Join Date: 28 Feb 2007
This card feels out of place in this deck. It's got golden Chinese dragons (although they do have wings so that is more of the standard dragon image for me, maybe because they are gold it feels Chinese) and golden greenmen. It's almost too cheery and positive for a deck this dark so far. The gold and red and the dragons really do portray the Chinese good fortune, but not so much gothic, is it?
I get the greenmen as I am quite familiar with what they represent. However, they are all the same image. I would have liked some differences in their expressions. I see it as copy/paste job and that takes away from this card for me.
I do see balance and change. The cycles of life and what not, but not in a gothic sort of way.
The book also points out the fact that the 4 greenmen, 2 dragons, and 4 rings add up to 10. I would like if there were more to it than just that it adds up to ten. I really feel this card is lacking and out of place.
I suppose I will get over it, how many times will I actually draw this card anyway.
I don't believe in luck but I do subscribe to the theory of horribly inconvenient coincidences. ~Timmy Turner
PDR 2009/2010 ~ Transparent Tarot
78 Weeks ~ Vargo's Gothic
|19-02-2010||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #21|
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Join Date: 09 Oct 2005
Location: Ok, USA
I agree this card is sooo out of place? I handt really paid much attention to the greenmen in the 4 corners but I do like the dragons and the celtic knotwork in the center.
And not a card one is likely to pull very often.....In all the practice readings, and draws Ive done trying to get to know this deck this is one card that never seems to pop up......I def. need to study this card (Along with quite a few more!) deeper......
|21-02-2010||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #22|
On my way Home
Join Date: 03 May 2008
Ironwing - The Wheel
The first thing to realise about this card is that we’re looking down on the scene. One figure is me/you – the other is the Goddess as Fortuna. What I am seeing is that moment when I finally got up the faith to offer my heart to Fortuna and realised that whatever comes, it is all in the hands of the Goddess. As a result of faith there is a flowering, a blossoming and instead of my heart being lost to the Goddess, she returned it to me. But what she gave me was far, far more than I ever gave her! And this is true of my whole life. Each time I’ve accepted my fate and lived through whatever experience was offered, I’ve come out the other side somehow more me than when I went into it.
Some of the gifts Fortuna has given me to learn from have been awful and it’s only some time afterwards that I’ve been able to find the lesson and the love. Likewise some lasted rather long than I might have liked. In this connection though, I look at the nails around the Wheel – each is placed to remind us of the solstices and equinoxes of the year. This tells me plainly that when the Wheel spins there is no guarantee as to how much of a year (or indeed how many years) might be taken up with what is given.
I like the way the Wheel itself is placed firmly in the middle of the World Tree. Such is my absolute belief in that Tree that placing the Wheel on it in this way is completely right – after all, many trees live through the Wheel of the Year more times than you or I can comprehend. Then looking at the Wheel as a tarot card, this placing of it on the Tree enhances my belief in the Wheel-as-a-card, and all it stands for. Everything this Wheel teaches me is relevant to my whole world. I can’t look on one experience as only relevant to one aspect or another of my life. Everything relates to everything else. I might be able to block out a disagreement with one person whilst I talk with another but there’s no ignoring or forgetting the disagreement – the problem remains to be dealt with. In that regard one can see the Wheel as a traditional spoked Wheel – there is a path from each section to every other. Likewise, my understanding of the Cosmic Web has blossomed with my study of Ironwing and so I can see my experiences, problems and joys as actually impacting on everything else – not just me, my life and possibly the lives of family and friends.
Total aside but I put it here because it flowed from my study of this card:
I suddenly thought of Trivial Pursuit, and the little “pieces of pie” that are the game counters. Each is a different colour but all are necessary to win the game. And in so many respects life is a game. There is a Dion Fortune quote, which rather neatly sets out a view of things:
“Once you have had some memory glimpse, however dim, of your own past, you are certain of your future; therefore you cease to fear life. Supposing I make a mess of an experiment today, I clear up the mess, go to bed, sleep, and then, in the morning when I am rested, I start again. You do the same with your lives when once you are sure of reincarnation. It is only the man who does not realize as a personal fact the immortality of the soul who talks of a ruined life and opportunities gone never to return.”
This quote originally deals with the matter of death but it does illustrate rather neatly that my life (although all my ego knows) is not the be-all and end-all of me. I am a believer in reincarnation, and in the fact that the essential me (in consultation with the Goddess) chooses the life I am to experience before I am born and, hopefully, I learn the lessons it was decided that I should attempt. If I don’t – no worries – I can repeat this class but another format will be chosen for the lesson
And back to our scheduled programming:
Thinking about wheels in general – roulette wheels, car wheels, Catherine wheels, gears (!) – we use wheels in so many unexpected places. I spent quite a while thinking about wheels and the varied places we use them. So many!! As a society, where would we be without the wheel? How incredibly different would our story have been if instead of the wheel we’d discovered a different means of moving things – say, magnetism? The wheel has been essential for our development as a species. (I spent a long time on this particular thought, and involved others in discussions which ranged far and wide in the uses or wheels or substitutes). Likewise the Wheel (of Fortune) which offers me so much has been critical for me because although at the time my misfortunes were difficult to live through (and I was far from grateful or appreciative!), I long ago realised that they are the times when very real inner growth occurs.
In the four corners of the card the suit emblems occur in the traditional way, but because Ironwing doesn’t utilise correspondences there are no astrological symbols. I love the way each suit forms a small mandala– I will be enlarging these individual sections of the card as images in their own rights. As is usual the fact they are all there, placed around the Wheel, informs us that at some time or another in each year we can expect to live through the sorts of events/patterns associated with each suit.
The Goddess Fortuna. She is utterly awe inspiring; indeed, from our view of her she appears quite a scary figure. Her hair curls around the circle of the Wheel in snake-like tendrils, seeming almost to reach for the much smaller, more frail human. And oh, the courage in confronting such a figure and then offering her your heart freely (for a gift is worth nothing if not given freely). And Fortuna – fully aware of the fear she produces in us – reaches out with gentle hands to put her own gift into place within us.
(William Ernest Henley 1849 – 1903)
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstances
I have not winced or cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
This poem is unfashionable and gloomy in outlook, betraying a lack of personal faith in anything, but for me it has echoes that understand the Wheel. Face what comes with courage – stare Fortune straight in the eyes with acceptance and love – and feel the comfort that comes flooding back if you listen with the right ears. I feel that William Henle3y only had it half right, but this poem is one I learned by heart in my early teens and I have never forgotten its call to courage.
The difference between us is that I am not a hostage to fate. I am not a victim. I am tied to the Wheel by choice and so in that respect I do agree with Henley – I am the Master of my fate and the Captain of my soul.
Going back to the nails – I am so reminded of the children’s rhyme about the kingdom that was lost – all for the want of a horse-shoe nail. For the moment, I am not thinking of them as representing solstices but merely as marker points in my life – I see that my life is a circle, a wheel slowly turning and in due time I shall have gone full circle and return to the Goddess. The nails anchor me to my reality. Within the Circle of my life my whole story is played out – how awful if an image of my life showed me refusing the Goddess. Thinking about it refusing her would be pointless really – if I turn my back on her the Wheel turns anyway and look – there is in front of me offering me another opportunity to show my trust and love. Another chance for personal growth. I suppose I could keep on refusing her – but then the lessons of my life would be futile because I would see them as ordeals to be endured. I would end this cycle no wiser than when I started but – I would have lived through exactly the same experiences. However – because my view of them and their purpose would be different – I think they might be even more difficult to struggle through.
For me this card is about courage. Having the guts to accept all that is offered in the Spirit in which it is offered. No-one said I was going to win the game, I was just offered a chance to take part and play to the best of my ability.
I love the way the heart that Fortuna gives back is blossoming with life – so filled with beauty. I get a sense that it is her gentle touch that feeds the growth. What she gives, and gives and gives makes my offering look puny. But I am not ashamed of it – I gave all I had. Next time my gift will be bigger and better for there will be more to give. And Fortuna’s gift to me will be even more all-encompassing.
When I was a child/I caught a fleeting glimpse/Out of the corner of my eye
La ilaha illa Allah
|02-03-2010||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #23|
Cat on a cold stone roof
Join Date: 01 Jan 2004
Location: The world of the things that could have been.
Card name: Fortune
The wheel strangely combines stasis and movement – it looks rock solid, but the trails from each spoke look as though they are moving – like a Catherine wheel firework. Behind it there is a pyramid suggesting masculinity, and with rays in its base. There’s a sphinx at its top, a monkey (Hanuman ?) on the left and a creature with a crocodile head, holding an ankh, whose tail appears to be a snake. A start at the centre, and above a starry sky whose stars shower down lightning bolts.
From the Book of Thoth (all of it, as I haven’t time today to edit down !)
Frieda Harris says in her essays:
The Wheel says that birth and death are not two sides of the same coin; they are the same side, separated by time, the wheel, in constant motion and yet unchanging.
The two wheels- the earthly, vertical wheel symbolises the eternal pattern of growth and decay. The divine wheel, above it, is the heavenly wheel of fortune or “the cosmic clock of fate.” (Banzhaf.) Life is flow, and the flow is time. The star on the centre of the wheel may – as Crowley says – be seen as the Eye of Shiva; when it opens the universe will be destroyed. The wheel itself, with the swirls emanating form it, may also be seen to represents the energy of fertility.
Banzhaf suggest that the three powers on the wheel correspond to the three paths so often offered in fold and fairy tales – the Prince can go left, right or straight ahead, and must choose wisely. Each carries its own risks and rewards and these are often spelled out in the fairytales.
Change is stability, says DuQuette, and with stability comes order.
The triangle on the card with the rays within is the symbolic key to the secret of Jupiter, and also to transcending the secret of Jupiter. The Rites of Eleusis were a series of seven public invocations or rites written by British occultist Aleister Crowley, each centered on one of the seven classical planets of antiquity. In the Jupiter rite,, the three beings on the wheel bicker with each other while trying to reach the centre of the wheel and failing. They are locked in a perpetual game of one-upmanship, as DuQuette puts it. The SECRET of Jupiter is given to them in the end by Centrum In Centri Trigono, the centre of the wheel:
Snuffin refers to the card as a glyph of the machinery of the universe, expressed as the three alchemical principles spinning on a wheel. He refers to the wheel as spinning counterclockwise drawing IN the plumes of energy, like a whirlpool.
He also draws attention to the tiny fist at the base of the wheel, from which emanate 6 rays – this ties in with Crowley’s original design for the card, which was for a wheel of six shafts (DuQuette.) This indicates that the force driving the wheel is balanced; it is the number of Tiphareth.
Hermanubis is a composite of Hermes and Anubis, both of whom use to act as psychopomps. He represents Mercury. Typhon represents Salt, and the Sphinx, Sulphur. The Sphinx has the head of a woman and the body of a lion, signifying male/female balance. Snuffin also draws attention to the triangle behind the wheel, and the fact that the wheel’s axle is placed so as to suggest the Eye in the Triangle – the symbol of spiritual enlightenment.
Typhon holds an ankh and a crook – he is separating them – the ankh represents life and Osiris’ crook represents death. This is because Typhon is associated with Set, who killed Osiris.
The stars around the divine circle represent the fact that every person is a star and they are distorted to show that we are all unique.
Traditional meanings –
Cribbed shamelessly from Wasserman
X FORTUNE. Change of fortune, generally good. Destiny.
From the Book of Thoth:
I find it confusing, to say the least. The way it seems to be both stationary and turning is another indication of balance, perhaps, I winder why the colour purple was chosen for the background, too… I am also puzzled by the snake as the tail of Typhon.
My take (what I make of it/what I might see in a reading where I drew it)
Changes, choices, fate, the need to accept change as part of life. The card is often said to be the good luck card – that isn’t actually true; it is the LUCK card, perhaps – the luck can equally be bad. I would see this as the need to take control and determine your own future, while adapting to circumstances which change all the time. Life may in fact be out of your control. but you can still make the best of it. Balance will out.
~ ~ I probably shouldn't be here. But this was the only universe which had a vacancy. ~ ~
(Granny from Hell)
I is very deaf. Please post loudly.
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.
Check out Grizabella's profile for the NONNY MOUSE threads !
|20-04-2012||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #24|
Join Date: 04 Aug 2005
Location: Wherever she laid her hat was her home
X The Wheel of Fortune (Rider Waite Tarot)
The central image on this card is rather occult and talismanic on first view – a floating orange disc with seemingly random symbols and letters in both the English and Hebrew alphabets. A yellow snake is undulating head down on the left-hand side of the disc; a reddish-orange fox with a human body contorts his body to circle the bottom and right-hand side of it. And a sky-blue Sphinx sits on top, wearing an Egyptian headdress and holding a sword. It seems to crouch in a human kind of way, and stares directly out of the card in a come-hither manner.
All of this is floating in the middle of a flat blue sky a little deeper in shade than the Sphinx. A big pale gray cloud covers much of the upper half of the sky; two fluffy white clouds occupy the bottom two corners of the card. And each corner has a yellow creature sitting comfortably on the cloud reading books: clockwise from the top left they are an angel, an eagle, a winged male lion and a winged bull. All seem to be smiling as they hold their books open.
Knowing what I know about the card and what it’s supposed to mean, I can make sense of the central image, even if much of the symbolism might be lost on me. The Wheel of Fortune is a common medieval symbol for the cyclical nature of fate. The central image is a wheel: round and constantly in motion. The creatures on its outer edges are in very precarious positions. The Sphinx is on top, but all the wheel has to do is turn a little more and he’s on the way down, or falling off altogether.
This card always makes me hum the Byrds to myself (okay, I know it comes from Ecclesiastes, but this version is catchier):
Waite said, in reference to existing versions of the card:
And as to his own version, he goes on to say:
Symbols and Attributes
The Wheel of Fortune is linked to the planet Jupiter, rather than one of the twelve astrological signs. Ruled by the element of Fire, Jupiter is an expansive, lucky planet (or so I noted in my Lenormand study notes). It is associated with expansion, and also with fluctuating forces – turning wheels? The esoteric title of this card is the Lord of the Forces of Life, which seems to me to speak of Jupiter the god, if not the planet.
This card’s illustration is heavily borrowed from Eliphas Lévi’s works Transcendental Magic, which Waite would be quite familiar with, having translated it from the original French for publication in England:
The wheel at the centre of the image has many interesting letters and symbols. Around the outer perimeter, the letters T-A-R-O are the most recognizable. Obviously TARO can be interpreted as Tarot, particularly given the circular nature of the wheel: TAROTAROTARO … but reading in different orders scholars also get ROTA or Wheel; TORA or law, ATOR or Hathor, Egyptian goddess of love … the permutations can be endless.
These letters are spaced out by the Hebrew letters Yod, Heh, Vav, Heh, which I’m not even going to try to insert here. This is the Tetragrammaton, or name of God. If translated to English it likely comes to Yahweh, which eventually ended up as Jehovah. This ties in, I guess, to Waite’s going on about the Divine.
Radiating from the centre of the wheel are eight spokes that come as far as the inner perimeter; superimposed over the four cardinal points are esoteric symbols that the likes of Bob O’Neill and similar assure me are alchemical in nature. From the top and going clockwise they are mercury, sulfur, water and salt, each of which were big symbols for the Golden Dawn.
Sitting at the very top, at the uppermost point of the wheel’s rotation, is a sword-wielding sphinx. First, it recalls the Egyptian origin theory of the Tarot that was trendy in Lévi’s time. The Egyptian Sphinx, with its human head and breast and its lion’s body, symbolized access to both wisdom and strength, although it’s commonly representative of wisdom. Given its lofty perch atop the wheel, he shows here the triumph of intelligence. It holds a sword, indicating conciseness and the ability to cut through to the heart of the matter. Its expression, which seems both mocking and challenging to me, symbolizes the riddles of which the mythical Sphinx was so fond.
Hermanubis – the human-bodied, fox-headed character ascending the right-hand side of the wheel – is an Egyptian god. Actually, he’s got the head of a jackal, my mistake. The name derives from Greek Hermes and Egyptian Anubis, both of whom apparently had similar duties as conductors of souls. He represents the intellect and the search for truth. And the jackal or fox head makes me think of craftiness, slyness.
Typhon was a deadly monster in Greek mythology; supposedly the deadliest, in fact. Usually a lot scarier than he looks here, Waite and Colman Smith chose to represent him as a serpent – there was apparently Golden Dawn precedent for this. As Typhon I would see him as representing fear and perhaps chaos; he was the most feared of the Greek monsters, however unassuming he looks here. He’s descending the wheel.
So do these three together, and their respective positions, mean anything? The descent of unreasoning fear, the rise of truth and intellect to achieve wisdom?
The four creatures in the four corners are the toughies. I mean, I get what they’re supposed to represent, sort of. They are supposed to symbolize the four fixed astrological signs fiery Leo (the lion), earthy Taurus (the Bull), watery Scorpio (the Eagle; I vaguely remember reading somewhere way back when that this is an accepted substitute for the scorpion to represent this sign) and airy Aquarius (the human, the water-bearer). As fixed signs in static positions at the four corners, they provide a counterpoint to the rotating wheel. They’re also mentioned ad nauseum in Ezekiel and Revelation, and later came to represent the four evangelists; when depicted in stained glass for the evangelists, they’re usually depicted as winged, as they are here. Why they are reading books, though, is lost on me, unless it’s to underline the connection to Matthew (the angel), Mark (the lion), Luke (the bull) and John (the eagle) by having them each read the Gospels.
Traditionally these four creatures weren’t on the Wheel of Fortune, but they were on the World. To me, this rounds out the Major Arcana nicely, forming a kind of symmetry. The Wheel of Fortune and the World, the two “circular” cards, can be considered the centre and the end (and beginning) of the Majors.
Life is cyclical. And frequently random, arbitrary, whimsical. Sometimes you’re on top, sometimes you’re not. Nobody can stay on top of the wheel forever, no matter how it may feel. To me this card is not about circumstances you make yourself, but Fate, factors beyond your control. It’s a card of luck, and luck has both good and bad facets. When this card appears in a reading, one can expect changes, freak occurrences, lucky breaks or bad luck. Just grit your teeth and hang on, or enjoy the ride.
The red wheel suits the Fire element that rules Jupiter. The yellow Sphinx represents the mental processes, the wisdom he is supposed to embody. I tried to match the colours of each of the four creatures in the corners to their elemental attributes – red and yellow for the Fire of the lion, green and brown for the Earth of the bull, yellow for the Air of the man and blue for the Watery eagle.
~ Superstition brings bad luck ~
78 Weeks Study: Rider Waite Tarot
|21-04-2012||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #25|
Join Date: 09 Jul 2004
Card name ~ Fortune
Keyword ~ The Lord of the Forces of Life
Element ~ Fire
Tree of Life attributions ~ Path 21, joining Chesed 4 (mercy) to Netzach 7 (victory)
Astrological / other attributions ~ Jupiter, Hebrew letter Kaph (palm of hand)
A fairly traditional looking Fortune card; the wheel and it’s 3 creatures are present. What’s weird is the swirling purple background and the way that the top part of the card is almost cut off fron t the bottom. It looks a bit like the wheel is under water, and that the stars and diamond shapes are above the water. Surrounding the wheel are what look like lightning strikes of orange. The impression all of this gives is of movement and action, of changing fortunes and things in motion.
From the Book of Thoth
It would be narrow to think of Jupiter as good fortune; he represents the element of luck. The incalculable factor. This card thus represents the Universe in its aspect as a continual change of state.
Of the 3 figures of the wheel: In the Hindu system are three Gunas – Sattvas, Rajas and Tamas. The word “guna” is untranslatable. It is not quite an element, a quality a form of energy, a phase, or a potential’ all of these ideas enter into it. Tamas is darkness, intertia, sloth, ignorance, death and the like; Rajas is energy, excitement, fire, brilliance, restlessness; Sattvas is calm, intelligence, lucidity and balance.
The gunas revolve. That means that nothing can remain in any phase where one of these Gunas is predominant; however dense and dull that thing may be, a time will come when it begins to stir.
The gunas are represented in European philosophy as sulphur, mercury and salt.
From Duquette: For centuries, the Wheel of Forune has been interpreted as a card of good luck. This is only partially true. It is also the card of bad luck; and the card of luck getting better; and the card of luck getting worse. Whatever kind of luck we are talking about, one thing’s a sure bet. It’s going to change.
Change is stability, and with stability comes oder.
Images and Symbolism
Above, the firmament of stars. These appear distorted in shape, although they are balanced, some being brilliant and some dark. From them, through the firmament, issues lightnings; they churn it into a mass of blue and violet plumes. In the midst of all this is suspended a wheel of ten spokes, according to the number of the Sephiroth, and of the sphere of Malkuth, indicating governance of physical affairs.
On the wheel are three figures, the Sworded Sphinx, Hermanubis, and Typhon; they symbolise the three forms of energy which govern the movement of phenomena.
The Sphinx is composed of the four Kerubs, the bull, the lion, the eagle and the man. The Sphinx represents the element of Sulphur, and is exalted, temporarily, upon the summit of the wheel. Climbing up the left hand side is Hermanubis, who represents alchemical Mercury. On the right hand side is Typhon, who represents the element of salt. Typhon was a monster of the primitive world, personifying the destructive power and fury of volcanoes and typhoons. In the legend, he attempted to obtain supreme authority over both gods and men, but Zeus blasted him with a thunderbolt. In this card he may be interpreted as Unity of supreme attainment and delight.
The lightnings which destroy also beget; and the wheel may be regarded as the eye of Shiva, whose opening annihilates the Universe, or as a wheel upon the Car of Jaganath, whose devotees attain perfection at the moment that it crushes them.
Traditional meanings (Marseille/RWS)
My understanding of this card across the Marseille and RWS has been that it represents a change of fortune; sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. It is a card of both good luck and bad luck, although I’ve usually seen it as leaning more towards good luck.
From tarotpedia: ”In the earliest known list of the Trumps (Sermones de Ludo Cum Aliis), this card is called La Rotta (The Wheel). The Wheel of Fortune was a very popular allegory during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and many images of it can be found. In the Tarot de Marseille, La Roue de Fortune (The Wheel of Fortune) is one of the most intriguing cards. Like The Moon, it shows no human figures: instead, there are bizarre animals dressed up in skirts and capes, crawling over a wheel that is turning counter-clockwise and in some decks appears to float on waves. A "sphinx" with a little sword and crown sits above. The figure who has fallen from the wheel in other decks has been omitted. As on the Cary Sheet, a large handle is left untouched, as if the creatures are bound to the wheel and incapable of taking control (or unaware of this possibility).”
From Thirteen’s tarot card meanings: ” The wheel symbolizes completeness as well as the rise and fall of fortunes and the message that what goes around comes around. Almost every definition of this card indicates abundance, happiness, elevation, or luck; a change that just happens, and brings with it great joy.The Wheel can mean movement, change or evolution, and in that respect it can be about how we all change positions, some of us rising some of us falling, some dropping to a nadir, some reaching a zenith. Most of the time, however, this card suggests that such changes will bring with them good fortune.”
My take on the card
I would say that this card represents the whole of the Universe at work and in motion; the Universe is in a continual process of change, and it is that which brings stability and balance to the whole. All actions and non actions have consequences. These consequences are not the result of mankind’s notions of right and wrong, they occur simply because each change that happens in the Universe is felt across the whole of it, kind of like a huge spider’s web. Consequences occur because the Universe must maintain balance.
So; this card is about change, actions, consequences and movement. When it appears in a reading, I would think it indicates a change in circumstances, possibly for the better, the worse, or even both or neither. There are no value judgements attached to the change, it just is what it is. I would read the cards surrounding this one to decide what sort of change was happening and how this might affect the querent.
"Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there..." ~ Rumi
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" ~ JK Rowling
|23-04-2012||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #26|
Walker of Life, and Labyrinths :)
Join Date: 20 Oct 2010
Location: Creeks, hills and rainforests in Northern NSW, Oz
ATU- X Fortune (Wheel of… ) - THOTH
First impressions – Imagery… I see a golden wheel upon which recline an ape, a crocodile (with twinning serpent tail) and a sphinx. The sphinx holds a sword between her front paws, the ape climbs the wheel and, in doing so, appears to turn it; the crocodile, with hook or crook in one arm (“By hook or by crook”?) and Ankh type key in another, also seems to propel the wheel.
Purple swirling background upon which is paler mauve triangle and 6 almost trumpet-like markings…. All enveloped in mauve and blue swirling lines around the outer wheel. Inner wheel has ten-pointed star as centrepiece of its axle, along with many other stars of various colours and configurations. The image initially appeared fairly still, but upon closer examination all the swirls definitely created much movement.
Colours: Gold, purple, mauve, blue, yellow.
LWB – “Follow thy Fortune, careless where it lead thee. The axle moveth not: attain thou that.” This generally implies good fortune due to the fact that consultation implies anxiety or discontent.
BofT – “It would be narrow to think of Jupiter as good fortune; he represents the element of luck. The incalculable factor.”
Wasserman – X Fortune – “Change of fortune, generally good. Destiny.”
Harris - X Fortune - “By the attribution of this card to the planet Jupiter, it is made to represent the Universe in its aspect of continual change. The appearance of all sorts of celestial phenomena emphasises this. In the middle is the ten-spoked wheel, the accepted symbol of Fortune. The three figures attached to the wheel symbolise the three forms of energy, expressed in the Hindu System by the term Guna. At the top sits the Sphinx, typifying intelligence and balance (Sativas): Hermanubis, in the semblance of an ape, represents the restlessness of brilliant, unstable reason (Rajas): and at the bottom, almost falling from the wheel, is the reptile-headed Typhon (Tamas), the symbol of destruction, sluggishness, an ignorance. The alchemical attributes of the Gunas are Sulphur, Mercury and Salt.”
Here we have the implication to be found on all these cards of possible regeneration in all circumstances, for Typhon holds the Ankh of salvation with one hand and in the other the hook with which he snatches the soul.”
DuQuette: Mentions Centro in centri trigonio… equating to the ‘Secret of Jupiter’, where Typhon = Feeling
Hermanubus = Thought
Sphinx = Ecstasy
Hebrew letter: Kaph (Palm of hand)
“The Zen-like secret of Jupiter:
Feeling, and thought, and ecstasy
Are but the cerements of Me
Thrown off like planets from the Sun
Ye are but satellites of the One.
But should your revolution stop
You would inevitably drop
Headlong within the central Soul,
And all the parts become the Whole,
Sloth and activity and peace,
When will ye learn that ye must cease?”
My impressions – The letter Kaph (palm of hand) is very telling. Fortune’s Wheel does turn and won’t stop turning, but still we have the whole world in the palm of our hand… isn’t that so? It becomes not so much a case of good or bad fortune, but of the inevitability of Change, and of what we make of such change. As our friend William Shakespeare notes… "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so". This philosophy fits in well with the LWB’s urging to “Attain thou that”… to go with the flow. The centremost point of a spinning top is also its stillest. This card seems to speak of doing whatever one can to embrace what Life throws at us. Sometimes, a change for the worse is exactly what is needed to prick someone into action, to step outside of their comfort zone.
A change of circumstance, yes, perhaps good, perhaps bad, but invariably inevitable, as change is a given… so…. Best to accept what comes flying out of left field, integrate whatever is beneficial, and discard that which doesn’t serve almost as a duck sheds water.
A little more alchemy, too, with the combination of the attributes of Typhon (feeling) with Hermanubus (thought) and Sphinx (ecstasy). The palm of a hand holds much in it, and, if we consciously combine the various aspects to create a greater whole, so much the better… balance is what will help us find the centrepoint of the Wheel…
How to read with it – With caution… it won’t always herald a change in fortune for the better. My main take would be that, like a spinning top, we are most still and unperturbed at our centre, and so this card bids us Be!!! As suggested in the B of T, the Wheel of Fortune represents “The incalculable factor”, and in a reading I would be persuaded to suggest that one cannot ever really know what life has in store, and that a winning philosophy would be to make the most and see the silver lining in whatever cloud Life serves up for us, as there surely will be a silver cloud, if we but see it. Yes… this card is, essentially, about staying within your still, sweet, spot regardless of what comes your way… not ‘maintain the rage’, but let it go… and move with the flow!
"Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me..." [D.H.Lawrence]
|01-05-2012||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #27|