The Wheel of Fortune Card Meaning


The Wheel of Fortune is one of the most enigmatic cards in the tarot deck. The image of a wheel with different figures sitting or standing on it may seem arbitrary, but upon closer inspection, there’s a pattern and purpose to the arrangement.

The Wheel of Fortune, or Fortune, card represents the cyclical nature of life and the inevitable ups and downs we all experience. The figures on the wheel represent the different stages of life, from birth to death, and the different roles we play along the way.

This card represents change and the forces that drive it. Often the changes are positive, and we experience a stroke of good luck. Other times, the changes can appear negative, and we face setbacks or unexpected challenges. In either case, the Wheel of Fortune reminds us nothing is permanent and to be prepared to adapt and change with the circumstances.

Some believe the Wheel of Fortune is about luck and the notion that our fate is determined by forces beyond our control. But this card is also about free will and the power we have to make choices that influence our future. It’s a reminder we can shape our destiny through our thoughts, actions, and intentions.

In everyday life, the Wheel of Fortune card can help us navigate uncertain times and find the strength to persevere through challenges. It can also remind us to be humble and grateful when things are going well, as we never know when the wheel may turn.

The Wheel of Fortune is a symbol of life’s cyclical nature, change, and nature itself. By understanding its significance, we can gain insights into our lives and use its guidance to help us navigate.

Questions to Consider

  • How do you handle change and uncertainty? Do you resist or embrace it?
  • Are you currently experiencing a turning point or a significant change? How can you use this as an opportunity for growth?
  • How can you apply the lessons of the Wheel of Fortune to your everyday decision-making and goal-setting?

Exercise Ideas

  • Begin a journaling routine where you reflect on changes and unexpected events that occurred throughout your day. Take note of how you responded to them and how you can use them as opportunities for growth.
  • Meditate on the imagery of the card and visualise yourself moving through different phases of life. Reflect on how you can use this to stay grounded during times of change.
  • Sketch your own Wheel of Fortune, with sections representing different areas of your life (such as career, relationships, health, etc.). Reflect on how each section is currently balanced or imbalanced, and what steps you could take to achieve greater harmony.
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Surrealist Tarot
Diary of a Broken Soul
bifrost Tarot
Langustl Tarot

Variations of the Card

The Wheel of Fortune is sometimes shortened to just ‘The Wheel’ or ‘Fortune’. This is the card that deals with karma, fate, chance, and luck. It is ordinarily represented by a giant wheel in the sky.

In Surrealist, the card seems to be omitted in order to make room for a strange card called the Norn. Though the image is vastly different, it is still the card of fate. The Norn is Surrealist‘s card of change.

Diary of a Broken Soul‘s card of fate gives us an image of a guy bound in chains to the Wheel. Though it seems a bit slavish to simply accept one’s fate, the man doesn’t appear too troubled by doing so. The theme of this version is: if there is such a thing as fate, it has each of us trapped in its design.

For the colourful decks, we have two different variations on Fortune. Both are similar. As the Book of Thoth and Rider-Waite tarot decks are descendants of the Golden Dawn, many times their cards correspond with the same symbols used.

Langustl’s version has the same Wheel as seen in the foreground of the RWS version. But Langustl does not include Egyptian characters on the Wheel, and the background is different. Rather than cherubs, Langustl splits its background four ways, representing the four elemental states.

The bifrost Wheel card simply relays Crowley’s Thoth symbolism.





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