10 – The Wheel of Fortune

This article is part of a series of posts that will compare each card in the Tarot across different decks in order to study and explore each archetype and concept more deeply. This is not necessarily meant to be a teaching tool for others, but if you like to study the Tarot as much as I do, I hope you find it interesting. Enjoy!

For more on the decks referenced here please another page in my blog: Tools of the Locksmith: https://wordpress.com/page/theramblinglocksmith.com/163

A major reference for this study was “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom” by Rachel Pollack.

Wheels and circles are archetypal references for all of us. Almost every religion and culture has a wheel reference somewhere in it. Many North and South American indigenous cultures have a medicine wheel or wheel representing the 4 seasons and the elements, animals and aspects connected to those four directions. There is an Irish Spirit Wheel that maintains the four directions of our soul’s journey. We have clocks that tell us what direction we think time moves in. We are connected to wheels at a very basic level and we like this because it helps us feel grounded in a type of universal truth.

The problem is that when it comes to the wheel or wheels of our life, we don’t always remember that the spokes are connected because we can’t see the whole wheel on a daily basis, and also we don’t like the idea that we aren’t necessarily in the driver’s seat. If our life moves in a direction we didn’t predict we say its bad luck or “fate”. It takes a special viewpoint to see the connection in all things, and at this stage of the Major Arcana we aren’t necessarily embodying, absorbing, or truly living a life that reflects that connection, but it is potentially becoming visible to us for the first time.

In readings this card often represents a big change, a turn of the wheel. It is either an opportunity to finally see the wheel, or at least part of it, or to assume that everything is random and this change is due to having good or bad luck. Lets look at some different version of this card to see additional nuances in interpreting this.

The Lua Tarot chooses to use a portal to represent the Wheel. In this representation there are two beings. One stands in the calm center of the wheel or portal at its still point and is able to be at peace with the flow of life. The other is at the outside of the rings and is searching for or still trying to understand that flow. For the person at the outer ring things still feel like big changes and also might feel unconnected to prior or future events, or other influences around him or her.

Think of the latest change in your life. How did this feel, did it feel connected and in flow with he rest of your life? Or did it feel random, lucky, unlucky, etc.? If it was the latter try to meditate on what some connection might be, or where your life is out of flow. Maybe that’s where things are not connecting, and until they do your portal will never feel truly open to you.

In the Light Seers Tarot there is more than one wheel. In this case the person is not only embracing the connection and flow of one wheel, but is able to embrace the idea of several interconnected wheels, all spinning in flow with one another. There are ups, there are downs. Both are being embraced as part of life and part of the transformative journey of life.

How many wheels are you aware of? How do they connect to each other and the recent or major events of your life? Did you embrace these changes or try to prevent them or work against them? If this is the card you connect most with spend some time reflecting on that.

After all, you can try to make the wheels spin differently, but in many cases they will just balance each other out in the end.

In the Tarot of Mystic Moments there are even more wheels, but this time they wheels are internalized. Because the wheels are internalized we get to see all of the cogs connecting them. They are connected on all four attributes – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

Can you identify wheels in all four attributes, or even wheels that contain more than one? Or even all four? Because that is true connection. Go ahead, lift your skirts and look inwards. Once you discover this your internal flow and purpose will feel like…you guessed it…clockwork.

In the Brady Tarot we see a specific cycle with the spider in the center, devouring the knowledge and energy associated with this cycle in order to continue to build its own energy and web.

The moth is shown in different stages of life. On one level the moth can understand the events of this cycle in a linear fashion. On a next level the Spider can see the connection of multiple cycles of multiple moths, and ultimately the evolution of this cycle into the energy of the web or even beyond.

Nature has an easier time with the idea of these connections and evolutions because in nature this understanding is instinctual, and there are no emotional responses to these connections or whether the current part of the cycle represents life of death, darkness or lightness, youth or old age, joy or sadness.

On one hand with this card you can try to see if you are more a moth or a spider. On the other hand you can admire the detachedness of both and strive for that in your own practice. The more curious and detached you can be, the more you may understand the construction of the web.

Storytellers are the architects of dreams, and when we share our stories, we create a shared dream.

The Tarot of the Divine illustrates the Wheel of Fortune by using the mythological figure of Anansi. Anansi is a trickster God who can spin luck and misfortune together into the same stories and hand these stories down to humans so that they to can attempt to understand how everything is woven together. The catch is all these truths are there in the story, but which ones do we actually hear?

The origin of Anansi comes from the Akan peoples of Ghana who through slavery brought their own stories to other cultures and geographies and in many ways wove these stories both born of trauma and joy, and pride in a strong culture together.

What story can you share that does this? Can you be a bit mischievous like Anansi, but to the end of helping people understand a truth? Is it a truth that cannot be understood without understanding how pain and joy are connected? If you can please share your gift, we can always use more of these stories.