Deirdre of the Sorrows - 21 - The World


Most readers would associate this card with the culmination of something. A completed journey. Successful outcome etc.
However, just as time is not linear this card is not signifying the END of something. As a new day dawns we start another journey. It may be very different to the one just undertaken, but the lessons learned will stand us in good stead. On the other hand, it may be a new start with a similar or ongoing situation, whereby we do look at things with a wiser head on our shoulders. It will not be possible to go through the Major Arcana without it leaving a profound mark on us in some way. I liken this to where we again relive the journey of the Fool after this card, but with the benefit of wisdom and hindsight.

We see traditional imagery here with the naked woman and the World. In this case she is encircling the world, her hands grasping her feet behind her. My first thought when I saw this was “She must be uncomfortable stretched out like that!” but when you look at her face she calm and relaxed. Does this bring about an image akin to yoga perhaps? She has had the experience and journey, and is now calmly reflecting on it and how it all synchronises together. Otherwise what is the point of undertaking such a journey if no time is given to reflecting on what has happened? The fact she is circling the world shows she has been on a journey and is now returning to where she started. She is back to her roots so to speak. I have been on a round the world trip, and the experience is one that will stay with me for this lifetime. Only by truly experiencing different cultures for yourself can you really understand what life means to different people. Watching on TV or reading about it will never really be enough. Even with this trip behind me, I know my knowledge and understanding is incomplete – there are so many parts of the world I have not experienced, and so my journey may begin again. However, I will be that bit wiser and able to deal with issues that may arise in a way I was not prepared for on my first trip.

We can see the Angel above her, its arms outstretched. There are also some orbs along the woman’s hair. I believe there is another on her forehead which is not quite discernable. These I believe are higher spiritual charkas. She has now opened herself to spiritual understanding to take her to her next level of awareness, and this is where the angel I believe plays a part. The Angel is now preparing her and guiding her as she readies herself for a new journey. Certainly those of us who are aware of the Ascension process may understand that the main character has learned some life lessons and is now ready to ascend to a higher level of ‘being’ where new challenges may be presented. And so the journey would continue. The Angel will be there with her as she attunes herself to higher energies and her own spirituality.

The Eagle we saw previously on the Tower. In this case it is quiet and focussed. Its senses sharp and finely tuned. Has the woman managed to deal with the anger that had previously been displayed? If so, what area of your life now seems to be clearer than it did before?

Interestingly, the other characters are shown reversed. This could be useful for those who use reversed cards in a spread, but for now I will not use any reversed meaning when looking at them. The lion is in fact a lioness. When we compare the characteristics of the lioness over the male of the species they are very different. Would this affect how you interpreted the presence of this animal? The lioness is the mainstay of the pride. She will be responsible for most of the hunting, the nurturing and also will play a major role in the overall success of the pride. Not only does she have strength, but incredible tactical skills when hunting. How would you see those skills as relating to the meaning of this card?
The buffalo is one of the main animals in Native American culture. Certainly the Plains Indians saw their spirituality and society stemming from the birth of the White Buffalo. Therefore this animal is sacred to them, and provided life through food and shelter to the Plains Indians for many years. It is believed through the stories passed down that their culture and civilisation would once again flourish, should a White Buffalo be born in their midst. In other words, a new journey and one that would be eagerly embraced. Deirdre sees the buffalo as representing endurance, and I can totally associate with this.

Sometimes what we endure can be extremely difficult and there will be times where we feel we cannot go on. However, if we persevere there is always the possibility that we can come through. Sometimes hardship is needed before we truly appreciate the fact life is precious and can offer so much by way of experiences.