Quantum Tarot: The World


This card is one of the attractive ones of the deck. A black sky is liberally speckled with tiny spiral galaxies, nebulae and gas clouds - an area of Dark Matter creates a black shape in a gas cloud at the bottom left. A large, backlit open-palmed hand has just tossed a World up, and waits to catch it, relaxed. A rainbow rises from that hand and another one is nearby, framing the World, which is a space-shot of Earth. Inside the world the silhouetted figure of a slender woman dancing appears, throw her arms up in pleasure. She looks almost like one of those dancers or runners who perform inside large free-rolling spherical cages. She is slightly out of proportion, her lower legs being a little too long.

Fittingly, this card, as a card of inclusions and completion, is linked to the idea of a Theory of Everything and the ongoing search for it that has lasted more than a century now. However, in my opinion, Kay has gotten too bogged down in the potential theories themselves in the accompanying book, and has lost sight of the spirit of the card, which is one of joyful celebration, graduation, advancement, happiness in something at last completed.

Isn't it enough to say that even though scientists don't yet know who everything all fits together in scientific terms, they have worked out that it in fact *does* fit together, and that their hunt for a Theory of Everything is empowered by this happy knowledge, and that the card dances through our lives as the dancer dances through the World, spreading its happiness wherever it goes?

The Three Cups is about pleasure and enjoying the company of others, but deep-down important celebration is all about the World and her dancer, who to me has always related to the Holy Dancer seen in the Hanged Man. (Yeah yeah, everyone else says the Hanged Man is more closely related to the Fool, but I find the Fool's pair in the Hermit, both of them excluded to some extent from society). The Holy Dancer or Hanged Man dances small, measured, fossilised steps proscribed by his bonds: the World Dancer strides across the stage and doesn't actually worry too much about looking graceful as song as she *feels* good.

I'm currently in the process of falling in love with the Cary-Yale Visconti, and I'm trying really, really hard not to allow it to contaminate my view of this deck - somebody help me! Keep me in the twenty-first century!


The thing about a Theory of Everything is that it's always tantalisingly just out of reach, a little like the Holy Grail. I guess this is how I feel about the World card. That sense of completeness and wholeness is something I only get glimpses of, rare moments of light and brief milliseconds of enlightenment.

Then its back to business as usual.

For me, the World is an ideal, alway a little beyond our reach. But it's the reaching out that matters, the urge to follow that ideal to freedom.

But perhaps that's just me. ;)


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We "dance through life". Some of us, having something to celebrate, choose to go out and get drunk and dance all night. The Dancer of the world is celebrating something completed, something included as all things are included in the world, nd I believe that potentially we all touch her more often than you think.

How did you and Chris feel the moment that last card finally came together on the screen? The last word in the book was written? A publisher said yes? A publisher send you galleys? The day you got your copies? The day it hit the shops? They were all World Moments, I'm betting.