side-by-side: the world

January’s just about wrapped up, so it’s time to look back at my January card from my 2019 twelve month spread — the World.

In my day job, January is very much a month of tying up loose ends from the previous year; it’s very common for me to have to fix the autocorrect from 2019 to 2018, instead of vice-versa. In the sense of a journey coming to an end and coming away with new knowledge, the closing of a door on 2018 is nicely fit with the World.

I also do feel like it’s been a month of putting what I’ve learned in practice — I’ve been pulling a card every day, making time to write, making time to exercise, and making an honest effort to set goals and try to achieve them. I roasted a chicken — something I never thought I would ever do successfully. I’m definitely feeling a sense of integration and growth this month, which makes me happy, and looking forward to what comes next.

Now for the side-by-sides!

The Mucha Tarot is interesting because it so closely mirrors the Rider-Waite-Smith — the heads, the wreath — with that Mucha twist. It’s also a much more feminine figure — I feel like I’ve read/heard somewhere that the World is supposed to be genderless. There’s also more of a sense of modesty to the World figure — her body language seems a little more closed, with the hand on her forehead and the drape covering more of her body. She’s not the joyous dancer; maybe she’s aware that she has more to learn. And, since the Mucha cards actually aren’t labelled with their names — just their numbers — I did have to stop and really look at it to determine it was the World as I was shuffling through my deck to find it.

The Wanderer’s Tarot is much more of a cosmic, broader sense of where you are in the universe — you’ve achieved something beyond the experience on solid ground. The figure also reflects the “as above, so below” pose of the Magician, manifesting the intention from the start of the Major Arcana. The eyes around the chain of stars bear witness to the magic and the growth reflected in this card.

The Wild Unknown is another card where I had to stop and double-check if this was the World, and part of it is because the design is what’s used for the cover of the card box and the cover of the Wild Unknown guidebook — I’d seen it so many times by seeing the box and the book, I didn’t know that it was also the World. What I really like about the Wild Unknown deck as a whole is the use of color — I enjoy that the World reflects, just a little, just the right amount, the full spectrum of the rainbow. And because it’s a circle, there’s never an end — yellow to orange to red to purple to blue to green and back again. You’ve come full circle, now start again.

Finally, the Ophidia Rosa continues to be intriguing and beautiful, where on the surface it’s hard to see the connection until you sit with it and let it mature in your mind. Similar to the Wild Unknown, it comes to a natural full circle, and this one with a spiderweb. The work is done, but it’s ephemeral — spidersilk is both strong and fragile, and a spider is never truly finished with its web (even if this particular spider isn’t present in the card). Even — especially — the things that nourish us can be beautiful even — especially — when they’re not permanent.

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