This is the last card of the Major Arcana. It shows a cosmopolitan woman, holding a lily, within a circle. The figures in the corners of the card are often interpreted as the four christian evangelists, in the context of Revelations 4:7, “And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.” The evangelists are: Matthew (upper left), John (upper right), Luke (bottom left), and Mark (bottom right). These symbols suggest the reward of a completed cycle. The circle shows there is no true ending — endings and beginnings are intertwined.
You have completed a cycle. You have come to the end of an era. You are ready for your next big adventure. You are right where you need to be. But, this is not just about you. This card reaches out into your larger community. No individual is complete when alone. The Fool gathered a community while he traveled, and ended up living in the World.
The World generally offers good news, especially when paired with the Sun. However, it can be difficult in combination with the Death card, or the inverted Emperor. Whatever news you receive, know this is simply the end of this cycle. Our lives form spirals. We may think we’re in the same spot we were some years ago, but when we look closer, we are on a different level of the experience. Take a look around. Survey everything in your field of vision. You might see this landscape again, but that doesn’t mean you are the same Fool who was here before.
The World interacts with the other major arcana.
Magician: The Magician (Cobbler or Magus in other decks) negates the abstract quality of the World.
Emperor: When the upright Emperor comes before the World, it suggests a lull in war, a state of truce, or a transient peace. When the inverted Emperor comes before the World, it suggests conflict, or loss of power or position in the world.
Justice: Justice negates the abstract quality of the World.
Hermit: The Hermit negates the abstract quality of the World.
Wheel of Fortune: When the Wheel of Fortune and the World combine in a spread, light will be shed on hidden factors, which will bring success.
Hanged Man: When the Hanged Man comes before the World, a loving sacrifice will bring triumph. When the Hanged Man comes after the World, it suggests a sacrifice that could result in sadness and parting.
Death: When the Death card comes before the World, it could indicate the fall of a national leader or a world epidemic.
Tower: When the Tower and the World come together in a spread, it indicates a general, rather than a personal matter.
Sun: When the Sun and the World come together in a spread, it indicates an uplifting emotional experience which brings love, joy, and harmony.
The Major Arcana
The twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana tend to hold the big lessons. These cards carry powerful messages. If you are reading a spread of cards, watch for the Major Arcana. If your spread contains more than 30% Major Arcana, you are in the midst of something big, or beyond your control. If most of the cards in the spread are from the Major Arcana, you might be trying to exert too much control. You might have trouble expressing your feelings, or you might be near your breaking point. A spread without any Major Arcana cards could indicate you are hiding from the truth of the issue, or are in some deep distress. If this is the case, it is important to find someone you can trust to guide you through this period of time. In a spread, focus most of your attention on the Major Arcana. The other cards will be useful for clarifying the situation.
Number — 21, which resolves to 3
Three is a number of creativity, cooperation, and integration.
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