20. The World – Aeon – Beyond Illusion
The card 20 of the Major Arcana is that of the World, and as a sign it is precisely that, it represents the world at large that we live in, and our place in it.
The collective consciousness with all its influences, conditioning and trappings, as with harmony to our integration with it is the sphere of its undertaking.
Osho calls this Beyond illusion, inferring at the deeper wisdom to it. The outward reality of society presents an illusion for us to engage as we make our way into the world. Connecting with others and connecting with the world are often-times completely different approaches. To Osho’s meaning, there lies a transcendence to be arrived in venturing beyond illusion.
Crowley on the other hand calls the World tarot card ‘Aeon’, which is essentially a long undefined age, an epoch perhaps but still in the flux that it hasn’t yet defined itself. It’s like living through an age and not knowing what’s going to become of it. Although traditionally, this sign is filled with themes of redemption, victory and success, Crowley’s meaning hints at the fleeting nature of experience in living, just like that, the present time is gone, and we have already entered the future.
The word ‘Aeon’ however, also communicates a sense of eternity that is characteristic of the consciousness along the Path. In that, this tarot card also alludes to a concept of ‘The Perpetual Consciousness’ in esoteric meaning.