The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
— William Wordsworth
This is one of the happiest cards in the Tarot, for it symbolizes the ultimate completion, nothing less that the reconciliation of duality, form and spirit, matter and desire. And in this week’s reading, I am feeling that The World may not be only philosophical or symbolic, but literal.
So often, in our culture, which has heightened symbolism to unprecedented status, we add layers of psychological interpretation to the events and communications that come to us. I see this a lot in the Tarot, and catch myself overdoing it as well. For instance, the Death card’s preferred interpretation nowadays is all about rebirth, change and only symbolic death. We naturally shy away from discussing literal death.
But to those who came before our modern secular culture, the cards were usually quite literal. Death meant death. And The World was vastly more than, say, finishing up a term paper.
I am not suggesting that we toss out our other levels of interpretation, including psycho-symbolism. But I believe it is worth considering that this week’s appearance of The World, especially following so closely to its appearance less than a month ago, may indicate there is something big, direct and important that needs our attention.
I think that this week, we are being urged to focus on – well, The World. Our world. Earth Day, for instance, is Tuesday. There will be a flurry of discussion about climate change, or environmental concerns, or endangered wildlife. But by Wednesday or Thursday, will our short attention spans relegate such issues to the recycling bin (at best)?
What is it that, as the saying goes, means the world to you? How do you think of yourself, in terms of being an Earth Citizen? Do you ever think of yourself that way at all?
Do you know what impact your purchasing choices, your diet, your car, your routines and habits are having on people in other lands? And, more especially, what impact they will have on those not yet born?
We say that the Earth is our mother. This week, I believe The World card is as clear and simple as that. When was the last time you did something nice for Her? How do you treat Her, day in and day out?
Spend time considering how you fit into the Circle of Life that is the great, living, whole entity we call The World. Begin to change how you treat Her. Insist that our institutions and governments work for healing, not more exploitation.
Because we stand at a pivotal moment in history. The World is, truly, in our hands.