The Tarot Wheel of Fortune card meaning in a nutshell:
An uncertain outcome,
with an aftermath
to be carefully considered.
The Wheel of Fortune Tarot card image looks like a roulette. The outcome is uncertain, no matter what you do, so you can only hope to be lucky. The one thing to be expected is surprise. Sometimes fate plays tricks on us, and what can we do but wish for the best? You need to look beyond this point of time to get a glimpse of how the outcome will affect you - winning the lottery or losing a costly bet. If you worry, maybe you just shouldn't take this path.
The powerful methods of divination (that's most of them) have no problem revealing the future. But sometimes it's like they just don't want to, as if that's against some master plan concealed from us. The Wheel of Fortune card of the Tarot deck is a reminder of this, whenever it appears in a reading. Don't try to know everything in advance. It's not allowed.
At heart we have to agree with what the Wheel of Fortune Tarot card implies. What's the fun of living if there are no uncertainties and no surprises? We thrive with curiosity. Like any nutrition, it only keeps working if we keep feeding on it. What's hidden from us, even in divination, mainly has this function - keeping us awake and eager to meet tomorrow.
As a personal characteristic, the Wheel of Fortune card indicates too much trust in chance. Happy-go-lucky. Some people are blessed with a multitude of joyous tidings, so it may work for them - mostly. Never always. Even the luckiest among us will be struck by misfortune, now and then. If they trusted luck too much, such a blow can be devastating to them and they may find that they lack any kind of insurance, any alternative by which to minimize the losses.
So, the Wheel of Fortune can signal a formidable opportunity ahead, but always also a warning: Don't bet your whole fortune on the most fortunate outcome. Save something for a rainy day. Consider in advance what you can do if things don't go your way.
The Wheel of Fortune. Illustration attributed to Albrecht Dürer, from the book Ship of Fools by Sebastian Brant, 1494. The concept existed already in Ancient Greece and Rome. According to the Roman myth, the goddess Fortuna was at the wheel.
A. E. Waite's Texts
10. The Wheel of Fortune. There is a current Manual of Cartomancy which has obtained a considerable vogue in England, and amidst a great scattermeal of curious things to no purpose has intersected a few serious subjects. In its last and largest edition it treats in one section of the Tarot; which - if I interpret the author rightly - it regards from beginning to end as the Wheel of Fortune, this expression being understood in my own sense. I have no objection to such an inclusive though conventional description; it obtains in all the worlds, and I wonder that it has not been adopted previously as the most appropriate name on the side of common fortune-telling. It is also the title of one of the Trumps Major - that indeed of our concern at the moment, as my sub-title shews. Of recent years this has suffered many fantastic presentations and one hypothetical reconstruction which is suggestive in its symbolism. The wheel has seven radii; in the eighteenth century the ascending and descending animals were really of nondescript character, one of them having a human head. At the summit was another monster with the body of an indeterminate beast, wings on shoulders and a crown on head. It carried two wands in its claws. These are replaced in the reconstruction by a Hermanubis rising with the wheel, a Sphinx couchant at the summit and a Typhon on the descending side. Here is another instance of an invention in support of a hypothesis; but if the latter be set aside the grouping is symbolically correct and can pass as such.
About the Tarot Wheel of Fortune Card
The Inner Symbolism of the Tarot Wheel of Fortune Card
In this symbol I have again followed the reconstruction of Eliphas Levi, who has furnished several variants. It is legitimate - as I have intimated - to use Egyptian symbolism when this serves our purpose, provided that no theory of origin is implied therein. I have, however, presented Typhon in his serpent form. The symbolism is, of course, not exclusively Egyptian, as the four Living Creatures of Ezekiel occupy the angles of the card, and the wheel itself follows other indications of Levi in respect of Ezekiel's vision, as illustrative of the particular Tarot Key. With the French occultist, and in the design itself, the symbolic picture stands for the perpetual motion of a fluidic universe and for the flux of human life. The Sphinx is the equilibrium therein. The transliteration of Taro as Rota is inscribed on the wheel, counterchanged with the letters of the Divine Name - to shew that Providence is imphed through all. But this is the Divine intention within, and the similar intention without is exemplified by the four Living Creatures. Sometimes the sphinx is represented couchant on a pedestal above, which defrauds the symbolism by stultifying the essential idea of stability amidst movement.
Behind the general notion expressed in the symbol there lies the denial of chance and the fatality which is implied therein. It may be added that, from the days of Levi onward, the occult explanations of this card are - even for occultism itself - of a singularly fatuous kind. It has been said to mean principle, fecundity, virile honour, ruling authority, etc. The findings of common fortune-telling are better than this on their own plane.
Divinatory Meaning of the Tarot Wheel of Fortune Card
Destiny, fortune, success, elevation, luck, felicity. Reversed: Increase, abundance, superfluity.
The Tarot Major Arcana
- The Magician
- The High Priestess
- The Empress
- The Emperor
- The Hierophant
- The Lovers
- The Chariot
- The Hermit
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Hanged Man
- The Devil
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The World
- The Fool
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