizens". If you have been waiting for a commitment from your significant other and the other cards in your reading are positive, the World card assures stability. If, however, you have been experiencing a difficult period with your partner or you are hoping that your former lover will return, the World is a most negative portent as it reflects that the connection has reached its conclusion. You are urged to take heed of the lessons learned, and to carve a new path for yourself.
In a career or work reading, the World card is almost without exception a positive card to receive. It foretells career advancement, international links, foreign travel, academic success, and public recognition. If you are enquiring about the potential success of a business venture, the World is an excellent card to have appear as it predicts, that with diligence, you will be the master of your life and domain.
Timing: Timing is dependent on card placement within a spread. However Saturn is connected to the zodiac signs Capricorn and Aquarius, so these periods may be relevant.
Major Arcana: Card 21
Astrological Correspondence: Saturn
Positive Aspects: romantic commitment, world travel, international trade, academic success, public recognition, knowledge of other cultures, charmed life, favourable outcomes, life changing beyond recognition in a positive way
Negative Aspects: Unlikely chance of reconciliation, end of a life cycle