A wheel turning clockwise with rising/falling figures or beasts on it. Waite also includes a good many hebrew letters and alchemical symbols. Often there is a sphinx perched atop the wheel.
Basic Tarot Story
From out of hiding comes the Fool, into the sunlight, as if being pulled up from some low, dark point on a wheel. It is time for a change. Staff in hand, he heads back out into the world, expecting nothing. But, strangely, things seem to happen to him as the hours go by, good things. Wandering by water wheel a woman offers him a drink in a golden chalice, and then urges him to keep the cup, just because she likes him; as he wanders by a windmill, he stops to watch a young man swinging a sword; when he expresses his admiration of the weapon, the young man presses it into his hand, insisting that he take it.
And finally, when he comes upon a rich merchant sitting in a wagon, right over one of the wheels, the man hands him a bag of money. "I like giving away money," explains the Merchant, "and I decided, just randomly, that the tenth person who walked past me today would get this money. You're the tenth." The Fool hardly thought he could still be surprised, but he is. It is as if everything good that he ever did in his life is being paid back to him, three-fold. All luck this day is his.
Basic Tarot Meaning
With Jupiter as its ruling planet, the Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. Almost every definition of this card indicates abundance, happiness, elevation, luck. A change that just happens, and brings with it great joy.
As much as the Tarot is about what a Querent can do to change their life or self, there are cards that admit that sometimes you just get lucky. This card can mean movement, change and evolution, but its primary meaning always seems to say that such changes will seem to come out of the blue, a stroke of good, unexpected fortune. The person you're reading for is going to get that money, that job, that promotion, that special person, that break they've been waiting for. Call it Karmic payback for all the good things they've done in life, destiny or just luck, but whatever lotteries are out there, large or small, they've just won one.