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divinatory meanings-- success, perfection. a sense of oneness with others, or with the world around you.

reversed-- stagnation, isolation from others.

the world

the use of swamp thing is a fitting end to this journey for at least two reasons. the first reason is the fact that john constantine, our fool wanderer, made his own first appearance as a character in swamp thing. more broadly, swamp thing is a plant elemental, which is to say a representation of the entire plant world. this means that he connects the entire earth, through its network of growing things. as the culmination of the major arcana, the world card connects all the other cards. in the world, we see how all the fool's different experiences, from the magician to judgment, belong together, like individual flowers on a single tree.

the fool does not appear in this card, but the two have a strong connection. the fool had to give up his innocence and perfection, one that incorporates the wisdom gained along the way. the astrological symbol, saturn, links the card to death (notice the extra curl on this version). swamp thing emerged partly from the death of a human named alec holland. observation of the plant world teaches us the great lesson that life can only grow out of death.

the traditional picture shows a naked woman dancing within a wreath of flowers or ivy. a sash covers her genitals, and there is a suggestion that she is hermaphroditic, male as well as female, in other words, a complete being. in this version we see a female torso, without a head. the figure suggests a basic humanity, without individual consciousness.

swamp thing is an outgrowth of all vegetation. his sense of himself as individual (or male, for that matter) is an illusion, derived from his contact with humans.

a pure green light fills the card. tendrils, like roots, reach down from the upper left. at the upper right we see what looks like a tear in the page revealing color codes. this last ironic touch reminds us that this too is a fiction. the real world remains a mystery.

1995 dc comics

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