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Or in this deck, GAIA, may all beings be blessed, is number twenty-one of the Major Arcana. Gaia was the Earth goddess of the ancient Greek religion.

What I See:

This is a very earthy card. We have all the elements with the deer (earth), eagle (air), snake (fire), and salmon (water). And look at the position of the world with the positions of the elemental animals: deer (north), eagle (east), snake (south), and salmon (west). We have the archetypal wise woman but even more I get the sense of the Triple Goddess, with the Crone holding the Mother and the world teaming with life, the Maiden can be seen in the butterfly. That butterfly brings us full circle from the Fool. Speaking of circles, this image is full of them! I see the halo, the world, the herbs, even the woman’s arms are circling the world.

According to the book the cloths in the background that look a little like clothes drying on a line are Tibetan prayer flags. “It is believed that the wind carries the prayers and mantras written on the flags all over the world, spreading good will, peace, compassion, and wisdom.” Isn’t that beautiful?

Light (upright) Reading:

Wholeness, the culmination of your spiritual journey.

  • Keywords: Fulfillment, Attainment, Ecstasy, and Triumph.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

The cycle isn’t quite complete or your joy isn’t as full as it could be.

  • Keywords: Limitations, Burdens, Obstacles, and Frustrations.


Perhaps traveling to the four corners of the world. Or how about traveling the four dimensions (width, length, height, and time)? The four seasons. The four stages of man: infancy, youth, adulthood, and old age.

How about a retelling of the Triple Goddess? A tale of reincarnation? How about following a prayer off one of those Tibetan prayer flags around the world? Evergreen wreaths symbolize everlasting life, maybe your story is about life after death?

Maybe that halo is pointing you toward a holy figure or religious tale. Perhaps it is an aura? The book talks about the mandorla (almond-shaped halo where two circles overlap). Perhaps the greenery, which can symbolizes the vulva, is a gateway? Or perhaps the woman IS the mandorla between the halo and the earth?

  • Themes: Wholeness, Unity, Success, Wellness, Completion, Thanksgiving, Integration, or Accomplishment


Joy and tenderness such as a mother for her newborn child.

  • Archetype: The Self, Higher Self, Wholeness, Goal, or Anima Mundi.

Mentors represent the Self, the god within us, the aspect of personality that is connected with all things. The higher Self is the wiser, nobler, more godlike part of us [think Jiminy Cricket in Disney’s Pinocchio]. ~The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler

  • Mythical Figures: Gaia. Anima Mundi, World Soul, and Christ Risen.

The personality enneagram, a nine-pointed array of personality types, might also be a useful reference for character building.

The World is E3: Performer, Producer, and/or Achiever

  • Self Image — I am successful
  • Passion — Deceit
  • Virtue — Truthfulness
  • Narcissistic Trap — Efficiency
  • Avoids — Failure
  • Speaking Style — Wooing or Inspiring

E3 people are relationship oriented. They are concerned with what others think of them, image and prestige. They see themselves as being for others and often believe they know what’s best. They dislike being alone and may feel sad or inadequate.

Additionally, look up one of the Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) for personality traits.

…the World card concludes one chapter, and lays the groundwork for a whole new cycle of adventures and experience. ~Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner

Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide

The World is the last card of the Major Arcana, the end of a cycle, but it is also the starting point for a new adventure as we move into the Minor Arcana.