The World

Alt names: The Universe
Keywords: Wholeness, integration, totality, completeness, fullness
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Range of meanings

Light: Having it all. Knowing and loving yourself as completely as possible. Seeing the interconnection of all things and people. Enhancing your perspective. Living life to its fullest. Understanding the meaning of life.

Shadow: Allowing greed and envy to prevent you from enjoying what you do possess. Failing to see the larger design in ordinary events. Believing that everything that exists can be touched, counted, or measured. Failing to see the divine reflected in those around you.

Questions to ask

  1. If you examine the current situation in light of past events, what next step makes the most sense?
  2. What might happen if you put both your magical and practical powers to work today?
  3. For you, what would having it all mean?
  4. How aware are you of your own connectedness to the world around you?
  5. What keeps you from having it all right now, today?


Personal Growth: For most challenges, both intuitive and logical approaches exist. Most of us favor one over the other, but the secret to true mastery involves learning to wield both with perfect facility. Identify your least favorite approach, and then speed your growth by giving it special attention.

Work: Synergy! It’s possible for everyone involved to work together in harmony to create something better than any one person could produce on his or her own. Encourage people to share ideas. Allow others to share in the investment—and the glory. Unite and meet your goals.

Relationships: With mutual trust and effort, very different people can come together to create a reality greater than the sum of its parts. Once you have a taste of what can be, settling for less will be difficult. Keep in mind, though, that a dream of perfection can foster dissatisfaction with an otherwise perfectly good relationship.

Spirituality: Enlightenment is a goal; reaching it is bliss. Rather than beat yourself up for falling short, celebrate your progress. Meantime, keep in mind the lesson of the Tarot: Even as we reach one level of enlightenment, we become a fool again.

Fortune-Telling: Winning the lottery. Getting your heart’s desire. Having everything you ever imagined having.


Planet: Saturn

Hebrew: Tau/Cross/400

Archetype: Enlightenment

Religions: The ascended Christ. The Buddha attaining enlightenment. The alpha and the omega. The completion of the alchemist’s great work.

Fool's Journey: The main character lives happily ever after.

The Number 3: Getting Results: expression, productivity, output.

Mandalora: Both the Marseilles and RWS-inspired decks surround the central figure with a wreath, or mandalora. Like the oroborous, the snake that swallows its own tail, the mandalora has no beginning or end. Its shape also suggests the number zero -- the designation of the Fool.

The Four Evangelists: Four winds of heaven, the four corners of the earth, four seasons, four classical elements, four fixed signs of the zodiac, and four Gospels. Matthew, who looks human, traced the human lineage of Christ. Mark, the Lion, wrote of someone crying/roaring in the wilderness. Luke, the Ox, focused on Jesus as a sacrifice. John, the Eagle, emphasized the mystical, higher nature of the Christ.

World Figure: The Wheel has been replaced by the victorious central figure, indicating that luck and fate have given way to the greater force of self-realization. In the Visconti deck, the central figure is a white city: the New Jerusalem. In some decks, it is the Christ. In others, it appears to be a hermaphrodite -- the ultimate reunion of male and female energies in a single body.

Baton: In many decks, the central figure holds a baton; in RWS-influenced decks, he or she holds two. This is no longer the singular wand of the Magician!

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via