Tarot Spotlight: The Wheel of Fortune, by Avril Price

Ahead of this summer's Tarot & Tea at The College of Psychic Studies, Avril Price turns our attention to The Wheel of Fortune - the halfway mark of the Major Arcana, to unpack its meaning and symbolism...

By: Avril Price.   Posted

In tarot, The Wheel of Fortune is a halfway point on our journey through the Major Arcana. We have done a bit of living but there is more to come. As such, The Wheel of Fortune is connected to The Fool and The World. And, like The World, it is in a state of perpetual motion. When you draw The Wheel of Fortune, undoubtedly, things are moving. In fact, the most constant thing in life is change itself. Luck, fortune and fame, change and karma are all words associated with The Wheel Of Fortune and are frequently used to interpret its meaning.

Anatomy of The Wheel

The Wheel consists of three major parts: the hub, the rim and a middle circle. The hub represents the world on which all things rotate. The rim is the inferior or elementary realm. While the middle circle is the superior world, and then we have the realm of divine consciousness coming into the terrestrial realm. The Wheel is a spinning energy centre of consciousness and intelligence in the universe.

Banner with link to tea and tarot Wheel of Fortune event

The Wheel of Fortune symbolism

In the Waite Smith deck, three creatures circle the Wheel: Apep the serpent, enemy of the sun god Ra, and Set. Both are connected to chaos and destruction, although out of the two, Set is the lesser of the darkness. The sphinx represents the balance of all forces of nature. The Wheel of Fortune, with its ascending and descending figures, signifies that as a mind ascends to take governance over the processes of life, disorder and destruction are overcome. Yet, there is a sense of the illusory and the search for the meaning to the riddle of life is eternal.

All the while the tetramorphs, the fixed zodiac signs or the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, sit in each corner, they reflect the four elements and make sure that the wheel doesn't spin off into oblivion. These creatures in the corners also connect to Ezekiel's vision of a mighty chariot or Merkabah. It is symbolic of the throne chariot of God, which is in an ascending state. This suggests that the soul is in search of the ascending path.

The Wheel turns...

Change, movement, fate: These are usually the questions we have when we come for a reading or when we sling some cards across the table. We are interested in how fate and fortune may be influencing the lives we lead. This would be true from a divination perspective, but also from a psycho-spiritual one… it asks the question can we, in fact, create our opportunities and could we predict a future event?

The Wheel Of Fortune combines the ideas of sequence, chance, rotation, cyclicity and evolution along with the rise and fall of fortunes. It can even speak of reincarnation, each of us cast on the wheel of rebirth, each life a turn of the wheel, a spin around the sun. This rise and fall of circumstance appears to be accidental, but perhaps this may not be so. The Wheel of Fortune is the tarot symbol of the law of cause and consequence which enables us to be certain of reaping what we have sown. It is also known as the symbol of the whole cycle of cosmic expression, progress, advancement and improvement. When we ride the wheel we are doing the Great Work.

Ultimately, The Wheel of Fortune signals a period of good fortune, a positive outcome to a query and better times lie ahead. 

Join us in person at The College of Psychic Studies to deeply explore and immerse in the themes of The Wheel of Fortune - enjoyed with a sumptuous high tea!

Banner with link to Tarot and Tea: The Wheel of Fortune

Join our newsletter to keep connected with The College of Psychic Studies.