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.

9 – The Hermit

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.

This week we meet The Hermit who is both an example and a guide to teach us how to be ok with ourselves and activate our unconscious mind.

The Hermit is alone on purpose but they are here to show us the way to begin our own process of being along on purpose. This includes understanding the difference between withdrawing from society for a time in order to learn what we need to learn about ourselves versus a complete withdrawal from humanity. When you withdraw from society you can be on a visionary or spiritual quest to discover new knowledge within yourself, but your intention is always to bring that knowledge back to teach others. Isolating yourself from humanity is usually a response to trauma. It means you are dissociated and disconnected, and in this state you cannot access the knowledge of the Hermit. Learning the difference is tricky, but simply going on a silence retreat may not give you the answers you need if you still need to have a conversation with yourself and any hurting parts first.

Standard elements of the Hermit card include:

  • A lantern of knowledge to help light the way for yourself and others
  • No landscape behind no other objects but the Hermit and his lamp to show the extent of isolation necessary to learn to activate the unconscious mind

The Tarot of the Divine chooses to illustrate the archetype of the Hermit through the Celtic Legend of the Druid and the White Stag.

There were many different kinds of druids, but it took many years of study to become a full druid no matter if you were a bard, legal authority, lore-keeper, or medicine person. Many of these studies were quests, and the white stag heralded the beginning of a quest.

How can we relate to this back to the Hermit and how can we relate to this ourselves? I think in two ways.

First by understanding that when we are alone we aren’t really alone if we are still connected to humanity and our own spirituality. The “White Stag” is always with us waiting to show us the way to our next quest.

The second is by undrstanding that we retreat to learn many ways of becoming our deeper selves, not just our deeper spiritual selves. Maybe you need this to become a better artist or story teller. Maybe you need the pause to learn a different medicine that you can bring back to help heal yourself and others.

Take the pause for whatever reason you need, and then come back and teach it to others.

The Ancestral Path Tarot we see a traditional looking hermit type of guy, but he has a couple of extra things, and only the extra things he needs:

  • He has a view of the waves that crash on the shore. Why? because he can detach and observe his emotional self from a different perspective using solitude. Its easier to do that than from solitude.
  • He has a star to give him hope, so its not a hopeless solitude. Its the opposite. It has a higher purpose.
  • He has his own medicine that is borne of that hope so that now he can bring hope to others.

What is the medicine or story of hope that you can bring to others? Find your own solitude and learn this. How can you help others connect to that hope? You may need to create or find a quiet place to detach from your emotions to do this.

In the Santa Muerte Tarot we see a fella that seems to be in dire consequences. There is a caterpillar that seems to be feasting on him and some other insects. He has a flask at his feet – was this what put him in such dire consequences? What is the story here and how is it one of inner reflection and hope that connects us back to humanity. I mean at least he has a lantern?

Well that all depends on your perspective I guess. Maybe he took this spot of solitude to leave the flask behind. Maybe he realizes what his poison is and he is in the process of transcending it, and the insects are his rebirth. He still holds the lantern and its still lit. If he overcomes this he has much to teach others about resilience and never giving up.

What are you trying to overcome? Does it feel like something that is insurmountable? Take the pause. Understand what the poison is. Leave it behind. Keep the lantern lit. Come back and teach others.

In the Light Seers Tarot we finally get our female Hermit. She has not only transcended the lantern and become her own light, but she has transcended one kind of path and can see many other kinds of paths. This is a treasured outcome that might seem hard for most of us to achieve.

Take one step toward your own hermitage and understand where your own light comes from. Once you can understand the source of this you can understand how to grow it. Before you know it you will be floating giving you a great view of other paths.

Help others find the source of their own light. Become a lightworker. Lightworkers are our earthly hermits.

In the Way Home Tarot our friend the bear is in hibernation. I don’t think hibernation is what we are going for here exactly, but sometimes we have to start somewhere. He has a tiny light around his collar. He remembers the sun of spring and summer. This will get him through the hibernation of winter.

If this is you and you are in a kind of hibernation focus on a few things. Why did you go into hibernation in the first place? Was it instinctual? Remind yourself of what will be present that will tell you to come back into a stronger awareness. Look for that memory of Spring of Summer and that light. Commit to coming out of hibernation when the time is right.

The Osho Zen Tarot is like one of those assholes that is always right. I mean really.

Ok… the Hermit here is represented by a “humble figure” who lights his own path with his own light. Great. How do we do that?

First answer is by leaving behind the requirement to have others approve the truth you are finding in yourself. Leave any maps or guides that have been given to you behind and find your way.

But if we dig a little deeper the way to understand how to do that is to be humble. When we are humble our intentions are true and clear and not weighted down with the intentions that others have for us.

If we are humble we have found our own light, and it is only then that we are truly connected and not alone. We find connection through correct “aloneness”. And that is the magic and secret of the Hermit.

Be well.