Wheel of Fortune Art and Meaning Vivid Waite Smith Deck
About the Deck"A Concise Guide to the Tarot" by Loren Lundgren. I took the information for the meanings on these tarot cards from "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition Under the Veil of Divination", by A. E. Waite, 1911, now in the public domain. I edited the tarot card descriptions and meanings for clarity and brevity, modernizing the text. I scanned in the original black and white illustrations of the cards drawn by Pamela Colman Smith, from the 1911 book. I digitally retouched and painted those illustrations in detailed color.
Loren Lundgren, © 2021
DescriptionThe four Living Creatures of Ezekiel occupy the corners of the card. The symbols on the disc in the center stand for the perpetual motion of an ever-changing universe and for the flux of human life. The Sphinx is equilibrium within that state of change. The letters of Taro or Rota are inscribed on the wheel, interspersed with the Hebrew letters of the Divine Name—to show that Providence is implied through all existence. However, this is the Divine intention within, and the similar intention on the surface is represented by the four Living Creatures.
Meaning of Wheel of Fortune from the Vivid Waite Smith Deck
Destiny, fortune, success, advancement, luck, delight.
Growth, abundance, surplus.
According to Many Schools of Thought
The Wheel of Fortune. There is a current Manual of Cartomancy which has obtained a considerable vogue in England, and amidst a great scattermeal of curious things to no purpose has intersected a few serious subjects. In its last and largest edition it treats in one section of the Tarot; which--if I interpret the author rightly--it regards from beginning to end as the Wheel of Fortune, this expression being understood in my own sense. I have no objection to such an inclusive though conventional description; it obtains in all the worlds, and I wonder that it has not been adopted previously as the most appropriate name on the side of common fortune-telling. It is also the title of one of the Trumps Major--that indeed of our concern at the moment, as my sub-title shews. Of recent years this has suffered many fantastic presentations and one hypothetical reconstruction which is suggestive in its symbolism. The wheel has seven radii; in the eighteenth century the ascending and descending animals were really of nondescript character, one of them having a human head. At the summit was another monster with the body of an indeterminate beast, wings on shoulders and a crown on head. It carried two wands in its claws. These are replaced in the reconstruction by a Hermanubis rising with the wheel, a Sphinx couchant at the summit and a Typhon on the descending side. Here is another instance of an invention in support of a hypothesis; but if the latter be set aside the grouping is symbolically correct and can pass as such.
Good Fortune, Success, Unexpected Luck
Ill-Fortune, Failure, Unexpected Ill-Luck.