No matter what comes along, we’re always standing at the center of the world in the middle of sacred space, and everything that comes into that circle and exists with us there has come to teach us what we need to know.
Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape
As the Full Moon of August shines upon us all, it is accompanied by a powerful Ally not seen since 2017. Let us welcome the Tarot’s great herald of fulfillment and completion — The World.
The World card is, arguably, the most important card of the Tarot, since it is the fruition of the “Fool’s Journey” through the Major Arcana. It is the triumphant culmination of all that has gone before; it represents the successful completion of life’s tests and lessons.
The World indicates and celebrates 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 that shows up in so many pivotal cards.
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.
Is it just coincidence that this Full Moon features the Sun in Leo and the Full Moon in Aquarius? And, as brilliant advisor and observer Elisabeth Grace points out, “You are especially affected by this Full Moon if you have a planet or angle around 11 degrees of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius. (Wondering if this means you? I highly recommend you get in touch with her to find out!).
These characters are also the symbols of the four writers of the Christian gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Furthermore, they are referenced in the New Testament’s 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.”
Tarot legend Rachel Pollack starts off her discussion of this card in her indispensable classic, Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom with the exact feeling I get every time I pull this card, especially today: “What can we say of an understanding, a freedom and rapture beyond all words?”
Here is Shiva/Pavarti – the World Dancer, the life force celebrating itself in perfect balance, acceptance; the Alpha and Omega of All. She is the High Priestess and Magician combined. She is male and female; she is art combined with magic. She is the Tree of Life, surrounded by angel, eagle, bull and lion.
The World is the potential, the physical manifestation, and the completion of all possibilities.
Rachel tells us, “Everything in the universe moves, the Earth around the sun, the sun within the galaxy, the galaxies in clusters, all cycling around each other. There is no centre, no place where we can say, ‘Here it all began, here it all stops.’ Yet the centre exists, everywhere, for in a dance, the dancer does not move around any arbitrary point in space, but rather the dance carries its own sense of unity focused around a constantly moving, constantly peaceful centre. Nothing and everything all at once.”
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.
There are so many endings closing in on our lives right now — from the staggering, literal endings of hundreds of thousands of human lives (and so many, needlessly), to the insane levels of species extinction, resource depletion, and irreversible climate crisis, to the collapse of “business as usual” (despite the heartless attempts to protect and resuscitate the 1%). We are also, one hopes, seeing at last the final death throes of the patriarchy, systemic sexism, racism, and gender bias.
History itself is being reconsidered, with slave-holders, oppressors, and bigots no longer honored as heroes.
With the endings that The World embodies come 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.
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? In your own life, look about you and see what has reached its fulfillment. Before you start the Next Big Thing, celebrate what has been achieved.
This is your moment of Truth. Reveal without shame, but wide-open love, exactly who you are.
Dancing The World Into Being
For this important Full Moon, astrologer Simone Butler offers a most eloquent perspective that is in complete agreement with what I suspect you already feel, as well as the message the Tarot offers us in The World:
Just before his death on July 17, Rep. John Lewis insisted on visiting Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC. “I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on,” said the civil rights leader and congressman in a New York Times Op-Ed (to be read at his funeral).
Lewis was grateful that he’d lived long enough to witness the recent uprising of people calling for justice. He said he was filled with hope for the next chapter of the great American story.
And, in a phrase that perfectly sums up the courageous life he led (and will be the name of a forthcoming movie about his life), Lewis called on us to redeem the soul of America by getting into “good trouble” – such as voting, speaking out and otherwise participating in the democratic process. This, he said, is how we build what he called the Beloved Community – a nation and society at peace with itself.
Peace, justice, hope and freedom are in the spotlight now as we approach Monday’s Aquarius Full Moon (August 3, 8:58am PDT/11:58 am EDT). Luna will be full in communal Aquarius, opposite the Sun in individualistic Leo.
We’re asked to balance the sense of self and ego that the Leo Sun represents with the concern for and connection to the larger family of man that the Aquarius Moon demands. [Simone’s emphasis. – B.]
Adding a jolt of intensity, Uranus in Taurus squares the Sun and Moon. We may feel the ground beneath us shake, and unexpected events might occur. Yet surprising breakthroughs and progress are also at hand. Embrace the unexpected rather than trying to maintain control as old ways of being break down to make way for the new…
Even if you can’t join with others at this social, communal Aquarius Full Moon, find a way to celebrate it. Whatever may be going on, be sure to stay grounded in your daily spiritual practice – whatever keeps you connected to a sense of higher purpose and well-being, whether it’s a formal chanting or meditation practice, or simply sitting in the garden, going for a walk or snuggling with your pet…
In times of uncertainty, it’s good to remember what Rev. Michael Beckwith said in a recent sermon, “It’s okay to be happy and joyful even when things look bleak, because you have to be a representative of a joy-filled world. You must represent the world that can’t be seen yet. So be in love with the world that most people can’t even see.”
John Lewis, who was surely in love with this unseen new world, said, “In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring. When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st Century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war.
“So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”
There is little more I can add to this, my friends. It is up to us, now, with this as our rallying cry.
The World that cannot yet be seen calls to us, and we already know it, like we know our own hearts. Through our love and faith and unwavering dedication, we are always dancing in the center, in sacred space, our hearts open in triumph and recognition of our blessed arrival home.
So mote it be.