- Sunflowers and Daisy Chain on Forehead - In the Golden Dawn system,
this card is assigned to the Sun. The flowers seem a simple and straightforward
- Red Feather - this is is the same feather that appears on the Fool
and Death cards.
Waite may be hinting that the Fool has been transformed through the
mystical Death and
now appears as an innocent small child.
- Single Child - Waite seems to suggest that, at this late stage in
the journey, the mystic must be transformed into a small child. The source may be the New
Testament: “Suffer the little children to come unto me”. See Mark 10:15 (and Luke
18:17): “...anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will
never enter it.”
The representation as a single child is a deviation from the usual
Tarot de Marseilles which shows two children in the garden. In the system of the
French occultist Papus this card is assigned to Gemini. Perhaps Waite wished to avoid
confusion by eliminating the two children that might refer to Gemini. Interestingly,
although Levi usually follows the Tarot de Marseilles in his decriptions of the Tarot, he mentions this
version (child on white horse) as one of the known variations.
- The card is assigned to Hebrew letter Resh which means face, seen
on the Sun. Also, the Hebrew Resh = English R = Enochian Don.
Don looks like a reverse number 3 and may explain the extra unpaired
curved Sun ray right next to the number XIX. The Enochian alphabet can be found
on page 652 of Regardie: The Golden Dawn. However, see The Fool,
footnote 6 for a caveat about assuming that the Hebrew letters can be found
in the Waite-Smith designs.
- Mary Greer pointed out that the shading lines beneath Smith’s
signature spell LOVE in some editions of the deck. Holly Voley clarified
that LOVE appears on Pamela A and D but not on Pamela B and C. [Note: For more
on Pamela A, B, C, and D, see Holly's Rider-Waite
Site.] The designations Pamela A-D come from Frank Jensen
’s categorization of the various editions published in his newsletter,
Manteia. [Note: Manteia was primarily a hard copy Tarot magazine.
This link is one issue of it in an Adobe Acrobat version.]
Ariane pointed out that Pictorial Key to the Tarot describes the scene
on the older Tarot de Marseille image as occuring within a walled garden (“a
walled garden--within are two children”) in the chapter on "The Veil and its Symbols")
whereas the Waite-Smith deck shows a child “coming out from the walled garden” in
the chapter on "The Doctrine behind the Veil."
Based on original research by (in alphabetical order)
M. Greer, R. O’Neill, and H. Voley. To add to this collection of information, please email
Robert V. O'Neill.