The ghosts and living skeletons appear next to a spinning vortex of blue light, and against a backdrop of tall forest trees. One of the headstones appears illuminated by a single burning candle. Buried beneath the ground appears a closed casket, a skeleton, and a treasure chest.
Symbolism: El Otro Mundo represents positive interaction with the spirits of the dead, help from ancestors beyond the veil, and acknowledgement of offerings. The cloak of the Santa Muerte in this card is white, but she is also displayed wearing a black robe over her white cloak. This duality of color in Santa Muerte's appearance is a representation of her mastery over and her ability to walk between the worlds of the living and the dead. In one of her hands Santa Muerte holds her magick scythe, a representation of her power to cut the thread of life whenever she sees fit. Note how the scythe in this image is displayed like a royal scepter, rather than like a weapon. Santa Muerte is not exercising her power in this image, but presiding over her domain; keeping a watchful eye. Black clouds are generally a symbol for trouble and uncertainty, but the clouds in this case are being broken through, or defeated, by the bright light of Santa Muerte's radiance.
In the scene below the Santa Muerte, four ghosts and four skeletons are displayed next to four headstones. The number four is generally considered a number of foundation, stability, and certainty. With four ghosts, four skeletons, and four headstones depicted on this card, it would suggest that the spirit world is firmly entrenched and actively working in your life to move you forward.
The spinning vortex of blue light is a literal depiction of the gateway between the worlds of the living and the dead, and further represents the ease with which your spirit guides or ancestors move back and forth between the worlds in and out of your life. An outline of tall forest trees in the background of the lower scene reinforces that what we are seeing on the card is occurring between the worlds, as forests / tree lines are often representations of the edges of our world, or places where the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest.
The single candle burning at one of the four headstones, as if to mark it or call attention to it, as well as the presence of the casket, skeleton, and treasure chest which appear still buried beneath the ground in the image, all symbolize that the spirits or ancestors who have taken an interest in your life are not done yet, and that more good things are to come. In other words, the best has yet to be revealed.
In a reading upright, El Otro Mundo represents a positive interaction with the spirit world. Your spirit guides, potentially the spirits of your ancestors, are actively working in your life to help and protect you. If you have been making offerings to the dead, then they are acknowledged and appreciated.
In reverse, El Otro Mundo is a sign of negative interaction with the spirit world. You may feel harassed or assaulted by forces from beyond the grave. Your spirit guides or ancestors may feel ignored if you have not acknowledged them in a while, and may be calling out for attention. The coffin, skeleton, and treasure chest that appeared beneath the ground when the card was upright, now appear at risk of falling from the sky when the card is in reverse - this represents a surprise death (the coffin falling from the sky), the revelation of secrets (the skeleton being suddenly revealed), or a sudden surprise debt (the treasure chest falling and spilling).
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5/24/2020 03:16:51 pm
Thank you so much for this amazing explanation of this complex card. I love your interpretations of this deck. It would be nice to see the Minor arcana one day too.
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