X Wheel of Fortune: Symbolism and Mythology
Sometimes our luck is unbelievable and other times we feel the arms of fate holding us back from our desires. The Wheel of Fortune talks about the spiritual law of cycles. Think about the cycles around you: a day, a month, a season, a year. A clock is a wheel that shows us hours and seconds. You can go outside our world see how the movement of the planets around the fun and how the stars can affect us as well. Our souls are in motion, constantly moving like the red storm on Jupiter.
Wheels are found as metaphorical symbolism to connection to the Universe all over the world. A medicine wheel can be found in indigenous cultures across North America. The Dharma Wheel found in Buddhism as a path to achieving enlightenment. Even in music, there is the circle of 5ths that connects key signatures together.
The image of the Wheel of Fortune depicts layers or levels of knowledge necessary to transcend or perhaps purify our connections with Spirit.
On the outside of the card we see the 4 fixed signs from Astrology: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio & Aquarius represented by the bull, the lion, the eagle and the angel. All these beings are studying and reading books. They are learning how to transcend their life lessons found in each of their elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Air.
As we move to the next layer we see three creatures: a snake, Anubis and a Sphinx. Each of these characters provides us with a test that we must pass in order to move to the next level and perhaps closer to hearing life’s secrets.
A snake is the test of transformation. Are you able to change and adapt to the unknown as it reveals itself? Temptation is another interpretation of the snake going back to the story of Adam and Eve.
Anubis is God of the Underworld from Ancient Egypt who would weigh your heart with a feather to see where you would go in the afterlife.
Sphinxes are found all over ancient Egypt, Greece, Asia and India as well as parts of Africa. You must pass the Sphinx's test to enter the temple or holy place. She can act as gatekeeper opening the doors to new possibilities but can be cold, harsh and hungry when you don’t have the answer to the riddle.
Could these tests be foreshadowing of the lessons to come? The sphinx with the sword could represent the Justice Card. The snake is another symbol of death and rebirth. Anubis is an ancient, pre-biblical, devil.
Peeling off this layer we now come to Yod-He-Vav-He which is the Hebrew word for God. Myths say if you pronounce this correctly you will be given access to all the knowledge of the world. Mixed in between we find the letters T – A – R – O. These are the same letters on the scroll in the High Priestess card. Translated into English TARO means divine wisdom but if you spin the wheel the other direction the world spells ROTA which means wheel. This could mean creator of divine wisdom. A wheel is a form of advancement, movement and it attached to something great that makes it spin.
The inner circle of the wheel looks a lot like a compass, giving us direction in our lives. It’s those moments of inspired breakthroughs that shape our destiny. You will see the alchemical symbols for the building blocks of alchemy: Sulphur, Salt, Mercury and Water in their rawest form. Sulphur represents spirit and fire. Mercury is air and water, the connection of spirit to the physical world. Lastly, Salt is physical, which can be diluted and brought back to a solid state.
In numerology, the number 10 means completion. The Wheel of Fortune invites us to embark on the next journey. We take with us the synthesis of knowledge we have learned from the Fool to the Hermit and set out into unknown territory trusting in fate. This is the break through you have been preparing for! Will you pass the tests ahead?
The Wheel of Fortune is rich with symbolism and this is why it can be challenging to interpret or understand at first, because this archetype wants us to peel off the layer and seek the truth in the centre of ourselves in connection with the Universe.
Symbolically, the wheel could be related to a dream catcher. Each choice leads us on a new path with destiny being the crystals that mark our progress, again making us choose.
I like to think of life as a spider’s web, a net of interconnected choices with the drops of morning dew as fate to be discovered.
The Wheel of Fortune is a powerful archetype about the natural cycles of life. Is it possible to tempt fate? That’s for you to decide!
Based on the image of the X Wheel of Fortune in the Rider/Waite/Smith Deck.