Nudity in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot


Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

While most of the people featured in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot are fully clothed, there are six cards where the people are nude. For me, this is a symbol of revealing a part of yourself that is normally hidden away. When a “naked” card comes up in a reading, it generally speaks to being exposed for all the world to see.

Nudity is about seeing the real you.

THE LOVERS – Your most intimate partner (ideally) knows you inside and out. Relationships also reveal parts of yourself that you were previously unaware of.

THE DEVIL – This card represents the shadow, or the part of yourself that you deny or do not like to see. Before the shadow can be transmuted, you must first look it in the eye.

THE STAR – Being comfortable in your own skin means that you don’t have to hide anything.

THE SUN – Nothing lies concealed under the powerful light of a noon sun. This is about full revelation.

JUDGEMENT – Only after we look at the parts of ourselves that were once buried deep down in the subconscious can we hear our true calling.

THE WORLD – I count this despite scarf wrapped around the World Dancer. Empowerment and success comes from of knowing who you are, inside and out.

Also note that five out of six of the “nude” cards appear on the last line of the Major Arcana, which outlines the final stages towards self-realization or Gnosis (THE WORLD). Before we can achieve the spiritual bliss promised here, we must be open and honest with ourselves. This means wholeheartedly embracing your flaws, trauma, and emotional and psychological baggage.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot


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