Updated: Apr 22
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts
Jaques ~ Act II Scene VII
“All the World’s A Stage”
The World Card Quick Links
*please note that there may be affiliate links within this post allowing me to make a small commission on items intended to help you on your spiritual road to recovery.
In light ~ success, team work, travel, transformation, sustainability, mastery.
In shadow ~ Incomplete, directionless, delay, misguided, reset, loose ends.
Identity: If all the world’s a stage, understand the story and be responsible with the part you play. Time is finite. Your purpose in this world will evolve, so actively learn, tweak, master and feel your way through the scenes of your story's script. Allow yourself all the auditions, and embrace the furloughs as whispers from your ancestors that something better is on its way. And when that day comes, and it’s your time to shine, take a bow.
The World ~ In Light
And here you are sweet starLight, at journey’s end on the path of continued beginnings.
I consider The World to be the most important card in Tarot, as it either concludes a journey that you’ve been on, sheds light on a finish line, or opens the door to new beginnings. The World card is a spiral of beginnings and endings, masterfully designed by your ancestors, testing, teaching and challenging you to attain your highest ideal self. And you, as The Fool transcended, have either reached a milestone in your life, or you’re at that liberating point where you get to choose your next adventure.
Consider The World card to be the voice of representation from your ancestral council, welcoming and encouraging you to step forward into a space of newness. Just on the other side of this portal, you’ll find infinite opportunity, and a path to connect with your council as they see themselves ready to present, based on your readiness for their teachings. Every successful trip through the portal elevates your ability and the ability of your ancestral council to communicate. Each venture around The World heightens your senses to their signs and messages, developing an exclusive language that you’ll learn and become fluent in as you dedicate your time to getting to know them by way of circling through your unique Tarot story.
The World ~ In Shadow
Somewhere on the journey you might have taken a wrong turn. It’s understandable, considering how close you are to the summit, arguably the biggest distraction of all. Does that way look shorter, easier? The advice you just freely took, does it truly align with your intent?
In that final stretch, the easiest choice will most likely steer you to tie up loose ends, delaying your victory lap; a hard reset is in order.
It’s going to feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on a journey that’s so close to completion you can literally see the summit of your adventure. Don’t throw in the towel, do what you’ve so bravely done and see it through. See it to the end. See it till sunset. It’s gonna feel groggy and leggy, and yes, you’ll feel like people are passing you by, but theirs is not your climb to make.
Call on your ancestors; you are the accumulation of their completed trips around The World.
Working With The World in the
Insight & Guidance
4 Card Tarot Spread
Card One ~ Theme
a) Transition ~ On the cusp of completion: As does the snake, you’re just about to shed those last few inches of dead skin. It’s tight, uncomfortable and you’re very ready to take that deep breath, filling your lungs with tomorrow’s promise. You’re stepping into your ancestral rhythm, sorting out a consciousness that’s inherited and personally earned. Continue to push yourself past what you think you can do, committing to fully shedding what was, so that you can fully make space for what will be.
b) Present ~ Mission Complete: Now is the time to celebrate, you’ve successfully arrived at your destination, with a few bumps and bruises I’m sure, but you’re here to live another day. There is a sense of self victory, mastery and awareness that yes you can, and yes you did. A period of recovery is in order, time to assess, reflect and honour all that you’ve done. You’ve earned the right to open your heart centre wide, and let the final rays of the sun fill you with joy as it sets, making ready for the next adventure. Catalogue this moment in time, mentally, tangibly or digitally, so that you can flip through this index as an exclusive guide, with you as the VIP of your story. Brava.
c) On the horizon ~ Here in this space, is your own personal realm of intersectionality: All roads lead to you, past, present and future. Victories, losses, passion and heartbreak, it’s all here whether it be inherited, experienced or yet to be woven on the web of what’s to come. A new beginning slowly unravels the rays of hope’s future, waiting for you to choose 'you' to begin anew. Your pack is filled with lessons, growth and recently bestowed wisdom. Experience and understanding fills your senses, revealing a purpose aligned to your higher self.
Card Two ~ Opportunity or Challenge
Opportunity ~ Recovery and reflection: indulge in some self-care, you earned it; preparing for what’s next; record keeping, taking notes and cataloguing what you’ve learned for future reference; travel; being part of a team.
Challenge ~ Delays: a strong desire to quit; discouraged after realizing you should have turned right instead of left; not being able to see the forest for the trees; self doubt due to exhaustion, it’s been a long road; scaling the top, only to find another peak.
Card Three ~ Advice
Knowing what you know now, assess and course correct: celebrate successes, big or small; create or revisit vision board; Ask for help to cross that finish line.
Card Four ~ Outcome
Success: completion, transformation, transcendence, sense of levelling up, overall wellness
The World Card In Your Everyday
CAREER, EDUCATION & FINANCES: Environmental studies, international competition and high level training, international student; political sciences and economics; archeology and anthropology; global investments, trade and logistics.
COMPANIONSHIP & COMPASSION: Team player and partnership, open minded, supporting of diversity and marginalized communities, reaching out to those less fortunate, capacity to welcome love, successful, long term relationship.
COURAGE, PASSION PROJECTS & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Long term, wide scale reach; international mentorship; successful wellness/lifestyle/spiritual ventures; be prepared to train hard and long; short term sacrifice, long term gain; award winning opportunity; once in a lifetime opportunities.
WELLNESS AND COMMUNICATION: peace of mind; knowing and being able to communicate your sense of self at a high level; there’s a general sense of mindfulness and being fully engaged with the world around you; book time for an overall wellness checkup, such as a reiki session or physical; listen to communicate from a place of awareness outside your purview, exploring the voices and experiences other than your own.
SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE AND ALIGNMENT: you are at the top of your game, with an understanding of self that comes from trial, error and perseverance. The veil is thin this high up on the mountain top, giving you clarity and access to your guides. Sit, ask for guidance, and listen, your ancestors welcome you to sit in council.
Bay Laurel Leaf ~ Laurus nobilis
History ~ an aromatic evergreen, the laurel shrub is native to the Mediterranean region. Originally a symbol of Greek mythology, notably the god Apollo wearing a laurel wreath upon his head, wreaths were once awarded as a sign of victory at athletic events. The Romans adopted the use of the wearing a wreath as a sign of military success. A variety of styled laurel wreaths can be found on many versions of The World card, most notably, the classic RWS World card.
Parts Used ~ leaf
Therapeutic Action ~ antiseptic, anti-parasitic, digestive, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, carminative, diuretic, astringent and emetic.
Essential Oil ~ breathing support, mood enhancing, joint & muscle pain relief.
Kitchen Witch ~ used for centuries, all around the world, cooking with bay leaves adds fragrance and flavour. Typically the dried leaf is added in meat dishes, stews, soups and gravies. A great addition for any dish that requires boiling-to-cook, such as rice and pasta. After preparation, the leaf should be discarded.
Green Witch ~ Carry on your person for physical and mental strength; tuck under your pillow or keep close to bedside for clairvoyance; place on windows and/or door sill for protection against evil and negative energies, add to floor wash and spirit baths for purification, burn for hex breaking; write wishes on the leaf and burn to release the magic
Beauty Witch ~ Used as an astringent, Bay is said to help skin blemishes and impurities, and act as a natural toner. Facial steam and topical use can help manage acne and inflammation.
Working With This Plant Ally ~ Bay Leaf Tea
West Indian Bay Leaf Tea has been a long tradition, and enjoyed by many in the Caribbean. Generationally, it's used to aid in headaches, digestion, blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.
At Blended by Design, we want to add a hint of recovery and ancestry in all we do, so the aromatics of this tea adds just a special splash magic. You can sip as a hot beverage on those cold ‘n gloomy days, when the couch and a good book cures all aches. Or when
sitting on the veranda with the sun on your face, sipping on a cold cup of tea, reminiscing on life and the all the worldly lessons you’ve acquired thus far.
Don’t forget to make an extra cup for ancestors, the nostalgia of the aroma will fill them with such joy.
5 large bay leaves (dry)
Sliver of orange peel
2 cups of water
Add bay leaves and orange peel to water and bring to a boil
Reduce to a low heat, cover and let simmer for 3 minutes
Take off heat and steep
Strain bay and orange peel
*optional ~ sugar or honey to taste
If drinking hot, pour two cups, one for you and one for She.
If drinking cold, let cool and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy.
On the Stoop ~ Our Story
Medalling is the top honour for an athlete, and achieving gold in the Olympics is the embodiment of reaching and receiving World recognition.
For Black communities, it’s also a reminder of the responsibility we have to use the World’s platform as a sacred space in social consciousness.
As a marginalized Diaspora, our time at the top continues to be limited, as there's always new barriers in the way of fully reaching that summit. Courage, sacrifice, persistence and our ancestral fabric demands that for every achievement earned, big or small, that we look back and extend the laurel wreath to our kin who continue to struggle in the fog of disparity.
When I think of The World card, especially as it relates to the achievements of the Black community, I respect and acknowledge all of the work it took to get to this point, knowing how much work remains to be done. The World card isn’t an end, it’s a portal to course correct and keep on.
I am reminded of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Black Olympians at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Having won Gold and Bronze respectively, they seized on this moment as an opportunity to not simply share their athletic win, but in raised fists of solidarity, they brought light to the Black Power movement and the human rights inequities we STILL continue to fight for to this day, by way of #BLM.
Kicked off the team, and extreme backlash upon their return, they understood the work wasn’t done, even though they’d reached the top. While being honoured at the highest achievement in athletism, they represented the intersection of inequality, not just in their African American experience, but Black Unity as a whole.
“It was a cry for freedom and for human rights,
We had to be seen because we couldn’t be heard.”
Tommie Smith ~ Smithsonian magazine in 2008.
SHOUT OUT SYMBOLS
Animal ~ Ouroboros
The oldest known ouroboros appeared in the Egyptian tomb of ‘King Tut’, 13th Century BCE. Egyptologist Jan Assmann’s reflection on the flooding of the Nile gives context to the idea of the ouroboros being a symbol of repetition, renewal and the eternal cycle of time.
Sourced from BBC Art Culture ~ The ancient symbol that spanned millennia
The World similarly represents the phases of life and death, where the end is only a breath in respite and recovery before starting anew. We transcend with the Divine, are transformed, and are gifted with newly acquired wisdom packed in the valise of our next adventure.
The World card will often depicts a circle of some type, such as the laurel wreath on the Universal RWS Tarot. A source of protection as is the ouroboros, represents as a transformative portal to the Tarot world within - as imagined by the author and artist of the deck you’re working with.
Element ~ Double Terminated Quartz
The double terminated quartz represents The World card in a poetic sense of unfiltered movement. A DTQ has the ability to receive and transmit energy as needed, a constant give and go, no real beginning or end, with source moving based on spiritual asks. It acts as a line of communication between you and your ancestral council, in partnership with the portal presence of the wreath and ouroboros.
Bay Leaf Manifestation ~ Ask & Trust
The bay leaf is an excellent kitchen herb that you can readily use to have your wishes and manifestations carried to council and released to the care of the Universe. If you connect with The World as your daily pull, or it stands out to you in a spread that you’ve recently worked with, know the veil is thin, giving you direct access to your spiritual champions. Consider this a private portal to your very own spiritual wishing well.
Open space with your personal ritual. If you don’t have one, yet, lighting a candle and/or an offering of a glass of water is a truly one of the simplest, most effective and ancestrally recognized ways to connect.
Once settled, hold the bay leaf in your non-writing hand, and allow your thoughts to feel into the rhythm of your natural breath and leaf flow.
Intentional or vocally, ask your specific wish, imagining in as much detail as you can what the successful outcome looks like to you. Visualize with clarity your role and commitment in the manifestation of your dream.
Focus on your ask and signify it down to a single word or sigil, and write it on your leaf.
With gratitude and grace, surrender what lies not in your control to your council, and thank your guides for working on your behalf.
Burn the leaf, allowing the sacred smoke to rise in activation.
Realign with your breathing, and close your ritual practice.
*please be responsible when working with fire and have the necessary tools to do so safely
ANCESTRAL ALTER WORK
In many interpretations of The World card, you’ll see a face, eagle, lion and bull represented in the four corners of the card. There are several theories as to the WS meaning. For the most part, I’ve sided with the theory that each symbol represents the fixed signs in the zodiac, Aquarius (the water bearing air sign), Leo (the fiery lion), and Taurus (the earthly bull). The eagle, as Scorpio, however, kinda doesn’t make sense, which is why I believe there is so many interpretations. The eagle is often represented as an air element, flying high and seeing far.
After a significant deep dive down the google trap, I discovered that the eagle actually does represent Scorpio. I’ve since learned that Scorpio has seven signs/levels of transformation, Eagle being the 6th, with spider, scorpion, lizard, serpent and wolf being the first five and the phoenix being the final.
With that, I confidently work with the four symbols as the four fixed signs of the zodiac and their elemental representations.
Work with The World card on your alter, by making a simple offer of the fixed signs and/or elements. Place each offering in the same corner as presented on The World card; an Air offering in the top left corner of your alter, for example. A globe placed in the middle of your alter is a great offering as well, acknowledging the heritage of your ancestors.
A couple of examples:
Aquarius ~ water jug or incense
Scorpio ~ eagle feather or cup of water
Taurus ~ coin or dish of earth
Leo ~ candle or gold jewelry
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Call on your ancestors.
You are an accumulation of their completed trips around The World. They’re patiently waiting for you to surrender and accept that yes, you are successfully so. A rocky road may slow you down, but they’ll be there with quiet whispers of experience, helping you to intuitively tap into your soul’s reserves. Lean in to this moment, for better or worse, knowing that the choices you make now are destined to lay tomorrow's path.