The Wheel of Fortune is the eleventh card in the Tarot Deck.
It is given the number 10 because the very first card (The Fool) is given the number 0.
The Wheel of Fortune card represents Karma, Fate, Destiny, being on the Wheel of Life. It describes the process of being on the wheel and trying to understand our place in the bigger picture.
Let’s look at the picture below of The Wheel of Fortune. The picture is from the Rider Waite Tarot deck which was first published in 1909. It is a great deck for beginners because every card has a picture describing its meaning. Today the majority of Tarot decks are based on the Rider Waite deck. It is also a ‘deep’ deck because the creators of it put multi layered meanings inside it.
We see a multitude of symbols, many seemingly abstract and strange. In the center is an orange wheel with symbols. Around and on the wheel are strange creatures. In the four corners are yellow figures sitting on clouds with a book at their hands / feet.
Orange Wheel of Fortune
This is the centre piece of the card. There is an outer circle with writing and an inner circle with symbols. The outer circle contains english letters from the top of the circle going clockwise – TARO. The outer circle contains Hebrew letters from the top right and anticlockwise – יהוה and is the unspoken name of God (the Tetragrammaton). This implies that God and TARO are connected and that the secrets and mysteries of the universe are inside of the Tarot. If we look at the English letters again we see there are more words than just TARO.
There are also the words – TORA – the holy Jewish book
ROTA – Latin for Wheel
ATOR – An old word for HATOR – Egyptian Goddess of faith
ORAT – Latin for ‘speak’
You can add all these words together to make a sentence – ROTA TARO ORAT TORA ATOR which means ‘The Wheel of Tarot speaks the law of Ator’. The Inner Wheel contains 8 spokes which represents many things, one of them being the 8 astrological cross sections of the year. It also contains alchemy symbols described below.
The Three Creatures on the Wheel represent lessons in life.
Blue Creature sitting on top of the Wheel
This is a Sphinx which represents the mystery of life. It also represents the SELF, the real person behind the mask that we wear (PERSONA).
Red Creature lying on Wheel
This creature is Anubis – the Egyptian God which guided dead souls and was the giver of new life. Anubis help consciousness rise from lower to higher.
Snake lying against Wheel
The snake represents Set, the Egyptian god of evil. He also represents death and rebirth. However the other message of the snake is about creating form from energy. The snake is wrapped around the Magicians waist. Through will and cosmic manifestation creation happens on earth. We are co-creators of our life and destiny. The snake also reminds us that we have to shed the old skin (habits etc) in order to grow the new.
Symbols inside the Wheel
These symbols are from alchemy and represent (from left to right) Mercury (Consciousness), Sulfur (Passion/Activity), Salt (Inertia) and Dissolution.
The Four Figures represents the archangels of the 4 corners of the universe.
They also represent the 4 stages that the universe was created in and make up the name of God in Kabblah – יהוה.
They also represent the four creatures in Ezekiel 1:10 and Revelations 4:7.
In other tarot decks they can also represent the 4 seasons of the year, the 4 Grail symbols etc.
Figure in Top Right Corner
Element of Water. Cups suit in Tarot. Eagle, Scorpio. Apostle John.
Figure in Bottom Right Corner
Element of Fire. Wands suit in Tarot. Lion. Leo. Apostle Mark.
Figure in Bottom Left Corner
Element of Earth. Pentacles suit in Tarot. Bull. Taurus, Apostle Luke.
Figure in Top Left Corner
Element of Air. Swords suit in Tarot. Man, Aquarius, Apostle Matthew
Gods / Goddesses
The Wheel of Fortune is ruled by all the Gods and Goddesses that rule fate, destiny and fortune.
Female: The Moirai, Hathor, Isis, Maat, Fortuna, Dike, Necessitas, Arianrod, Nine-fold Sisters of Celtic Legend
Male: Zurvan, Zeus, Dagda, Fa, Shai, Tezcatlipoca
The number of The Wheel of Fortune is 10. 10 is often seen as a combination of 0 and 1. Nothing and the first manifestation. The Creator represents 10 therefore because the Creator makes something out of nothing.
The astrological sign ruling the Wheel of Fortune is Jupiter
Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces
Jupiter governs circulation of blood and circular motions. Jupiter also governs the solar plexus area.
The creators of the Rider Waite Tarot deck were members of the Golden Dawn, a group that had many teachings based on the mystical Kabbalah of the Jewish nation. When I say Kabbalah forget about monotheism, Judaism, God, and religion for a moment. Kabbalists are mystics in a sense. They believe God is neither male nor female and in fact has many aspects. Their systems are all about learning why we are here, the mystery of the universe and what the big plan is.
Inside the Rider Waite deck is a multitude of Kabbalistic meanings. I will briefly explain a few of the Kabbalistic meanings within The Emperor card. Believe me when I say you could learn for the rest of your life about Tarot and Kabbalah and still only scratch the surface. I’m keeping it superficial but easy to understand. I am also using on purpose the word Kabbalah rather than Cabala.
The Wheel of Fortune is represented by the letter Kaph – כ – which is the first letter in the name of God.
The Wheel of Fortune on The Tree of Life sits on the path between Chesed and Netzach.
In Kabbalah the number 10 is a number of completion of a cycle and the beginning of another. We have 10 sephiroth on the Tree of Life describing the process of Creation. We have the 10 commandments which describe how to create a world that reflects God. 10 is also two numbers – 0 and 1. 0 is the Fool (nothing) and 1 is the Magician (manifesting out of nothing). Together they explain how God created the universe.
The name of this card is ‘Rewarding Intelligence of Those Who Seek’ and means that those who seek for the understanding of the greater picture will be rewarded. In other words, ‘Seek, and ye shall find’.
If we go into more detail we can explore the letters on the orange wheel. In Gematria TARO adds up to 671 and the name of God יהוה adds up to 26. Together the total number is 697 which breaks down to 22.
22 is the number of cards in the Major Arcana deck and the number of Hebrew letters in the alphabet.
Basically – learn Tarot and get closer to the meaning of the Creator!
KEYWORDS / KEY PHRASES
Being on the Wheel of Life, Destiny, Fate, Action of Fate, Luck, Co-Creator of your Future, Connection between past, present and future, Mystery of Life, Not knowing everything, Trusting in the process of Change, Cycles, Rhythms, Sequence, Change
MESSAGE FROM THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Why do things happen the way they do?
Is it accidental or is there a greater purpose?
Perhaps it is we who give it purpose in order to cope with the ups and downs of life?
The Wheel of Fortune wants you to think about your life and what you do and do not have control over.
In fact the only thing you really have control over is your thoughts. Everything else is subject to change.
If we cannot control life, then perhaps things happen as fate? Or do we have power to create our destiny or is everything Karma?
The Wheel of Fortune teaches us that we have control over ourselves and we can channel our vision for what we want, BUT that we need to let go of the control of the outcome. Every effect is the consequences of the past. To create our future we must understand how we are a product of the past. Knowing how this came about can help us better control our future.
We can ask, put the message out into the universe and then go about our life and hope.
Destiny is therefore a combination of our desires and what the universe decides.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do I feel life is in my control or not?
What is changing in my life?
What is passing away now?
What is coming into being?
Where am I in the bigger picture?
What seeds am I sowing for tomorrow?
Do I truly understand that I am a co-creator of my life?
What do I believe about destiny and fate?
How can I learn to work with the energy of change?
Allow yourself to focus on the above questions in order to understand the Wheel of Fortune on a deeper personal level.
THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE REVERSED
When I see a reversed card I simply see the energy blocked or inhibited in some way.
How would The Wheel of Fortune be inhibited?
The Wheel of Fortune means that you are in a bad run of luck. Things are not going your way and days feel hard and exhausting.
If you get The Wheel of Fortune reversed for yourself or someone else some questions to ask might be…
Am I feeling torn by life changes?
Am I feeling disconnected from everything?
Am I failing to see the change around me?
Am I resistant to change?
Am I having a run of bad luck and setbacks?
Am I repeating old patterns – love, relationships, money etc?
Is there a family situation that seems to repeat itself?
What experience right now am I having difficulty understanding?
Do I feel like a victim of life?
If you get The Wheel of Fortune reversed you need to understand that this phase will pass too. As a famous AA slogan says, ‘This too shall pass’. The trick while you are in this hard phase is to accept it for what it is and not fight it. It usually passes quicker when we let go of the need to control or ‘fix’ a hard day. This does not mean ‘giving up’ – it means surrendering to ‘what is’.
So learn to not be a victim of life but rather to surrender to the flow of life, and in that space be empowered.
TO SUM IT ALL UP…
The Buddhas principal teachings is how to get off the Wheel of Life (Samsara) and understanding how attachment brings us pain and suffering. Once we transcend pain and suffering and understand that EVERYTHING is impermanent then we can get off the Wheel of Life.
Tarot however gives us a different option: Perhaps rather than trying to get off the Wheel of Life, we learn to live and revolve with the Wheel of life. We learn to WORK ALONG with the creative plan as CO-CREATORS.
Yes to not getting too attached to the ups and downs of life, but also NOT to try our whole lives to get off it.
Life is an amazing wonderful gift in all its joy and sorrow.
We can gain enlightenment through being ON the Wheel of Life.
The Wheel of Fortune invites you to ask for what you WANT and then trust in the Universe that it will deliver what you NEED. There is no better movie in my opinion to explain this concept than ‘The Secret’.
Watch the first 20 minutes of the movie here.
The Wheel of Fortune Tarot card: By Pamela Coleman Smith – a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley (http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/) for the public domain, and retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot (see note on that page regarding source of images)., PD-US, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17299658
The Alchemy Symbols are from Wikpedia Commons and free to use.
All other images are creative commons and allowed for commercial use at www.pixabay.com