Tarot, Psychology & DSM – “The World/Universe”

Many of us Tarot people have a positive association with the XXI The World or Universe card, yet, like with so many things in life, there can be a secret challenge or shadow aspect to the potential in this archetype.

If you are new to this series, I recommend that you review the May 2020 weblog post I started on my current perceptions about the connection between Tarot, psychology, and the DSM. This will provide a much fuller description of these concepts.

The World is immense…the Universe is beyond conception. In this image exemplar there is a message of unification and completing our worldly journey, yet, would we be here in this space and time if we knew how to embrace this knowing? We have areas where we splinter or split around our fear of dissolving into the union of all…the One Love. Some beings are clearly closer than others, but what happens when this ideal is absolutely rejected or perceived to be impossible?

The most disjointed and ununified mental health condition I can recall working with in clients is what has been called “Multiple Personality Disorder”, now defined as “Dissociative Identity Disorder” (DID). Don’t get me wrong, we all have multiple personalities, different faces for different situations, but we still go by one name, one I-dentity, as an integrated whole, even if a bit split at times.

Psychological challenges that carry this fractured pattern:

  • Dissociative Identity disorder (DID) – a condition in which a person has two or more distinct identity or personality states, which may alternate within the individual:
    • The different personality states usually have distinct names, identities, temperament, and self-image.
    • The main or “host” personality does not share co-consciousness with the other identities (until integrated, the goal of therapy).
Voyager Tarot by James Wanless

On a less severe note, general issues that may appear under the World/Universe card are as follows:

  • Fear of embracing life.
  • Overwhelmed by the world.
  • Discomfort with groups, especially large groups or those who embrace a common value/belief.
  • Lack of growth due to insecurities.
  • Perpetual struggle with peace of mind/spirit.
  • Rejection of all things spiritual, usually based on feeling let down or not supported by the Universe (not to be confused with a confident atheist).

Quintessence is my favorite keyword for the World/Universe Tarot card for it speaks to the value of unifying all elements while knowing that the “Whole” is greater than the sum of its parts. Whether we are talking about intrapsychically or globally, the Tarot shows us the way to our ultimate journey’s completion, returning to wholeness and union with all.


American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Psychology Today

Featured photo by UmangWaghela

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One thought on “Tarot, Psychology & DSM – “The World/Universe”

  1. Pingback: Psychology & Tarot – Exploring Major Issues | MY SACRED JOURNEY . . .

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