Tarot Wheel 2.0.0 beta – the RWS Spin

Those familiar with version 1.0 of the wheel may recall that version was focused on the Golden Dawn. This is version 2.0 (beta). I have redone everything, and consider it appropriate as an RWS “spin.” I have replaced the descriptions taken from the Book T with excerpts of the divinatory meanings from The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. I’ve kept the Golden Dawn’s esoteric names for the minors.

The main reason for the update, actually, was to move the “source” document out of Microsoft Visio. It is now a scalable vector graphic (.svg). As such, free and open software such as InkScape can work equally well to edit the source document as proprietary software such as Adobe Illustrator. The Tarot Wheel carries the most liberal of the Creative Commons licenses (attribution type) expressly because I hope to see others pick it up and customize it. It would make a splendid platform as a “Little White Book” for a new deck. In addition to the finished wheel, I am making a completely “empty” one, i.e., no text, no colors, just shapes, available as well.

I hope that this will help those new to tarot, especially. If you’re in RWS land, i.e., the Waite-Smith tarot and other decks derived from it, you may find it of use.

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The Wheel of Fortune as “Meta-Card”

As a “meta-card,” the Wheel of Fortune is a tarot-card-about-tarot-cards. As the bearer of many symbols of divination, the card itself symbolizes fortune telling. As a “map compass” it provides context for the other cards in the drawing. At least that is my contention. I have created an exercise using a variation of the Zodiac Wheel (soon to be finished, I promise!) to illustrate. The Wheel of Fortune, Rota Fortunae, is the Wheel of the Zodiac. We trace its history as a symbol of the celestial spheres, and as a medieval metaphor–not just as a metaphor for the ups and downs of life, but as an exhortation to live a good life, in hopes of a better afterlife. What it boils down to, for those that read tarot is this: I see it as a cue to the reader to modify the overall message conveyed by the divinatory meanings of the other cards. The call is to make sure “the bottom line” is of a dual or mixed nature, up and down, sweet and sour. I think that when the Wheel of Fortune tarot card appears, it advises that whatever the outcome of the other cards, be it wealth, love, or whatever, it is a sign that very seldom will the soul (or querent, for that matter) be wholly happy or wholly unhappy with the outcome.

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