The World Tarot Card, A Complete Guide!


The World Tarot Card, A Complete Guide!

The World rings in at number twenty-one in the Major Arcana, preceded by the intensity of Judgement. The journey has been marked by foolish beginnings, calls to action, chaos, healing, uncertainty, and growth. Now we stand at the end, looking down on all of our worldly achievements and struggles.

A naked woman dances, surrounded by a laurel wreath, an honor awarded to the classic poets and scholars, its circular shape representing cycles and wholeness. The vulnerability of her skin is draped in purple cloth, a symbol of royalty.

She looks over her shoulder at the past, the wands in her hands reminding us of The Magician. The manifestations he one promised us are finally coming to fruition.

A lion, bull, cherub, and eagle surround her, reminding us of The Wheel Of Fortune, who once graced us with the constant ups and downs of life. These animals serve as our guides as we finish one journey and begin another, bringing to mind the balance of the four elements, the four cardinal directions, the four corners of the universe, and the four fixed signs of the zodiac— Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, and Scorpio.

In this comprehensive guide to The World Tarot card, we seek to reflect upon the story of The Major Arcana and explore what comes at the conclusion of an adventure.

What does The World Tarot card mean?

The World appears when you are standing at the end of something, a journey or project, and are filled with a satisfying sense of wholeness. You have come full circle and it is time to revel in the closure that you feel.

The successes of the world can take many forms, perhaps you’ve reached a goal in your workouts, mastered a new skill, or overcome an old fear. If you haven’t reached a milestone yet, then one is certainly on the horizon! No journey is too small to be honored by The World.

The World asks us to look at our achievements holistically. How did you come to stand here? What did you learn along the way? Most importantly, The World asks “What next?”

Life progresses in cycles. When one journey comes to an end, we must use our joy and confidence to propel us into our next journey. Wear your accomplishments proudly! While it may be tempting to stay at this high, we must remember that we cannot be masters of everything.

While we may be worldly and wise regarding one matter, we are always The Fool in another. Even the most knowledgeable and talented people you know are naive in some areas! The World encourages you to chase your next adventure and stay hungry for the experience you’ve gained along the way.

The World is also known to point to physical travel. When in foreign settings, we must be sure to honor all that is around us and seek to learn as much as we can so that we may carry that knowledge with us wherever we go next.

The World card Keywords:

  • Completion
  • Integration
  • Travel
  • Growth
  • Reflection
  • Accomplishment
  • Possibility
  • Fulfillment
  • Wholeness
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Mastery
  • Cycles
  • Change
  • Success
  • Pause

What does The World card Mean when Reversed?

While The Upright World feeds on our accomplishment and perseverance, The Reversed World questions the nature of our journey.

In the reversed position, The World cites goals that do not serve us. It is time to let go and move into a future of acceptance and new possibilities.

We all have at least one nagging thing in the back of our minds that begs for closure. Maybe it’s an old ex or an unpleasant memory or an issue regarding body image. These personal journeys may stretch on and on endlessly, leaving us feeling frustrated and unmotivated. This stagnation is a sign that The Reversed World calls our attention to.

Delays in progress often come from attempting to take shortcuts through matters that require a daunting amount of patience and energy. The Reversed World presents us with a choice: Either buckle in and see these difficult matters through to the end or release them.

You may be working on something you can’t change and could be spending your energies bettering yourself instead.

The Reversed World is a call to attention. There are endings in sight, but we must judge if they are worth our strength or if we are taking the necessary steps to get there. There is no shame in admitting misdirection. This card is a warning that our journeys are not easy and will require a great amount of work. Now is the time to weigh the goal and decide if it is worth it.

The World card Reversed Keywords:

  • Delays
  • Short-Cuts
  • Stagnation
  • Burden
  • Failed Plans
  • Personal Closure
  • Lost Focus
  • Emptiness
  • Incompleteness
  • Failed Plans
  • Misdirection
  • Unsuccessfulness

What does The Star mean in Others’ Perception of You?

When others see us through the lens of The World, it is bittersweet.

They look upon you with pride for your accomplishments but realize that they have no more to teach you. You are a role model to those around you for your successes and their perception of you may be in a state of transformation as you prove your competence.

Many may see you as a bit out of reach. There’s always one person that we think is “too cool” for us or “out of our league.” There’s a chance that you may fall into this category for them. Your wisdom and skill may be a bit intimidating yet still revered.

You are seen as someone who has no more to gain from another person. You are self-sufficient and independent. There are many who aspire to be like you. It may be your turn to take on the role of a master or teacher for others so that you may share the knowledge you have collected.

In it’s reversed position, The World points to others seeing you as incomplete. There is a lack of stability that surrounds you and it seems as if you are a bit directionless. This could turn you into a cautionary tale of sorts for those around you who are looking for success.

If this card makes a reversed appearance when inquiring about others’ perceptions of you, though, do not despair. It simply means that there is plenty of room for you to share your talents and gifts with the world.

Do not be afraid to open yourself to the teachings of those that surround you.

What does The World mean in Love?

The World is a sign that things are about to get serious. The right path has been followed and everything is coming together. Your journey has led you to a milestone and The Universe is applauding the strength of your relationship.

Love is a difficult but beautiful road to travel, and The World asks you to draw upon the positive and beautiful things that come with love to fuel you in the final sprint to your next major milestone.

For one seeking a partner, a first date or beginning of a relationship may be on the horizon. An existing couple might be looking towards moving in together, getting married, or having a baby.

The World promises satisfaction and is a sign of proper preparation. Many of these big events like marriages and new relationships tower over us and can fill us with a sense of anxiety. This card says that you are prepared to take on these big steps. Everything you’ve experienced with this person thus far has left you with the tools to continue forward.

When reversed, The World points to stagnation in a relationship. Things are getting repetitive and the spark to move forward is fading. An integral step in getting to know one another or communicating may have been overlooked.

The World Reversed makes one thing very clear in love: Don’t settle! Seek new and better heights in love whenever possible. Life is a series of cycles, much like the turning of The Wheel of Fortune. Now is the time to find new ways to keep it moving.

 What does The World mean in Friendship?

When we ask The World to guide us in matters of friendship, it speaks to the cyclical nature of your relationship. You are about to try something new hand in hand. No matter what state your friendship is in, The World puts anxieties to rest, confirming your need for one another in your lives.

Trends and fads come and go, but your friendship is meant to last. Don’t be afraid to partake in these trends as you may discover a new activity that you and a friend enjoy. Give yourself to whatever you choose to do but remember to move hand in hand. Your energies are in line and you will be stronger together.

Much like the tides that make up seventy percent of our world, friendships have their ups, downs, ebbs, and flows. If you are feeling worried about the state of friendship or unsure that it has the strength to last, The World asks you to hold fast to this friend.

You are about to come to a high point in your cycle together that will strengthen your bond and make it clear just how much you need one another.

In it’s reversed position, The World points to a plateau in your bond with a friend. It may seem as if they’ve outgrown you or you are unable to keep up. Remember that in relationships, we cannot take shortcuts. We must learn to understand and accept the various aspects of the people we surround ourselves with. Ignoring one thing or another makes it difficult for cycles to progress.

This card reversed may also note that a friendship is not worth saving. You might be fighting a losing battle in the name of someone who will not help you to grow. It is time to accept that you deserve better and release them. Always seek to move forward.

What does The World mean in Career?

Your days of fetching coffee for the higher-ups are coming to an end when The World makes an appearance in your career reading.

The World symbolizes career goals being met. All of your hard work, uncertainty, and stress will be worth it. You are about to come into a leadership role of some kind. Don’t forget to be open to what those below you may have to teach you, though.

This might not mean you are going to become the CEO of your company overnight. Your competence will be recognized, though, and those around you find you reliable and skilled. A goal could be met and praise is coming your way.

If you are feeling stuck in your current position, The World says that the climate to break away and become your own boss is right. You must be the master of your own life, and this card gives you the go-ahead to do so. You have the necessary skills and expertise to do so.

So often we are discouraged from chasing after the careers we truly want and are advised to play it safe. The World rejects this idea and encourages you to be bold and take what it is you genuinely want. Let your mastery shine and your confidence propel you. Don’t be afraid to enter a world in which you have much to learn.

Reversed, The World shows that you may be feeling stuck. There is only one way out of this stagnation, and it is to hunker down and do your job to the very best of your ability— no matter how mundane or not ideal it may be. You are going to have to prove yourself in order to earn mobility.

There is no room for slacking or cutting corners. Even the jobs we don’t want to do deserve our full attention in order to lead us to the positions we desire.

What does The World mean in Conflict?

The World denotes a conflict that you are above. The wisdom you bring to the table is illuminating, but it falls upon deaf ears. It is best to move forward from this situation and not allow it to waste your time and energy.

Sometimes there’s just no way to change someone’s mind. Conflicts like these can feel like shouting at a brick wall. This battle is not worth your focus and it is time to respectfully back away.

You have followed along path to gain the wisdom and knowledge that you carry with you. You may be opposed by someone who is not willing to honor your experiences and learn from what it is you have to say. This is a fight that will do nothing but keep you from progressing

Think of how the woman in the Rider-Waite deck’s imagery floats above the world. Let this depiction guide you as you rise above petty conflicts that do not serve you. Keep your head held high, this is a battle that is below you.

If you come face to face with The Reversed World when inquiring about conflict, it is time to reconsider your position in the disagreement.

Be sure to take into account the wisdom that your opponent has and note the wisdom that you may be lacking. There is something to learn from this fight. Do not let your stubbornness blind you.

Focus more on learning and progressing than the elusive notion of being right. There is no shame in admitting defeat or changing your perspective.

In fact, actions such as these will prove your maturity and heighten your status in the eyes of others.

The World as a Desire.

A person whose desires align with The World is seeking completion. They are wishing to break free from the confines imposed upon them and assume a higher form through travel, study, and work.

This is a person who recognizes what they have to learn and wants to suck the marrow from every subject they encounter. This is a person who wants more from life and wants to find the missing piece that will fill that nagging empty space in the back of their mind.

The World signifies a desire for adventure and a willingness to take in all of the sights, sounds, and wisdom available to them. There is a want for experience and to be seen as credible and a need to be able to speak with authority on a wide variety of subjects.

When your desires mirror The World, you are in pursuit of movement and are seeking to cast off the petty things that hold you back. You are looking to be supported by love ones and teachers as you charge down uncertain paths with confidence.

A person whose desires look like The Reversed World is a person who needs a break. Sometimes life grates us down and we find ourselves wishing for a moment’s pause. We find ourselves saying “there’s got to be an easier way to do this!”

This person is seeking a shortcut or a way to put in minimal effort in order to make it to the end of a project. They are not currently moved to action by a want to grow, but rather a desire for rest. Their journey has left them weary and they are looking to “tap out” even if just for a day or two.

Is The World a Yes or a No?

The Major Arcana is sure to end on a positive note with The World existing as a resounding yes.

It is the nature of The World to move in never-ending cycles and this card asks us to keep said cycles in motion. You possess the necessary skills and tools to move forward in your endeavors. You are called to have confidence in your choices and know that you are moving along the correct path.  The World is a “Yes.”

Our world is forever rotating on its axis and stops for no one and nothing, all while revolving around the sun year after year. The World card encourages you to take inspiration from this celestial dance and press forward.

Now is the time to have unwavering faith in yourself. Consider your journey and the hardships you’ve faced. You’ve made it this far, right? There is no turning back now and the cycle must continue forward. Have no fear as you plunge into the future. You are well equipped.

We are often quick to write reversed cards off as an immediate no, but The World walks to the beat of its own drum, its reverse also existing in yes or no readings as a yes.

The Reversed World seeks to pull you back up onto your feet. There is something currently lacking in your motivation and work ethic and this card wants to see you succeed. It serves as a symbol to keep relentlessly pushing forward and putting in the hard work that it takes to grasp onto your goals.

It rejects negative and self-deprecating thoughts and orders us to “pull it together!” The World knows that we have the power within us, and when reversed notes that we are not utilizing it to the best of our abilities. Look at this card like a jumpstart to our spiritual core, pushing us in the right direction.

Here’s an article that talks more about yes or no questions: “How to us Tarot for Yes or No Answers

The World as Advice and Action

The World serves as an invitation to tie up your loose ends. Closure should be valued above all else. It brings with it the spiritual rest and recharge that you deserve as you are called to take up a new journey.

The World is all about closure and moving forward into new and exciting territory. It is impossible for us to plunge into new projects when we are dragging our old ones behind us.

The World suggests that it is time to seal the deal and wrap things up in one pursuit and begin the search for another. There is no more you can do.

When in an advice position, The World places a heavy focus on expansion, be it a broadening of your worldview, knowledge, business, or skill set. The World encourages you to seek wholeness and brings our attention to just how much of ourselves we have yet to explore. Never rule anything out. In your work to become a Jack of all trades, you may find the one thing that truly makes your soul tick.

When reversed, The World advises that we reevaluate the things we are chasing after. This is a sign that it’s time to let go.

You are left with unfinished business that is dragging you down and has been haunting you for quite some time now. There is no way to move forward when we are anchored to our past. The time has come to honor this struggle and release it from yourself.

We are only human. Not every journey will be a success, but it is important that we try. The World Reversed is giving you the okay to move on from this particular roadblock. You gave it your best and you should be proud.

The World as Emotions.

When The World manifests itself as a feeling, it may go unnoticed. It is far from the discord that The Tower sews but does not compare to the explosive joy of The Sun. It can’t even be compared to the quiet hope of the star.

The World brings with it a feeling of contentedness. You are feeling whole and your spirit is finally able to relax. This is a subtle feeling that gives you the power to go about your days confidently and without a hitch.

When we are sure of ourselves, the things that we do feel like second nature. The World personifies this feeling on a spiritual level. Energies are balanced and your attentions are free to wander wherever they please. The World is an indicator that all systems are green. Whatever it is you want to do, even if it’s simply to get through the day, you are equipped and ready.

The World brings with it a sense of underlying pride. It feels good when we have it together! Feeling whole makes us feel like the best versions of ourselves and it’s hard not to feel like we’re glowing as we walk down the street. This is a feeling of safety within ourselves. We know that our gifts will bring us to our desires.

In terms of feelings, The Reversed World makes us aware of feeling of impatience.

There are big things in the horizon, and we can’t wait to get there. It is important that we trust in ourselves and The Universe and know that in tandem, they will deliver us at the doorstep of our desires.

Think of how the woman pictured on the Rider-Waite card is guided by a lion, bull, cherub and eagle. We are sent guides by nature and we must trust in their ability to lead us.

This does not mean there isn’t hard work to be done. Impatience and frustration must be replaced with determination and drive. We will not magically move forward in our journeys if we are not prepared to walk.

The World as a Situation.

In its past position, The World places heavy emphasis on open-mindedness.

When describing a situation, The World notes that you are at the completion of one cycle. Everything has come full circle and it is time to be on the lookout for a new cycle to begin. We must keep ourselves open the endless possibilities that lie before us.

“Now what?” we ask as we stand at the end of a long-term project. In response, The World says “everything.” It can be difficult to step out of our comfort zones and try new things, but if we don’t, we risk our favorite things becoming stale and closing ourselves off to the vast world of opportunity that lies before us.

The World is telling you that you have reached this point of transition. Perhaps you’ve mastered The Tarot and are switching over to rune readings! Your next journey may take an unexpected form. Maybe you’re a master painter who has never played on a sports team before. It is crucial that you stay open to what may seem like odd choices.

The World Reversed is a call to slow down. You are currently in a situation in which you have too much on your plate. You are trying to dive into too many things at once when you have yet to become proficient in any of them.

This denotes a stage of development. It is alright to focus on one thing at a time and take your time to complete unfinished business. You currently risk burning out and causing even more delays in your progress. One step at a time. There is no need to rush.

The World as an Obstacle.

When we find The World in a crossing position, it questions our trust in The Universe. Energy is being wasted in an attempt to control what is out of our reach. This blocks us from necessary relaxation and rest.

In every situation, there are factors that we cannot exert power over, such as the weather on the day of an outdoor wedding. When we stress over these variables, we waste valuable energy on things that we have no sway in and lose sleep over things that drain our energy.

Remember, The World deals with forward movement. When it presents itself as an obstacle or challenge, it suggests that that movement is currently under attack. Much like how its reversed form symbolizes a need to let things go, The Upright World in the crossing position calls us to cut ties with the things that are out of our hands

You are not in control all the time and that is okay. When we try to control too much, we tip our balance and toss ourselves out of alignment. We must trust that The Universe and our guides have what is best for us in mind.

Reversed, The World presents us with a much different obstacle. Rather than focusing in on parting with the idea of external control, it directs our attention to asserting inner control.

Discipline is important on any journey. It is all too easy to shirk our duties by saying we’re too tire or not ready. The Reversed World says that this type of thinking is the enemy. It is time to exercise your own willpower to jumpstart your motivation. Currently, your mindset is proving to be your biggest adversary, but The World knows that this is one you can face.

The World in the Future.

The World represents the fulfillment of what we strive for. When your purpose is defined and your wisdom harnessed, a future defined by The World is a future filled with milestones, achievements and great successes as a result of your hard work.

In the Minor Arcana, the nines and tens of each suit represent the conquering of a goal, be it creative, material, emotional, or intellectual. The World in the future position sings a similar tune. The things that you want are just on the horizon and will be within your reach if you stick to your guns.

This card champions the definition of purpose. There is no path to follow if we do not know where to go. This does not mean that your outcome will be exactly what you expect, but it ensures that your eventual position in regard to your highlighted goal will have something to teach you.

The wisdom you have gained on your travels should be valued and honored as you move towards these great heights as they will be what carries you through the most difficult parts of your future journeys. Be prepared to revel in this success and show gratitude to those who have helped you.

The Reversed World in the future position reminds us that it is okay for us to ask for help. The lone hero is so often glamorized for their ability to achieve their goals without the help of anyone else. This is not a realistic archetype, though, and if you try to take on this role, be it to prove yourself or a point, it will do you more harm than good.

There are 7.6 billion people that walk our earth, each with their own areas of expertise and stories to tell you. When you create an environment in which information and experience is shared, you will find that everyone has something to teach. It is this wisdom that will help you moving forward.

If the help of others is not enlisted and their wisdom not respected, then The World promises stagnancy— a wild goose chase for the lone hero.

The World as a Person.

The World is a person that you look up to. They seem wise and weathered beyond their years and always have a story to share. This is a person you trust and whose advice you value.

Many books and movies feature a character that plays the role of the wise old mentor or a fairy godmother who comes to help when the protagonist needs it most. This is the kind of person that The World represents.

Those described by the world are knowledgeable and experienced. They have faced struggles and triumphs and have learned a lot along the way. This is information that they are now willing to share with others.

When you find yourself in times of struggle and are seeking help, a person in line with The World is the kind of person you want to seek out. They are patient teachers and are happy to see your progress forward. They are proud of the work you do and you might find that you have something to teach them in return— perhaps the wise old mentor needs a hand learning how to use a smartphone!

A person described by The World Reversed is a person that needs your help.

They are unorganized and unguided as they struggle to settle into a journey or project. They are seeking a mentor to take them under their wing whether they know it or not. When a person such as this comes into your life, it is your turn to play the role of The Upright World. They may find that the path you have traveled is a perfect fit or perhaps not the one for them. They will never know unless you encourage them to try.

The World as a Place.

Obviously The World is the world right? Not quite. In fact, it is far from it.

Think of how the woman in the Rider-Waite deck looks down on the earth as she soars above it. The World has to do with transcending, expanding, and looking back. Because of this… As a place The World is:

The World is outer space, the vast unexplored expanse of space represents humanity’s hunger for progress. It reminds us that there is always more to be seen and allows us to look down upon all of the things, good and bad, that make up our planet.

When we look up into space at night, we are reminded of just how small we are, and yet humanity has always wanted to reach higher. Pictures of our earth from space inspire us to show gratitude to the innovators among us who have dedicated their time and knowledge to pushing us beyond the stars, no matter how daunting or unexplored they may be.

When we look down on the world, we look down on all of humanity, the artists and athletes and scholars and warriors who are each on their own journeys, each with something to teach us. The world itself, however, is the best teacher, reminding us of just how much is out there and giving us the tools to go further.

What Zodiac Sign is The World?

Because of its expansive coverage and focus on diversity, The World is represented by all twelve signs of The Zodiac.

No two signs are the same and The World highlights just how important each one is. None would be able to function if one was missing. The Zodiac thrives on wholeness and could not operate if incomplete, one of the main pillars of The World.

From the fiery leadership of Aries to the precision of Virgo, each sign of The Zodiac has a role to play. A world filled with only one sign would be filled with discord and imbalance. The signs are made unique by the existence of their brothers and sisters.

The World asks us to rise above the separations of the signs and view The Zodiac as a wheel, always turning, just like the night sky above our heads. We are a group of interconnected spirits who each deserve to be honored individually and as a whole. The wheel could not turn if a piece was missing.

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