The Major Arcana in Depth
21. The Universe

The Universe card, called the World in many older decks, is the twenty-first and final card of the Major Arcana, and represents the culmination of a spiritual journey, a symbol of wholeness, completion, and unity. This card embodies the realization of one's true potential and the harmony that arises when the various aspects of the self are brought together in balance. The Universe signifies the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one, a moment of celebration and gratitude for the lessons learned and the growth achieved.

The Universe card depicts a central figure, often a dancing woman, surrounded by a wreath or an oval shape. This central figure, sometimes referred to as the Cosmic Dancer, embodies the joy and freedom that come with self-realization and mastery. The dance represents the dynamic balance between the active and receptive aspects of life, the fluidity and grace with which one navigates the various challenges and experiences that come their way.

The wreath or oval that encircles the dancer symbolizes the cyclical nature of life, the eternal dance of birth, death, and rebirth. It also represents the concept of unity, the interconnectedness of all things, and the idea that everything in the universe is part of a greater whole.

In each corner of the card, four creatures are often depicted, representing the four fixed signs of the zodiac: the bull (Taurus), the lion (Leo), the eagle (Scorpio), and the human (Aquarius). These figures signify the stability and grounding that come from integrating the various aspects of one's being, as well as the balance between the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual realms.

When the Universe card appears in a reading, it is a sign of completion and success, indicating that the querent has reached a significant milestone in their journey. It speaks of a sense of wholeness and fulfillment, the inner harmony that arises from a deep understanding of oneself and one's place in the universe.

The Universe also represents a new beginning, as the completion of one cycle naturally gives rise to the start of another. This card encourages the individual to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead, to continue their journey of growth and self-discovery with the knowledge and wisdom gained from past experiences.

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