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The World Tarot Card Meaning – Smith Waite Centennial

Our daily tarot card for this lovely Monday is the enigmatic final card of the Major Arcana, The World! Have you been using the tarot filter on Instagram? I have, and The World is also a fun result on Insta! (If you're looking for how to find the Instagram tarot filter, you can DM me @WitchHazelTarot and I'll send it to you! Instagram does not make it easy to find specific filters.) 

Instagram tarot filter showing fortune teller Savanna Margaret with The World tarot card on her forehead

As the final card in The Fool's journey, it's fitting that The World card signals wholeness, completion, and new beginnings. You can think of this new start more like levelling up, whereas our old pal the Death tarot card signifies a new start after the end of a previous cycle.

There's a lot going on in this 21st card of the trump suit, so let's dive right in to explain the meaning behind all these symbols. Friends, this is a great note to start the week on!

The World tarot card meaning explored with the Rider-Waite-Smith card upright on a fanned pile of tarot cards

The World card in the Smith-Waite Centennial tarot deck

The classic Rider-Waite-Smith divination tarot deck stays pretty true to the iconography from the original Italian and French playing card decks. You can compare the familiar witchy version of the card from the photo above with Le Monde from an early-18th-century Tarot de Marseilles gaming deck. 

In both versions, we see a naked woman with a baton in each hand. Similar to The Magician's wand, they represent the creative power of magic. She is surrounded by a green garland that suggests Earth's shape and colour, and she is floating in the sky (or space, if you prefer). In the Rider-Waite-Smith decks, she looks to be dancing in midair, evoking a mood of joy and grace. Harmony!

Interestingly, you'll also notice four figures at the corner of the card. We see a blond man's head, an eagle, a lion, and a bull. This is a centuries-old traditional reference to the biblical Book of Revelations, where the throne of God is described in mystical terms. "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." More contemporary tarot decks—like the wonderful Modern Witch Tarot Deck by Lisa Sterle—tend to omit this biblical symbolism.

Either way, the art in The World card is all about harmony, wholeness, and completion. Basically, the World card means everything is in its right place. Or, as good old Robert Browning would say, "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world."

Self-love and self-acceptance

For today's free tarot reading, I want to emphasize the self-love angle of The World card. Our Card of the Day doesn't just remind you that the world is a beautiful place where life affords us all the capacity for joy and harmony. It also reminds you that you are a vital part of this complete picture. Yes, you! You're an essential component of the balance in the universe today. You belong here. And you, like The World, are valid and whole.

Our modern lifestyle compels us to focus on productivity constantly. We're told throughout our lives that there's always room for improvement, and there's so much pressure to deliver. We have to be superlative all the time. We're told to have more, and to offer more, and to be more. Today's card asks you what it would feel like to set all that pressure aside.

What would it be like to accept yourself as you are? Can you tap into a sense of self-worth right now without connecting it to a goal or ambition? Do you love yourself without any aspirations attached? See if you can appreciate yourself as you are and not as you could be. It isn't easy, but with practice and self-reflection, you can come to appreciate your true value, which isn't attached to your output or success.

The harmony of constant change 

Now, The World doesn't tell us to give up on our projects. She holds in her hands the power to create, and even the perfect balance depicted in this card is poised on the brink of change! This is just one moment in a cosmic dance. But that magic itself is in you already—it is you! You already have the spark of the universe inside you.

It's in your nature to shape and to be shaped, but you're always whole. You are The World, and you're exactly the person you're meant to be.

S.M. signature — Savanna Margaret's initials

Speaking of self-love, we have a new tarot spread to help you celebrate you! Enjoy 15% of a Self-Care for Self-Love Tarot Reading until February 20. Let's learn to be kinder to ourselves!