Originally published as a boxed set in 1997, The Wheel of Change Tarot companion book is now available separately. Ten years in the making, The Wheel of Change Tarot is a unique and brilliant creation. Although it follows the ancient tradition of the Tarot, it has many new features. This collection of 78 original watercolor paintings contains scientific, natural, historical and modern images. Based in a Pagan-oriented worldview, the underlying wheel of the year, and its cycles and seasons, form a backdrop for the varied layers of symbolism. The beautiful watercolors are full of detail and are painted in rich saturated colors, making the images vivid and exciting.
The Wheel of Change Tarot is based in the broad scope of human experience and is multicultural. In each of the four minor suits the "face" cards - Queen, Knight, Princess and Prince - are each of a different race. Symbolically this represents the fact that all people are made up of the various traits of the four suits. The multiculturalism in the Wheel of Change cards appears both in the Major Arcana and in the Minors, where images from all over the planet are included. With these extensive and varied images The Wheel of Change Tarot is inclusive; it therefore brings in both the individual experience of a broad range of people and the ancient histories of these people.
Another new feature of these cards is the broad historical period which they cover. The Ten of Cups shows an archaeological dig in Europe while the Four of Swords shows the ancient burial practices of the Egyptians. Many other images of the ancient historical and pre-historical period can also be seen in the cards.
Also included are images that are exclusively from the present – such as the Two of Swords, showing a common pair of scissors symbolizing the simple magic involved in such a tool. Alexandra believes that the common idea that only symbols from our past are legitimate needs to be examined carefully, as we must begin to accept the trappings of our society and to understand our complex relationship with them. The Wheel of Change deck is a conscious attempt to unite the world of nature and the world of our minds and to bridge the gap that ultimately divides us from our selves.
Our understanding of modern science is included in many of the images. The Two of Disks expresses the complex relationship between the sun and the earth and the concept of time shown in the analemma (the infinity symbol seen on globes), while the Ace of Swords pictures the full spectrum including the infrared and the ultra violet, showing our scientific understanding of electromagnetic radiation.
Also included in these cards is a powerful message of environmentalism. The strongest of these is the reinterpretation of the Justice card, which is usually interpreted as balance and is associated with the sign Libra, the scales. In Alexandra’s new version she has painted a representative balance of all the species on earth: the fish in the sea and the creatures of the earth and the air.
Included in the print version of the book are descriptions of the symbolism and reading interpretations for each of the 78 cards, as well as black and white images of each one. There are also many new spreads for doing both simple and sophisticated readings, a solitaire game designed to help beginners familiarize themselves with the Tarot, and guides to astrology and symbolism that will help readers develop their own philosophical system. Also included in the book is a new and completely original underlying pattern for the cards of the major arcana. Titled "The Tarot Tree", it helps people learn and understand the archetypes more easily and completely, and establishes several profound interrelated groupings, which lead to a new understanding of the structure of the major arcana. In addition, there is a philosophical commentary by Stanley V. McDaniel, professor emeritus, Sonoma State University, with whom Alexandra studied in the 1970s.