The Wheel of Fortune
Tarot Card Meaning
Universal Rider Waite
Gilded Tarot By Ciro Marchetti
The Wheel of Fortune
Lord of the Forces of Life
Rules: Sagittarius and Pisces
Hebrew Letter: Kaph
Musical Note: B-flat or A-sharp
Wheel of Fortune Description and Symbolism
The Wheel of Fortune is a busy card, rich with symbolism. In the center of the card is an orange wheel. This symbolizes the ever changing wheel of life that supports our earth, universe and life itself. It is an orange-golden color to symbolize the strength of the sun by giving us life. In the center is another circle, which represents the exaltation of the moon.
The snake, jackal, and sphinx are all representations of the renewal of life, death and rebirth. In older decks, the Wheel of Fortune is associated with the three Fates who measure and handle destiny.
The snake is an ancient symbol of rebirth. There is a reference to the snake shedding its skin in the Epic of Gilgamesh, but also in Ancient Egypt. The snake became a symbol of terror when the God of Abraham came to dominate our world.
There is a jackal with a human body in the right hand corner of the wheel. This is the hermanubis. This symbolism comes from the ancient Egyptian god Anubis, the god of mummification. He was also part of the weighing of the heart ceremony. The heart would be placed on a scale, the other side the feather of Ma’at, Goddess of Justice would sit. If your heart was evenly balanced you would be free to live in the underworld. If it was tipped, then your soul would be eaten by the jackals of the underworld.
At the very top sits a sphinx with the sword of discernment. This is very representative of the feather of Ma’at during the heart ceremony. A sphinx will rise from the ashes to be reborn.
The bull, the lion and the snake are all ancient symbols of rebirth. The myth goes something like this (and it found all in ancient cultures, though sometimes the bull is replaced by the pig): The sun eats the moon, but the moon is stronger and is reborn and eventually becomes full again. The lion, who represents the sun, eats the bull. That turns into the eagle and the sun eating the snake. “What the moon, the bull, and the serpent represent is the power to throw off death and be born again” (Campbell, 42). There is no mistaking that death and birth belong together.
Inside the wheel are the words Taro/Tora/Rota along with an arrow. The arrow is pointing at the Anubis head. His ears are above the “A” thus symbolizing that the way to true understand is through interior hearing, which is found in the Hierophant. We can also see the word Hathor written if we take the Heh’s in the Hebrew alphabet and Romanize them. Hathor is a function of the Empress.
If we think about it, the Empress is the beginning of manifestation where we already have the idea and are working on creative visualization, so the Wheel is the end phase of this. The Wheel of Fortune is the Empress’s creative visualization taking place in the NOW. If you have been depressed and negative about this yesterday, then today that is what you get. But if you have been happy and enriched by the beauty of life, then today this is what you get. The Wheel represents the action of Karma.
Inside the interior circle we find alchemical symbols. The top symbol, which is below the letter T, is Mercury. The second, which is beside the A, is Sulphur. The symbol across from the O is Salt. The final symbol which runs directly below Mercury and above the letter R is the sign of dissolution. It is also the symbol of Aquarius.
Dissolution in alchemy involves water. The Aquarius symbol is also the symbol for water, though Aquarius is assigned to Air even though she is termed the “water bearer.” Water is another term that occultist use to refer to cosmic mind stuff that penetrates every inch of the universe. Dissolution sits between the Bull and the Lion. A Green Lion is often a symbol of dissolution. Dissolution is interior work where the body is refined and purified. It is the second of the alchemical processes.
The four animals and human are aspects of astrology. They are the fixed zodiac signs of Taurus (bull), Scorpio (eagle), Leo (lion) and Sagittarius (human). Many Occult references were hidden among the modern religious dogma of the time, so the animals and the angel are an actual reference to Revelations 4:7, “The first one looked like a lion; the second looked like a bull; the third had a face like a human face; and the fourth looks like an eagle in flight. Day and night they never stop signing: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come.”
Wheel of Fortune Interpretation and Divination
We are constantly being “reborn” and stuck in a never ending cycle of life and death. One goes up and one goes down. Ask anyone who studies tarot what they think of the Wheel of Fortune. Their answer will reveal to you their understanding of tarot and the Law of Rotation or Karma. The Wheel of Fortune is not inherently good nor evil, but it is the way we choose to look at life. Once a person has mastered the creative manifestation process, there is no reason for a period to ever occur in which the participant is “down.” These “down” periods are ones in which we learn. Learn and keep moving upward in the spiral.
I believe this is a good card to get and one of the luckiest in the bunch. You may have a certain degree of good luck and fortune. If you are having bad luck, know that you can change this luck by making your thoughts more positive. Today is the new start because today is NOW and NOW is really all we have. We have the past only in memories, which change through the passing of time. The future is also only in our minds and can be molded to the things we are expressing in the NOW. NOW is all we have.
The Wheel can come up for someone with loves to gamble. Depending on the cards and question, the Wheel of Fortune combined with a travel card such as the Knight of Wands or the 6 of Swords can indicate a trip to Las Vegas, Atlantic City or the French Riviera.
You may understand life’s ups and downs and just role with the punches. A person who gets the Wheel is advised to look at the glass half full rather than half empty.
There are obvious karmic connections to the Wheel of Fortune as everything is in a constant cycle and movement. You get what you put out. This is really why the Wheel of Fortune comes before Justice. If you don’t know how to handle the karmic things that you’ve done, they get processed by Justice. Your heart is weighed and you face the consequences. Is this also about karma? Is karma different than Justice? It is unfortunate that in today’s society, Justice is not really Justice, but human beings playing a silly game of laws created by man. True divine Justice comes from the interior world.
The Wheel of Fortune as a Person or Signifier
This is no ordinary person. He or she has a larger than life outlook. This is probably the Jupiter influence. They probably spent many incarnations on other planetary systems and is here on Earth to help. They can be very magnetic, but for those who are at the base level of mass consciousness (and you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you were) you may see the Wheel personality confusing. They can be very exciting, enigmatic and mysterious at the same time. An unearthly aspect radiates in their aura. They are naturally forgiving people because they have an understanding of life. “The only way people learn is through making their own mistakes.” This may lead them to having a great sense of history. They can easily learn from history’s mishaps. They may love biographies; I am sure that there is an autobiography in them as they live less-that-ordinary lives.
They have a great sense of humor. You can catch them making jokes and laughing all the time. This is the type of person who “talks” to themselves all the time. You might see them giggle all by themselves. Life is one big adventure waiting to be discovered.
They may love history, current events and culture. They love and investigate other cultures. They are especially attracted to ancient Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, and East Asian culture. They find simple, yet amazing beauty in the stars and may spend many nights just gazing at the sky. One person who came up for the Wheel as a person told me the best thing about going to Mexico was the night they saw all the stars lined up in the sky. As if they bring them, they always seem to see shooting stars. If they live in the city, they may need to take a break from the city lights and go out into the wilderness.
They may love fashion and dressing in many different outfits. They love beauty and refinement. Their wardrobe changes with each “character” they put on. This is the type of person who is a true chameleon. They can blend in with anyone. Acting would be a good profession for someone whose signifier falls under the Wheel of Fortune. They understand all humanity and all that comes with it. A forgiving soul for sure.
They understand karmic laws and are extremely self-reflective because of this. They were born with a divine sense of cosmic self.
They have a love of children and animals. They have a telepathic rapport with both. They do this by channeling the feeling of the words. I knew a Wheel person who could give their cat commands. This is because they respect all soul in every single thing, even a droplet of water. Live will always amaze them. And they are grateful for every moment.
They collect information to stock pile in their soul. Or as a Laurelle says, “I will tuck that into my subconscious for later use.”
They are lucky when they gamble or invest. The wealthier may make speculative purchases such as real estate, commodities, and the stock market. They have an intuitive sense of what to buy combined with their love of reading and investigating. The less wealthy get lucky with lotto tickets and black jack. In fact, everything they set their mind to may “turn to gold.” This is a person whose Jupiter shines down on them ever expanding their life, so that they can provide an indelible mark left on this world.
The Wheel personality is mighty exciting!!
Wheel of Fortune in Love
I think the Wheel brings good luck to any relationship. It’s a karmic tie or it’s something that you “need”. It’s meant to happen as part of your life path.
I see the Wheel of Fortune in romance as optimistic, fertile, and honest. You will have a very honest and open communicative relationship. I see lots of giggling between the couple. You may even take trips together because you love culture and adventure. A very whirlwind romance as everything moves in perfect harmony with each other. It’s the right time for this. Perfect timing.
Wheel of Fortune as Feelings
If you are asking tarot what someone feelings for you, then they may not know how they feel depending on where they are in their own evolution. Some cards do not bode well with the question of “How does he feel about me?” When I get the Wheel of Fortune in that position, I look to surrounding cards. Is the Wheel surrounded by Swords? Then they don’t have pleasant thoughts. Is the Wheel surrounded by Cups? Then they are falling in love with you.
In a general exoteric level, feelings could be influx, adaptable and moving towards a certain goal or point. They could also be changeable and uncertain if, like I said above, this person has not grasped the full meaning of the Wheel of Life.
Wheel of Fortune as a Strength
You are able to learn from the down periods in order to be truly joyful in the up periods.
The Wheel doesn’t stop moving, it will go down and it will come back up, but it’s how you look at the down periods that indicate how good your down period is. There is a lesson in there. Learn from that lesson, so that you don’t repeat the same down period. It will make your up periods so much more profound and joyful, for only in suffering can one really experience joy. Spiral up inside of around and around. If you don’t spiral upwards, you tend to slam into the Justice card in a not so pleasant way.
Wheel of Fortune as the Outcome
The Wheel of Fortune is in constant flux and rotation, which makes the wheel of Fortune right at home in the outcome position. It’s all about the final culmination of ongoing activity. It’s about karma, cause and effect or the results of your actions.
This could indicate that something from the past is concluding as the outcome. What you put out into the world is coming back to you.
In the outcome position, The Wheel of Fortune almost always indicates a more positive spin to a situation, yet you may not see it as positive in the meantime.
Wheel of Fortune on a Mundane Level
The Wheel of Fortune can indicate treadmills and elliptical machines where you are running over and over again in the same spot.
It can also indicate the washing machine. Perhaps you will end up doing a lot of laundry on the day your daily card is the Wheel of Fortune.
Tarot Wheel of Fortune Professions
Gambler. Black Jack Dealer. Bank Teller. Historian. Writer of Historical Fiction. Theologian. Astrologer. Administration. Lawyer. Judge.
Wheel of Fortune Reversed
My personal view is that the Wheel is just as lucky as when it is upright. The meanings are the same, but slightly masked. Your luck might be more subdued.