The World 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 the Apocalypse and Ezekiel's vision are grouped around an elliptic garland. They are attributed to the four Gospels in Christian symbolism. Within this garland there is the figure of a woman, whom the wind has clothed with a light scarf, and this is all she wears. She is dancing, with a wand in either hand. It speaks of the swirl of the sensory life, of joy attained in the body, of the soul's intoxication in the earthly paradise. However, she is still guarded by the Divine Watchers. They are the powers and the graces of the Holy Name, Tetragammaton, JVHV. These four ineffable letters are often attributed to the four mystical beasts. This card represents the perfection and end of the Cosmos, the secret within the Cosmos, its rapture when it understands itself in God. This card is further the state of the soul in the awareness of Divine Vision, reflected from the self-aware spirit.
Meaning of The World from the Vivid Waite Smith Deck
Assured success, compensation, voyage, travel, emigration, fleeing, change of place.
Inertia, inflexibility, stagnation, permanence.
According to Many Schools of Thought
The four living creatures of the Apocalypse and Ezekiel's vision, attributed to the evangelists in Christian symbolism, are grouped about an elliptic garland, as if it were a chain of flowers intended to symbolize all sensible things; within this garland there is the figure of a woman, whom the wind has girt about the loins with a light scarf, and this is all her vesture. She is in the act of dancing, and has a wand in either hand. It is eloquent as an image of the swirl of the sensitive life, of joy attained in the body, of the soul's intoxication in the earthly paradise, but still guarded by the Divine Watchers, as if by the powers and the graces of the Holy Name, Tetragammaton, JVHV--those four ineffable letters which are sometimes attributed to the mystical beasts. Eliphas Levi calls the garland a crown, and reports that the figure represents Truth. Dr. Papus connects it with the Absolute and the realization of the Great Work; for yet others it is a symbol of humanity and the eternal reward of a life that has been spent well. It should be noted that in the four quarters of the garland there are four flowers distinctively marked. According to P. Christian, the garland should be formed of roses, and this is the kind of chain which Eliphas Levi says is less easily broken than a chain of iron. Perhaps by antithesis, but for the same reason, the iron crown of Peter may he more lightly on the heads of sovereign pontiffs than the crown of gold on kings.
Completion, Good Reward
Evil Reward, or Recompense.