daily tarot card: Wheel of Fortune

wheel of fortune
wheel of fortune, morgan greer tarot

One thing I’ve always loved about this particular depiction of the Wheel of Fortune, is the implication of enjoyment between the crowned pair.  The male figure appears to be smiling and cheering his beverage, and while the reader cannot see the female figure’s face, the pair has a dancing posture.  They seem completely unconcerned with the figure who has fallen off the Wheel and out of the frame.

Another interesting element to this depiction is the Hand of God coming from the left of the frame.  In the Morgan Greer deck, this hand also appears in the Ace cards, presenting the elemental symbol to the Seeker.

Wheel of Fortune in itself is neutral, it signifies nothing good nor bad is coming, but it is a harbinger of change.  The basic meaning of the Wheel of Fortune is the cycles of life: is never the same, it is always changing.  There is nothing that humans can do to stop the forward, or cyclic, or spiral motion of our existence.  There is, as the pair on top of the Wheel shows, nothing to worry about as the Wheel turns.  We do not know what is coming, humans cannot control it — our destiny — as hard as we try.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind,
The kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

— Baz Luhrmann, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen),” which was originally an essay written by Mary Schmich in the Chicago Tribune.

As number ten in the Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune is the middle of the Seeker’s journey — one could say it is the turning point of for the Seeker.  Here, the Seeker must confront the question of chance versus destiny, choice versus fate, the mystery of life.

This, however, leads to a conundrum within the question, which Rachel Pollack outlines in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: human lives are so short that we cannot comprehend the meaning of life.  Thus, life feels meaningless.  We subscribe to the idea of fate, because we are so small that we cannot see the interconnectedness of all things.  It is only when we step back (the Hermit) that we can begin to perceive our life, what we’ve done and where we are going.

With the Wheel comes change, and to the change we must react.
After the Wheel, we must adapt and integrate.
Through the Wheel, we receive glimpses of the meaning of life.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

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