upright the world tarot card

The World Tarot Card Meanings (Upright & Reversed)

Last Updated: August 4, 2022

The World is the 21st (XXI) major arcana card of the tarot, and it is all about understanding that where one cycle ends, another begins, and so is the journey of life. Cycle upon cycle, turn after turn – where one thing ends, another begins.

“And suddenly you know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart

In this article, we will explore the different meanings of the World tarot card in various reading contexts as well as the different advice it can offer.

The World tarot card key correspondences

Upright keywords

Success, fulfilment, end of a cycle, positive outcome, and travel. 

Reversed keywords

Disappointment, delays, pressure, failure, and incompleteness.

Yes or No



21 (XXI)



Ruling Planet


Astrological Sign


Depiction and symbolism in the Rider–Waite-Smith Tarot deck

The World tarot card depicts a naked woman, wrapped in a thin purple cloth, surrounded by a circular green wreath and is being watched by 4 different animals; an eagle, lion, bull, and cherub/angel. These represent the 4 seasons, the suits of the tarot, all 4 corners of the universe, and everything in between. Cycles. Nature. The rhythm of just how things ‘are’. This woman expressively dances as she looks toward her past, but her body faces her future, she is ever-moving and ever-changing, and the imagery around her represents harmony. The natural cycle of all that is. 

the world rider waite smith

What does the upright World (tarot card XXI) mean?

You did it! If The World tarot card is showing up for you at this time, then it means you’ve accomplished something that is making you feel delighted in your successes! You will be feeling the fulfilment of whatever task it is that has come to an end, and you very much should be feeling proud of yourself, you’ve been on this long journey and it’s time to enjoy having the world at your feet. 

Reap those benefits! Look out for any and all opportunities coming your way, and in a physical sense it could also indicate you travelling, having the desire and confidence to push beyond your own neighbourhood and see what the world has to offer.

If you’ve been working on something and it hasn’t yet come to an end, know that the end is very much near! It’s in sight! You’ve nearly completed what you set out to do.

the world tarot card 21

The World is the card of success, fulfilment, end of a cycle, positive outcome, and travel.

What does the upright World card mean in a love reading?

If you’re in a relationship, then the presence of this card indicates that your partner makes you feel whole, makes you feel complete You no doubt are very much in love with both your partner and your relationship in its entirety, it’s very satisfying, happy, and healthy.

If you’re single, and looking for love, then the presence of this card is telling you that the perfect partner will be coming your way sooner than you think – IF you haven’t already met this person by now! If you’ve been dating, and have met someone you think is great, it’s most definitely wise for you to pursue it and see where things lead!

If you’re single, and want to stay that way, then this is a good sign that you’ve made peace with your single life! Know that it’s okay to stay committed to your single life if this is how you want things to be, you don’t need to feel pressured into relationships or taking, have fun! See what the world has to offer and enjoy yourself! After all, sometimes our own company is the best company.

What does the upright World card mean in a career reading?

You’re looking at being in your dream position! All the work you’ve put into your job is finally paying off, you’re getting what you finally deserve. Because of this, your finances will very much be looking to be on the rise too, but it may also be suggesting that you’ll be doing some travelling for your career.

What does the upright World card mean in a health reading?

If you’ve been battling any sort of health issue recently, then know your health either is getting better, or is due to get better very soon! The World tarot card in relation to health usually depicts health being on the mend, all things improving, and you’ll be ‘getting better’ and recovering.

The World tarot card as feelings/emotions

If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling The World card suggests that this is someone that wants to give you ‘the world’. This will be someone that feels you complete them, and they will be incredibly grateful for you! 

A lot of positivity surrounds this card when it comes to feelings, even if you are asking about an ex-lover, this doesn’t mean they will suddenly show up again – more than they’ve dealt with your past relationship, have accepted it, learnt the lessons, and are moving on happily as a whole with whatever their next step is. 

The World tarot card as a person

As a personality archetype, The World card represents someone that is a bit of a caregiver! They will be someone with an eye for the details, but will always be able to see the bigger picture, and that may end up being their main focus! 

This is someone that holds great empathy and understanding, and will be one in the way of wisdom when it comes to understanding the natural cycles of life and nature. This is someone that knows that something ending means something new is beginning, they know that one door opens as soon as the one behind them closes. 

You may typically find them to be a banquet of knowledge, having faced many trials and tribulations themselves, they hold a wealth of wisdom from their experiences, which makes them a great caregiver and even tutor, and will always seem to have the world at their feet. 

The World tarot card as advice

If you are asking the tarot for advice regarding a specific situation in your life, The World would indicate that you need to step forward and do as you wish! Right now you are being favoured, and you need not worry about the thoughts and opinions of others at the moment, express yourself! 

Move onwards and upwards in the fashion you see fit, you know where you want to go and you know what you want to do, and now is a great time for that. Good things surround you, and good things are coming your way, trust in your journey and go find your fulfilment. 

Be gentle, but stand your ground, you can be calm and firm at the same time, you have all the power to get things under control. This situation is in your hands, discipline will make sure it doesn’t escalate. Trust your gentle nature, it doesn’t make you a pushover.  

Is the World a yes or no card?

The World card offers a very exciting YES. This card is all about achievement, success, moving onwards and upwards, and feeling fulfilled. It is a very encouraging card and so therefore is very much a ‘yes’ card out of the major arcana! 

Below are some of my interpretations based on different types of questions:

Will I get the job?” 

With The World tarot essentially being about cycles, and the ending of one thing resulting in the beginning of another, this would suggest that any progress to do with your career will be favoured! If you’re looking for a promotion, to change jobs, or to go back into work (or even for the first time), then right now this is very much a favoured time for you. 

A new path is on your horizon, you’ve come full circle in your current cycle, so it’s looking very likely that a new position is coming your way very soon. You may even end up travelling for said job!

Is this new person in my life good for me?” 

Absolutely! This is going to be someone that brings a lot of satisfaction and fulfilment your way. This may be someone that even assists you with your achievements, helping you push yourself in all of the right directions to open up the doors to all the opportunities you deserve. So learn from this person. 

Take on their wisdom and focus on using that to better yourself. Positive progress is always favoured, and this will be someone that helps move you along your own natural cycle, as this is someone that understands how life works. Let them guide you. They won’t purposefully steer you wrong. They may even pull you out of a rut you may not even be aware you’re in!

Should I make the investment?” 

Potentially, so long it isn’t risky and surrounded by endless red flags. Whilst your money may be looking good now, or it’s very much due to, this doesn’t mean you need to go chasing after investments left, right, and centre. If you’re really committed to something, research research research. 

Learn about it in its entirety, don’t just jump at something because it’s exciting and potentially seems promising, find out everything you can. You will be making decisions that positively impact your finances, so make sure you do the groundwork to find out which exact route it is that you need to go down. 

Will I achieve my current goals?” 

You will complete whatever it is that you’ve set your mind to, whether that path is as direct as you think it should be or not, face up to whatever battles you need to in order to go after those goals. 

You will find the success and achievement you are after with them! Your hard work towards your wants will pay off in the end, just remember: don’t cut corners! Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Should I start my own business?” 

Now will be the time to start learning from the world and its people. You can grow a beautifully successful business but it may be time to spread your wings a bit and learn from the planet you call your home! Cultures, people, and experiences can all add to your own character bio, this can bring you invaluable knowledge that you may require to establish a business that takes off – and even perhaps have international trade and connections! 

The work you put into this very much has the chance to pay off, you’ll have feelings of a job well done once you get your teeth stuck into it. Just don’t rush the process, learn, absorb, adapt, and change. Let the world shape the business you’re destined to run. 

What does the reversed World card mean in the Tarot?

Just because you’re nearing the finish line doesn’t mean it’s time to rush, don’t cut corners, face up to your remaining challenges and know that the end result will be worth it!

Or you are perhaps facing a delay with a project coming to an end, you may be missing essential information which has halted your process, so it’s time to buckle down to find what’s missing – you’ll get the closure you’re after in the end! Just remember to not cut corners. Slow and steady wins the race!

In an emotional sense, you may also be feeling like what you’ve been doing isn’t worth it. Do you not feel committed? If you aren’t feeling ‘whole’ then you need to look at what’s missing.

The reversed World is the card of disappointment, delays, pressure, failure, and incompleteness.

What does the reversed World card mean in a love reading?

It may be time for you to bring yourself your own closure, instead of perhaps seeking others to do that for you. If you’re in a relationship, what’s stopping you from being happy? Don’t let past experiences cloud your judgement and emotional state, don’t just assume your current partner will be like any bad partners you’ve had previously, you need to heal from those experiences in order to move forward. 

If you’re single, then very much the same thing applies! Heal from your past experiences, don’t let those times govern you, to welcome in new love you have to work through these emotions and memories and not just bury them. 

Face up to them, close that chapter, and move forward. Focus on what you know you need to work on and stop avoiding it, you’ll eventually get back that ‘oomph’ that you so require! 

What does the reversed World card mean in a career reading?

You once set yourself very clear goals for your career but you find yourself yet to reach them. You aren’t where you want to be. But why? What’s holding you back? Is it the job itself? Do you feel completely happy where you are, or do you need to really change things up a bit? 

It’s okay to jump onto a completely different career path, no matter your age, status, or situation. You’ve got to do what makes your heart sing, so find out what’s falling short. You’ve got a lot of potential left to unlock. 

What does the reversed World card mean in a health reading?

If you’ve been experiencing poor health, and have been going down the route of different medications and treatments, it’s time to reassess what you’re doing. Along with your doctor/health care providers help you need to work out a new plan of action. You may need something additional to help just give you that extra boost that’s required to put you back on the path to mend!

Or if you’ve been put on a course of meds, and either stop taking them on your own accord or miss a few here and there, stop! Complete the course as required and take the correct dose as prescribed, cutting corners isn’t helping matters. 

Using the World in your spellwork

If you are looking to bring balance, harmony, success, and fulfilment into your life, then utilising your tarot deck is highly highly highly recommended! You can use your entire tarot deck for this one, it firstly requires you to pick a spot as a form of ‘altar’ or ‘sacred spot’ where you will keep your cards in a specific layout. 

Firstly place the The World card in what will be the centre, and then take all 4 of the minor arcana cards (swords, wands, cups, pentacles) and place them as follows: Swords (represents air) to the east of The World, Wands (represents fire) to the south of The World, Cups (represents water) to the West of The World, and pentacles (represents earth) to the north of The World. 

It’s up to you if you wish to intuitively draw a single card from those suits, choose one based on it’s specific meaning, or keep the suits as a whole and in order, just so long the positioning around The World is correct – all 4 elements will bring balance. 

Whether you wish to speak out loud, or quietly, it’s now time to set your intentions with The World card. Calling in it to bring harmony, fulfilment, and successes your way. Let this card know why you have singled it out, why you need the help you require, and put all of your intention into manifesting exactly what you’re after with the help of this major arcana card. 

The World will look to see you taking the necessary steps towards those actions, remember it does not favour shortcuts, but you should start to move in a direction that allows the peace and balance you are attracting towards yourself. If you need to help certain cycles come to an end, whilst taking the natural path to the inevitable finish line, you can encourage the required assistance by doing a simple cord cutting spell.

In the same space as the cards, take 2 white candles and tie a cord between them. Focus your intentions on what you are looking to detach from yourself, what are you looking to move on from, or have help to move away from? 

Speak to your tarot set up and once again let then know your intentions, inviting The World to assist you on this journey. Making sure your cards are a safe enough distance from the candles, whilst remaining in the same space, check for any potential fire hazards before proceeding to light the candles and wait with them until the cord has severed; but it is wise to let the 2 candles burn out in their entirety if you can and have the time to do so. 

With your intentions spoke aloud, the cord cutting completed, and your energy being fuelled into restoring the balance, harmony, and giving you the ‘push’ forward you need, keep the tarot set up as they are until you start to feel your cycles coming to an end. This will be the time to start embracing the new opportunities coming your way, to once again feel the winds of harmony in your present day, and to know a new time has dawned for you. 

Remember that the cards will work with you so long you work for them, don’t just sit and expect, they will assist but you must do the legwork. 

If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out our complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.


Written by Amy

🌙 27 / British / ♐️ / Vegan 🌱
🍄 Cosplayer / 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒇𝒕 🔮
🐉 Just a Dragon loving sorceress 💙

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This page is part of our comprehensive list of the 22 major arcana tarot cards & their meanings. If you enjoyed the read, then you’ll love the following articles.

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