The World (Tarot card)


The World (Tarot card)

The World (XXI) is a trump or Major Arcana card in the tarot deck. It is usually the final card of the Major Arcana or tarot trump sequence. In the tarot family of card games, this card is usually worth five points.

Description

In the early twentieth century, A. E. Waite was a key figure in the development of modern tarot interpretations (Wood, 1998). However, not all interpretations follow his religious beliefs. Tarot decks used for divination are interpreted according to personal experience and standards.

Some frequent keywords used by tarot readers are:

A naked woman or hermaphrodite hovers or dances above the Earth holding a staff in each hand, surrounded by a green wreath, being watched by various creatures. In older decks, these are usually a human face or head, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, the symbols of the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It also holds reference to the vision of Ezekiel in the old testament. This is a reference to the all-encompassing knowledge of the Bible, the Word of God. Later decks avoid such blatant Christian symbolism, or ignore it altogether, choosing to explain these observers as representatives of the natural world, or the kingdom of beasts. An alternative explanation is based on astrological symbolism. The human face, bull, lion, and eagle represent the fixed signs of the zodiac, Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio.In some decks the wreath is a basilisk (crowned reptile) biting its own tail; this basilisk is also sometimes called an Ouroborous.

In some decks, this card is also called "The Universe."

Divination Usage

Interpretation

The World represents an ending to a cycle of life, a pause in life before the next big cycle beginning with the fool. The figure is at once male and female, above and below, suspended between the heavens and the earth. It is completeness.

The woman is surrounded by a wreath, representing water; a hawk, air; a lion, fire; an ox, earth; and a male figure as a spirit. Together, they make up the five elements. The four figures in the corners of the card are also referenced in the Book of Revelation, 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."

Popular Culture

* Dio Brando, a vampire and recurring villain in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series of Manga possessed a Stand that could stop time, which he entitled The World.
*The World is the name of the last boss in House of the Dead 4. All bosses in the House of the Dead series are named for Tarot cards.

References

* Waite, A. E. (1910). "Pictorial Key to the Tarot".
* Wood, Juliette. (1998). The Celtic Tarot and the Secret Tradition: A Study in Modern Legend Making. "Folklore" 109: 15-24.

External links

* [http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/ncd03145.htm New Catholic Dictionary: symbols of the evangelists]
* [http://www.learntarot.com/maj21.htm The World from "Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners" - Joan Bunning]
* [http://www.tarot-cards-reading.com/meaning/world-tarot-card.htm The World -"fulfillment and completeness"- how to interpret this card]


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