The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune card is the 10th card of the Major Arcana. This card represents opportunities, surprises, sudden events, cyclical changes and chance. When this card appears in a spread it shows great things coming – and in my timeline spreads it appears to signify the shift I am seeking. If the card appears inverted, it may symbolize incomplete tasks, blocks, chances that are better not taken, or a loss of momentum.

Inevitably, situations arise and things happen that change the way we experience life – in thought, in action, or in our fundamental states of being. The Wheel of Fortune represents this phenomenon. But more importantly, it reminds us that “everything has a season.”

Spring brings with it new beginnings, whereas Summer brings growth, Autumn inspires reflection, and the maturity of Winter brings rest and release. Though this cycle does indeed correspond with the human life cycle, it also repeats and repeats over and over again in smaller ways throughout our lives. Every endeavor you begin (from relationships to jobs to hobbies and activities) will eventually go through this cycle – some more rapidly than others. And when things feel overwhelming – or life gets you down – there is nothing more important to remember than the cyclical nature of life. It may be sad sometimes, but without the negative aspects there can be no positives.

Of course, you might choose to stay in one phase of the cycle for too long, and when this card comes inverted, it indicates being “stuck” in the negative aspects of a situation. Never do we want to hold too tightly to anything – even our beliefs, as sometimes we can halt our own progress along the way.

Being open leaves way for chance, or fate, or destiny – whatever you want to call it. Clinging desperately (to a person, a situation or an emotion) closes the doors. While The Wheel of Fortune outwardly indicates fate, chance or luck, it also signifies that as always, it’s time to have faith. Things will ultimately change for the better.

In my deck the Wheel is a giant spinning wheel. On the Wheel sits a man with a sword – a blindfolded woman is spinning the wheel, and a man is hanging upside down, as if he were falling off the wheel. Loosely translated, these symbols represent fate giving us unexpected chances, and the fact that it’s always going to be someone’s turn. If you observe the rest of the card, there is a man leaving the scene about to open a door of a giant house, suggesting that he’s already had his chance – or perhaps he’s turning his back on opportunity. He might even be knocking on someone’s door to give them their go-round.

One of my favorite Wheel of Fortune appearances was a reading I did for a guy who couldn’t find his wallet. He was freaking out, and was embarrassed about calling a psychic for something like that. So I whipped up a spread, and the Wheel came out. I was actually drawn to the windows on the house of my card. The windows had ledges that kept catching my eye. “It’s on a ledge or an edge. Like the back of the toilet, which was probably the first place you went when you got into the house.” A few moments later he asked, “Geez – how did you do that?”

Have you recently found this card in your spread?

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