Have you ever thought of XXI The World as the ecliptic? The band around the sky where the wandering stars all hang out, the place where all the dramas of the Gods are played? I don’t necessarily think the way our subconscious processes symbolism , it puts it all into one place, so the woman and the laurel wreath, the wand or any of the other things we associate with the iconography of that card, are all describing one idea. Conversely, when we look at that we see the woman dancing in the center of the wreath (the ecliptic) making her the World or earth we live on. Which of the soooo many possibilities are right? None, all, many – yeah.
One of my big inspirations for this card was the Egyptian Goddess Nut. In her case she is the sky, her body arching over the earth who is personified as Geb who lies beneath her. I was really going for the idea of a universe in totality, the place where ALL drama takes place, the body in which everything happens, kind of the opposite of the 1 (Magician) or 0 (Fool) where things are still motion and potential.
Another thing is the idea of it being beyond XX Judgment. I like to think of Judgment as discernment, seeing things as self and other, different, separate. Beyond that everything is part of the same all inclusive being – the ocean as opposed to the drops. When the scales (of judgment) fall from from your eyes you will see everything as it really is, infinite.
1. XXI The World from The Mary-el Sketch Tarot (in progress http://www.mary-el.com/)
2. The Egyptian Goddess Nut.
3. The Fool from The Mary-el Tarot
4. XXI The World from the Mary-el Tarot
5. Yeah! That’s exactly what the earth and the sky should be doing! 😉