In my beginning is my end.
In my end is my beginning.
~ T. S. Eliot
This week, we in the Northern Hemisphere will be celebrating the sacred rites of Beltane, while our neighbors below the equator observe the great sabbat of Samhain. In addition to these ancient threshold ceremonies, there is a New Moon in Taurus, which is accompanied by a solar eclipse.
So perhaps it is not so surprising that as we arrive at this powerful crossroads, we bid welcome to The World.
The World is, arguably, the most important card of the Tarot, since it is the conclusion of the Fool’s Journey through the Major Arcana. It is the triumphant summation of all that has gone before; the successful completion of the tests and lessons of the journey. The World is the ending of a hugely important cycle.
Here we see the laurel wreath of victory, in an eternal circle, ancient symbol of the Divine Feminine. It is wrapped at the top and bottom with root chakra red sashes tied in the form of the cosmic lemniscate — the infinity symbol.
Some interpret the four figures in the corners as the fixed signs of the zodiac, with the human head representing Aquarius, the lion being Leo, the ox representing Taurus, and the eagle as Scorpio.
They are also the symbols of the four writers of the Christian gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In addition, they are referenced in the Book of Revelation, where the throne of God is described: “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.”
Thus, Tarot scholar and deck creator, Robert Place notes that the “symbols of the four Evangelists [of the Christian gospels] in the corners indicate we are viewing God’s throne, situated in the center of the fourfold world.
“The wreath represents the sensual world,” he writes. “In the sacred center, the purified soul is at one with the World Soul. She dances on God’s throne.”
The World’s number is 21, which is the 2 of The High Priestess combined with the 1 of The Magician.
The dancer of The World is unbound, yet in the same pose as The Hanged Man, the number 12, now turned right side up, and of switched (or perhaps combined) gender.
Note that the Hanged Man’s hands are hidden behind his back. The World reveals what has been hidden — not one, but two wands.
She is male and female; she is art combined with magic. The World is simultaneously the potential, the physical manifestation, and the completion of all possibilities.
Planting New Seeds
The message of The World at this time of the New Moon is profound. New Moons are when la Bella Luna vanishes, hidden from our sight by Earth’s shadow.
But in a rarer occurrence, this New Moon will be lining up in such a way that while She is cloaked in shadow, She will also block in darkness the sunlight from our view, via a solar eclipse.
Traditionally, the New Moon is ideal for planting the seeds of that which we wish to see birthed, growing, and coming to fruition by the Full Moon. It offers a fertile time of endings, while holding the possibilities for what will yet be.
But the double-dark of an eclipse adds a whole new depth. Astrologer Lorna Bevan explains:
“Press The Re-set Button.
“On Tuesday at the Taurus New Moon Solar eclipse, you can begin to discern new patterns and insights generated by last Wednesday’s Grand Cardinal Cross. Not in a clear image yet but through the glass darkly…
“Solar eclipses operate as New Moons on steroids, blocking solar radiation then recoding and rebooting it, signalling a time of major endings, beginnings and initiations.”
No Tarot card could correspond with this more emphatically.
The Climax and Resolution
The World indicates there is a great finale that is occurring, the ending of a huge cycle, perhaps even an era. With that ending comes the enormous recognition of why things had to be as they were.
This is a rare and blessed opportunity to comprehend and then release the complexity or ambiguity that has surrounded an important issue.
Look about you and see what has reached its fulfillment. Before you start the Next Big Thing, celebrate what has been achieved.
Yes, The World almost certainly will carry huge implications this week on matters of global importance.
But it is also speaking to you, and to me, on a very personal basis.
What is ending? What evolutionary chapter now closes? What soul success is now realized?
This is your moment of Truth. Reveal without shame, but wide-open love, exactly who you are.