The Sacred Circle Tarot
by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason
This week’s deck review and tarot card is from the Sacred Circle Tarot, and is The World Tree card (21). The World Tree speaks of eternal life, attainment, and completion of one’s goals.
Here is the description from the guidebook and companion to the Sacred Circle Tarot deck:
The World Tree
The card shows the World Tree, a giant oak that links the Three Realms of Being. The sacred mistletoe hanges from its branches.
The landscape behind the tree shows the midsummer sunrise on one side and the winter full moon on the other. An eagle circles
the skies and a snake slithers through the roots of the tree.
In magical terms, the Three Realms are connected by the axis mundi, or World Tree. The tree has its roots in the Underworld, its trunk in the Middle Earth, and its branches in the heavens. The concept of the cosmos as a tree is widespread in Pagan mythology. The best known example of the Scandinavian Yggdrasil, a giant evergreen ash tree. For the Celts, the World Tree was an apple of oak. Middle Earth is the realm in which we live – the earth, the physical plane, the realm of ordinary consciousness. The Craft teaches that we should not try to escape this realm, that it is not base and a place of evil, but that it is good and beautiful. We should learn to interact fully with it, care for it, and love it, for the Divine is manifest within it. We are part of it. Through the study of the earth, of nature and its cycles, we learn of the great cosmic patterns. Through the study and practice of life and magic, we interact with them. From the earth, we begin, and in touch with the earth we can contact other realities. However, we must always be in touch with the earth and our physical existence.
Some Possible Divinitory Meanings:
The World Tree represents not only the whole cosmos, but is the central axis that links all three realms. This axis does not exist in any physical place, but can be created anywhere by the conscious will of the magician. By aligning herself with the axis mundi, she is aligned with the center of the universe and through it has access to all of the realms. When the circle is cast, the first act is to draw the axis down through its center and link the circle to all of the realms, to be “between the worlds”.
At the deepest levels of Pagan teaching, the practitioner or magician travels to various realms of consciousness in order to gain knowledge and personal teaching from the Otherwordly beings.
On a mundane level, the card of the World Tree marks the successful completion of some venture, achieving something that you have worked hard for: the successfull end of a cycle of events. You will be rewarded for all your efforts – it is time to celebrate. This card may also indicate a journey, either spiritual or physical, during which an important lesson will be learned.
On a higher level, the card of The World Tree demonstrates the Oneness and interconnection of all things, their equal importance and their myriad possibilities. This is an idea, rather than something that we can attain on a day-to-day basis- we’re only human, after all. However, it is something we can glimpe at certain special moments and sense its harmony, its reconciliation of opposites.