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Bohemian Gothic The World

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HoneyBea  HoneyBea is offline
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Bohemian Gothic The World

Even from a dark deck this is a beautiful card to look at, and it still appears to be light, and full of hope. Karen Mahony says of this card

The World Card in the Bohemian Gothic Tarot shows a woman treading lightly across a river, using a series of boulders and skulls as her stepping stones and balancing herself by gently holding the tree above. The image signifies an ability to overcome - to step gently across - death and decay, while staying in touch with life and living things.
Its main message appears to be about not letting life pull you down but to draw on your inner strength to find away across that dark river and head towards the light in the background.

Now I need to look for a darker meaning here, perhaps this lady could also symbolise escape, she is going ahead with whatever she chooses regardless of the affect it may have on others. The light in the background is the moon again and could signify illusion or even a shadow, so that you may have reach the end of some project or situation but it still has left you feeling unfulfilled. Perhaps crossing the river is something that is not accepted, and to do so leaves your ethics in question.

However, I do find it hard to see this in this card and it does speak more loudly of a journey that can be completed and will lift you to another level of understanding and gives you the ability to move forward to the next goal.

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Thirteen  Thirteen is offline
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Originally Posted by HoneyBea
However, I do find it hard to see this in this card and it does speak more loudly of a journey that can be completed and will lift you to another level of understanding and gives you the ability to move forward to the next goal.
A stunningly beautiful card, I find it significant that it appears that she's been using skulls a her stepping stones. She has one foot on a rock-like skull, while her hands are holding to slender tree branches to remain balanced on that one foot. So she stands on death with one foot, yet holds to the tree of life (if you will) with both hands. Likewise we have this balance between dark and light, between land and water.

The message of the world is mastery and completion, of slow, steady work or study rewarded, of being able to travel where ever you like. Symbolically, I see all that here in this card. The Lady, with delicate, seemingly precarious, but sure steps, finds her way across the water. She knows how to use both death and the fragile support life offers to maintain her balance, and follows what light there is through the darkness.

She isn't moving swiftly, but carefully, and one feels that she plans each step, like a dancer creating a dance. There's also every possibility that she's leaving bad things behind, or at least heading with eyes open to whatever awaits her. This is a very telling contrast in a deck where most of the people pictured seem to be unwittingly drawn by supernatural forces in some fatal direction, rather than deliberately and consciously making their own path.

This is, to me, very much the spirit of the World card, it's steady ambition and sagaciousness.
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I don't think we need to look for a dark meaning in this card, as it is the culmination of what we have learned through the dark lessons in the rest of the deck. How did you say it in Justice, Thirteen, about the dark sky setting off the sparkling star, or the black velvet drawing attention to the diamond? The darkness is intended to show us the light. This is the light.
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There is something about all of the elements present in this card. The beautiful water totally captivates me; it looks so real; the light on the water mesmerized me and draws me in. The airy ethereal gown she has on, I can almost feel the air against my skin when I look at it. The earthiness of standing on skull or stone and at the same time hanging onto what is green and living. There is a serene sense of completeness, "as above so below". I really liked what was said about the woman holds onto the Tree of Life, so pretty and effortlessly balanced.
It exudes completeness.
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