Reflections on The Wheel of Fortune

Q: Of all the lessons we can learn from the Tarot, what is the most important?

A: This.wheel

When we see the Wheel appear in a spread, we are often reminded that “nothing is constant save change,” and indeed one of the card’s traditional meanings has been the end or beginning of a phase of  life—a change for the better or for the worse. While this may hold true at times—and most of us do experience some perceived “changes in fortune” within our lifetimes—we should also remember that we don’t only exist in a world defined by the boundaries of space and time but also in a world of spirit that, like the form of the Wheel itself, is symmetrically perfected, eternally turning, and without either a beginning or an end point.

With that in mind, when the card appears in a reading (and especially if reversed), it could be encouraging us to spend more time in meditation, prayer and other spiritual path-work, to not let ourselves become too consumed by the “things of this world,” all of which will one day slip away from our grasp; for there is a “higher power” (however we choose to characterize it) at work in our lives, and it is personified here by the four heavenly archangels of Ezekiel’s vision, the four-lettered name of God engraved on the Wheel, and the sphinx perched atop it that guards the secrets of the ages. When we embrace values that are likewise eternal—love, compassion, forgiveness for others—we increase the probability that our fortunes will change for the better as well.

We can’t control everything that happens in life, but we can improve our “spiritual odds” by performing acts of charity and kindness to others, reminding ourselves that what we perceive of as “life” and “death” in this world, and all the interceding stages between those states of existence, are merely steps in an eternal dance that, like the Wheel of Fortune, is constantly in motion. Whether or not it turns in our favor depends to a great extent on the kind of force we choose to apply to it.

Dante DiMatteo

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