WHEEL OF FORTUNE
KEYWORDS: Vision, Luck, Change, Karma, Destiny, Opportunity, Choices
CARD DEFINITION: You may have some special gains. Your destiny may be changing and you may face advancement in life. You will have good luck and easy progress. Old problems will end and new beginnings will happen.
REVERSE DEFINITION: Your time may not be so good now. You may face a bout of failures and bad luck. Unexpected events may be responsible for your bad fate. There will be lots of difficulties and unwanted delays.
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Interpreting The Wheel of Fortune
The eleventh card in the sequence of the tarot deck is the Wheel of Fortune. The number associated with this card is ten. It is important to note that while ten is itself a number of completion and conclusion, the addition of its digits leaves you with only one. This is a reminder that all ends are also beginnings in their own right. Unlike many of the cards of the Major Arcana that have come before it, the Wheel of Fortune card represents a force that is not only unseen, but essentially impossible to fully understand.
The Wheel of Fortune reminds us not only of the elements in life and in the universe at large that we cannot control no matter how we may try, but also of the fact that all things come in cycles. Each one of us must take our turn at each of the stations of the Wheel sooner or later, as it is perpetually turning. Misfortune cannot last forever, but alas… neither can a comfortable seat at the top of the world. As one person's position on the great wheel rises, another person's must fall. Thus goes the natural progression of lives, fortunes, and destinies. Many people also feel that the concept of the Wheel of Fortune card represents the circle of life itself - each living thing taking its turn at life on earth and eventually stepping aside so that new life can emerge in its place.
The traditional tarot image for the Wheel of Fortune shows the wheel itself residing up in the sky amongst the clouds to symbolize the fact that its nature is ultimately something that we will only be able to understand and define but so well. In many depictions of the tarot, there are three figures situated at different points around the wheel - the Great Sphinx, the world serpent Typhon, and the god figure Hermanubis. The serpent represents life as we know it on earth, Hermanubis stands similarly for the life we will experience beyond, and the Sphinx represents the balance between the two. The image of the Wheel of Fortune as a whole emphasizes the continuity of the great, grand cycle of life, as well as the universe at large. It also reminds us that all souls, as well as all worlds, are forever united in adherence to this cycle.
When the Wheel of Fortune shows up in a tarot spread, it almost always denotes a monumental change that is certain to come to pass in the near future. What type of change this will ultimately turn out to be depends on where on the Wheel the querent currently sits. If everything's been going his way, he should watch out for unexpected developments to the opposite tune and prepare to the greatest extent possible. Alternatively, if he just hasn't been able to catch a break, he should watch for signs that things will be looking up dramatically very shortly. The positioning of this card, as well as the surrounding cards in the spread can help shed more light on how exactly the querent can expect to be most affected.
It's also important to note that the changes foretold by the appearance of the Wheel of Fortune card are of the type that takes the form of a bolt from the blue. The instruments that bring them about are usually the results of sheer strokes of luck - either good or bad. While it is true that one can only prepare so well for the unexpected, the querent should keep in mind that even some preparation or foreknowledge is better than none. He should also keep in mind that whatever changes come about are ultimately temporary in the grand scheme of things as the cycle will continue on as always.