Embracing The World: A Tarot Spread


When we arrive at The World, we’re coming full circle. Similar to the card’s traditional imagery, arriving at this state is much like closing the loop on the Major Arcana, encompassing all its lessons and learnings, and reaching a sense of completion orsuccess. It carries sentiments which mimic The Magician in some ways, with the elements present again. But, rather than laying on the table in front of us, they have been assimilated and now take a more lively form; a water bearer (Aquarius) to represent water, an eagle to represent Air, a lion to represent fire and a bull to represent Earth. These essences now all live within the seeker who remains naked, like the 2 cards which precede her, through draped in an elegant scarf and handling two batons. She is both poised and balanced; no longer commanding heaven and Earth, but rather one with them.

There is no higher state of achievement than this, but it doesn’t come without dedication, hard work, courage and a whole lot of self-awareness.

And while self-awareness is key, we’ll be throwing things to the ether and asking what it is we need to know in this moment, to reach this most ideal state. The World, in its Rider Waite Smith depiction, features a woman surrounded by 4 beings, representative of the 4 elements. And if the beings are the 4 elements, which can be deduced to the suits, then that stands to reason that our protagonist in the middle is the embodiment of the Major Arcana card she stands within. The World is also a card of travel, spreading our wings and exploring space both literally and figuratively. For this reason, we’ll also play with the 4 directions, as they relate to the 4 elements, to create our own full circle representation of this card.

To start, you’re going to create 5 piles of cards. The first will contain each of the Major Arcana; The Fool to The World. The other 4 piles will contain the 4 suits, however, we will be omitting Courts. When you’re done sorting, you should have 1 pile containing all the Major Arcana cards, 1 pile of Pentacles (Ace-9), 1 pile of Swords (Ace-9), 1 pile of Wands (Ace-9) and 1 pile of Cups (Ace-9).

Pick up your pile of Major Arcana cards and shuffle them in the way you would ordinarily shuffle the cards with divination in mind. This includes interacting with reversals if you so choose to. When you’ve received your card, place it in front of you. Next, pick up the pile of Pentacles and shuffle in the same way in order to receive one card. When you have your card, place it on top of your Major Arcana card. Next, move to the Swords and complete the process again. Place your Sword card to the right of your Major Arcana. Next, pick up your pile of Wands and shuffle until you receive one card. This card should be placed below your Major Arcana. Finally, take your pile of Cups, shuffle it up, and take the card you receive and place it to the left of your Major Arcana card.

In front of you, you should have 1 Major Arcana card surrounded by your 4 elements. We’ve placed them down in this manner to also represent the 4 directions, connecting this exercise to the card it represents. Pentacles to the North, Swords to the East, Wands to the South and Cups to the West.


Before we proceed, take a moment to observe and reflect on your landscape. There may be  many layers of meaning represented in your spread, and I encourage you to explore it all. For example:

How are the cards different?
How are they similar?
Are their numbers, imagery or colours which repeat?
Are they upright, or reversed? (if you regarded reversals)

A simple way to break down the 5 cards you’ve drawn may be as such: The Major Arcana represents energy you are meant to invoke, in this moment, while the 4 suits showcase a series of tools that will help you on your journey. Like The Fool who sets out on his journey with a bag of supplies, or The Magician who keeps her tools on the table in front of her, you will also be served well by a smartly packed crate. Take some time to unpack each tool, interpreting them singularily, but also noting how they interact as a unit.

Regardless of what you drew, know that what you have in front of you is a a set of divinely drawn cards, designed to mimick the energy and essence of The World. It is intended to help guide you toward your own state of completion and fulfillment, no matter what you're currently pursuing. Of course, there may be a lot to soak in here, so spend as much time as you need! And if you enjoyed this spread, designed with The World in mind, you may want to check out my Spreads Through The Major Arcana free PDF. In it, I explore each of the Major Arcana cards, providing at least 1 spread designed in its likeness. It's along side some other fun freebies so check them all out if you are looking for resources or tools with tarot in mind.

I hope you enjoyed this spread and until next time...