The World is the final card in the Major Arcana sequence. In the context of the human journey, it represents the final, coveted stage of enlightenment—a return to wholeness.
The World reminds us that from a perspective of wholeness—within which duality does not exist—‘yes’ and ‘no’ are two sides of the same coin.
If I say ‘yes’ to a toxic friendship, I say ‘no’ to something that is more aligned with my values.
If I say ‘no’ to my own difficult emotions, I tend to say ‘yes’ to avoidant behaviors that lead to suffering.
If I say ‘no’ to an opportunity that doesn’t feel quite like a fit, I say ‘yes’ to something better, that I can’t yet see.
We don’t always know what we are saying ‘yes’ to when we say ‘no.’ We don’t know that better relationships, jobs, and opportunities are waiting around the bend if we are patient. The World asks us to be brave and to trust ourselves, and to say ‘no’ anyway when things feel misaligned.
It asks us to draw a line around our selves and see what happens. To tap into our own inherent wholeness and value. To decline an offer without a guarantee of something better. To hold out for what is truly worth our time and energy.
Learning to say ‘no’ can be one of the more challenging lessons for all of us. Saying ‘no’ may mean breaking your own heart, and saying ‘yes’ to grief (Three of Swords).
But saying ‘no’ can be made easier with the understanding that ‘no’ is also ‘yes,’ and vice versa.
Can you think of a situation in your own life in which you know you need to say ‘no’ but are struggling? What would you be saying ‘yes’ to if you were to say ‘no’ in the situation you are struggling with? What would you be opening yourself up to? Making space for? Inviting in?
While the feminine aspect of our consciousness is naturally oriented toward wholeness, integration and acceptance, the masculine aspect wants to analyze, judge and observe.
The Emperor represents the part of us that excels in separation and gaining perspective; creating distance from experience, rather than merging with it.
One way to utilize the masculine aspect of consciousness to our advantage is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a process that involves stepping back from the content of the mind and body and observing, without judgment.
The masculine part of us is good at observing but needs help with letting go of the need to problem-solve and fix, and this is what mindfulness helps us do.
In a very real sense, mindfulness meditation practices help us heal the masculine parts of us that must be constantly doing, fixing and analyzing.
If you’re interested in doing some of this work, there are many free meditations available on YouTube. I recommend this one, called Leaves on a Stream.
We learn so much when we are young, before we have the language to express what we are experiencing. Later, as adults, our unexpressed stories from childhood show up in our patterns of behavior. The High Priestess is the keeper of these stories.
Our core beliefs are written in code and tucked inside the ways we interact with ourselves, others, and the world. Things that have happened to us continue to show up in our actions until we make the choice to decipher and confront them.
We each have core beliefs that underly our various thought processes and behaviors. These core beliefs develop early on, and create a lens through which we see the world. They sometimes involve negative beliefs about the self, others, and the nature of living.
When something has touched on a painful core belief, we know an old wound is involved because the amount of pain feels disproportionate to the situation that triggered it.
By noticing the things we habitually overreact to, feel deeply hurt or shut down by, we can begin to understand our core beliefs and how they impact our lives. The High Priestess is an invitation to start the decoding process.
Page of Wands placed below the King of Wands reinforces this dynamic. Our small selves become frozen in time and crystallize inside of us when trauma or painful events occur.
It doesn’t matter how grown we may think or feel we are, how successful we may appear to be, how “together” we have it. Our inner child will always be there beneath the surface, waiting for reconciliation.
A criticism from a lover, a harsh comment from a parent, or an incident at work can touch something raw that brings us back to being three, six or ten years old. Possibly younger, or older. The High Priestess asks us to turn inward to these exiled parts of ourselves, to ask them what they need, and to provide it.
By integrating the parts of ourselves, we come closer to understanding the integrative nature of being. We take one step closer to returning to the wholeness of The World.
If you’re interested in booking a pay what you can tarot session with me, drop me an email. If you’re interested in learning more about tarot, check out Tarot Fundamemtals, my self-paced online tarot course for beginners.