Friday, March 30, 2012

The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is a card rife with symbolism and open to many interpretations depending on your spiritual beliefs and background. However no matter how you interpret the symbols you always come back to the same definition. Cycles. The Hermit who was once The Fool is no more. He has passed on into the afterlife and The Wheel of Fortune represents the culmination of that life. Perhaps he's waiting to be reincarnated, or perhaps he's awaiting entry into heaven but in either case he has transformed, for better or worse, even though we always hope for better.

1 The most prominent symbol on the card is The Wheel itself. The Wheel is representative of many things. The letters on The Wheel are TA - R - O returning once again to T with the rotation of the wheel. This represents the course of events from beginning to end. The Wheel is made up of eight spokes. Eight is considered to be a lucky and mystical number and is thought to be mathematically perfect. It is an important number in many religions. For example in paganism there are eight sabbats. In most belief systems eight represents a type of momentum, i.e. the turning of the wheel, abundance, and in Egyptian mythology the eight deities of creation. The Wheel symbolizes either good or bad luck, depending on the influences of nearby cards.

2 On the right side of The Wheel we see a red canine creature. One could interpret this as being Anubis god of the dead, or as the representation of our inner animal nature. This creature represents inevitability. Whether that be the inevitability of death or coming to terms with our inner animals.

3 On the left side of The Wheel is a golden snake. This serpent could be seen as the snake from the Garden of Eden, representing the tree of knowledge; or simply as a snake with all of the meaning that it entails. Snakes represent knowledge, rebirth, transformation, healing and immortality. The snake and the red humanoid dog are opposites bringing balance to The Wheel. If the dog is death than the snake is immortality, if the dog represents animal than the snake represents spirituality.

4 Atop The Wheel is a blue sphinx bearing a sword. The Spinx is traditionally the giver of riddles and keeper of arcane knowledge. It is the one who knows the answers to all. Ultimately it represents truth and knowledge. The Fool/Hermit has all the answers he needs from life and is approaching the end of all of his problems.

5 In the four corners of the card are a winged human, eagle, ox, and lion reading a book. These could be anything from the four horsemen of the apocalypse, to key characters of the zodiac. Regardless how you see them whether they be fallen angels or something else entirely they are undoubtedly hosts of the afterlife in which The Fool/Hermit has found himself.

6 The clouds we see in the background against a blue sky represent destiny. Clouds are generally associated with the element air (even though it can be argued that they are a combination of all elements) and higher thought. This is a card abundant with spiritual understanding and knowledge.

Key Words: Fortune. Fate. Outcome. Cycles. Culmination. Transformation, for better or worse. Course of events from beginning to end. Good or bad luck, depending on the influences of nearby cards. Inevitability. Immortality. Spirituality. Approaching the end of a problem. Destiny.

When Using Reverse Meanings: When right side up this card could mean either good or bad luck. Essentially it means whatever was meant to be will be. Inversed this card can only mean bad luck. Something has been altered, either by our own doing or by unexpected circumstances and now what was meant to be cannot. The natural cycle of events has been broken. We did not contemplate what the effects of an outside influence could do to us.

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