The World (XXI) Reversed

(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)



When the World Card Reverses it still means success but the success may not be as good as you expected.  There may be a bit of an anti-climax after achieving your goal or completing a project. There is a feeling of not exactly getting a great sense of fulfillment out of the success. Success can still be yours so don’t give up.  However, there may still be some challenges ahead. You may lose your nerve close to the finish line.  Deep down you may be fearful of success and the responsibility that goes with it.

 A dream or goal you have pursued for so long may have lost its appeal as you abandon it for something else.

If you have earned success, The World Card Reversed can warn that it is not a time to rest on your laurels for you may be caught on the hop and get  left behind. You must remember that  life doesn’t stop once you have achieved success for there are other goals to achieve. Just because you hold the record for climbing the highest mountain, you can rest assured that there is someone already out there trying to take that record from you. Olympic Gold Medalists don’t just sit back and stare at their lovely medal or bask in the glory of their recently won race.  On the contrary, they immediately begin to focus on the next race, the next championship, the next Olympics for they must maintain their success and forward momentum.

The World Reversed can symbolise those times when you thought you had climbed the highest mountain, the epitome of success, only to discover that there was an even bigger one just behind it.  Therefore, success can be achieved but there may be some set-backs or delays. Don’t give up for you are nearly there even though you may feel deflated and exasperated.  Hang on in there as you can almost taste the success at this stage.

However, when The World appears Reversed it can suggest fleeting success.  The Woman may have held the Wands too loosely and has lost her grasp allowing them to fall from her hands. This suggests that although you have been successful you can’t manage to hold onto it for some reason or other.  This can represent the ‘one hit wonder’ scenario. You need to return to Judgement in order to get a clear view of the underlying causes of this.

When the wreath reverses you may not get that promotion or award. You may lose out to the competition. However, the wreath and infinity symbols remind you that you will get another opportunity in the future, so learn from this and use it to better your performance next time.  Don’t feel jealous or envious of those who are getting the applause for you will get your turn too. Sometimes the Reversed World can suggest opportunities disguised as problems so be on the look out and don’t have a knee-jerk reaction if things don’t work out as planned.

When The World Reverses you may find that you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.  The wreath, now reversed, can indicate that your World is indeed very small and narrow filled with small mindedness, limited beliefs and old fashioned out-dated attitudes about people and situations. On the other hand, you may  feel hemmed in and blocked by those around you as represented by the four figures in the corner.  Duty and obligation may limit your access to the outside World.  You may feel the four walls closing in around you.

Distorted body image or issues with weight may be an issue.  You could be overly concerned with personal appearances.  The World Reversed can sometimes suggest that your World has been turned upside down by an incident or situation.  Something may have changed or altered in your World leaving you feeling vulnerable and insecure.  You no longer feel comfortable in your World and indeed it may no longer be welcoming.  You will need to look to surrounding cards to determine what and what this might be.

However, the Reversed World may highlight your lack of regard for the World at large.  You may go about your business and life not caring for others or abusing the environment.  Remember that you share this World with every one else and every creature so you must have a bit of respect.  You may be going around in your own little World, oblivious to what others are doing and believing that it has nothing to do with you. We must all remember that we have an obligation to the rest of humanity. We must work to leave a better World for those who come after us or indeed for ourselves when we return once more.

Travel around the world may still be suggested but it might be the return home after travel.  It can represent an expat returning to their country of origin.  There could be delays and setbacks when travelling or disappointing travel.  The World Reversed can symbolise a hostile world or country, possibly destroyed by corrupt leaders.

Back to The World Upright

Back to Lesson 8

The Fool Upright  The Fool Reversed

The Magician Upright  The Magician Reversed

The High Priestess Upright   The High Priestess Reversed

The Empress Upright   The Empress Reversed

The Emperor Upright    The Emperor Reversed

The Heirophant Upright    The Heirophant Reversed

The Lovers Upright     The Lovers Reversed

The Chariot Upright   The Chariot Reversed

Strength Upright     Strength Reversed

The Hermit Upright   The Hermit Reversed

The Wheel of Fortune Upright   The Wheel of Fortune Reversed

Justice Upright  Justice Reversed

The Hanged Man Upright   The Hanged Man Reversed

Death Upright     Death Reversed

Temperence Upright     Temperence Reversed

The Devil Upright   The Devil Reversed

The Tower Upright     The Tower Reversed

The Star Upright     The Star Reversed

The Moon Upright    The Moon Reversed

The Sun Upright     The Sun Reversed

Judgement Upright      Judgement Reversed

The World Upright     The World Reversed


Lesson 1   Lesson 2   Lesson 3  Lesson 4  Lesson 5  Lesson 6  Lesson 7


2 replies »

    • Thanks no intention of stopping. Lots more to come and new content ready for next week. Just putting the last bits in place for a whole re-working of The Ace of Wands. Knight of Pentacles close to completion too. Much more to follow!


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