Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune is one of the most mystical cards of the tarot. On the wheel itself are the Hebrew letters for YHWH, or the name of God, and in between those letters are T-A-R-O, or tarot. Inside that are the alchemical symbols for the four elements for fire, water, earth, and air.
The four figures in the corner – the winged man, the eagle, the winged ox, and the winged lion – stand for the writers of the Gospel, Matthew, John, Luke, and Mark, respectively. They also loosely correlate to the fixed signs of the zodiac, Aquarius, Scorpio, Taurus, and Leo. All in all, everything will be okay.
The god of intelligence, Hermes, rises on the right. The god of evil sinks on the left. The sphinx, representing the mysteries of existence, sits on top as if to rule the wheel.
The wheel of Fortune spins. Life is full of ups and downs, and things happen in cycles. If you’ve heard the old adage “sometimes, when a door closes, a window opens,” or “thank God for unanswered prayers,” we understand that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” and yet, we still get good things. We couldn’t have made them happen with our limited knowledge.
That’s what Hermes rising means. You live, you learn, and you become wiser. Hermes will eventually met the sphinx and think he’s got it all figured out, only to spin down again on the cycle.
The Wheel floats in the air by itself. It’s always falling but never landing, and never crashing. It’s just there, turning forever, like the Earth, the Moon, the planets on the cycles we humans experience as the passing of time.
When the Wheel of Fortune card is drawn, the client or querent is facing circumstances out of their knowledge but not necessarily out their control. Yes, fortunes are about to change, but the querent has to looks where it’s going. This is time when the querent should stay optimistic, especially if they’re experiencing rough times. They should improve, as nothing lasts forever.
When Reversed: The Wheel of Fortune reversed usually means that the querent resists change. They either don’t feel secure enough to move on and embrace change, or they’re still holding onto something long dead. This is a warning to let go of the past or be stuck in it forever. This may also mean that the querent is blaming others for past misfortunes and not accepting responsibility. Even if one is victimized through no fault of their own, one can find a way to grow and learn, if only for their own sake.
This card reversed can also mean change for the bad because the querent is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by being pessimistic. The lesson here is to figure out the difference between pessimism and realism. While we can’t always shape our reality, we can shape our approach to it and influence the tides of change by embracing them with a positive outlook.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: A past reversal or change of fortune has set the tone for current events. Keep your chin up and hope for the best.
Present: A current upheaval may be upsetting, but it’s for the best. Look on the bright side. Try to find a bright side.
Future: Things are about to change for good or bad, depending on whether the card is right side up or reversed. Don’t despair your current lot in life, because one day, it’ll be a memory.