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Tarot of Prague Café Club - Wheel of Fortune

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Tarot of Prague Café Club - Wheel of Fortune


The Wheel of Fortune is a card I used to have a blank about - it seemed to me that its meanings cancelled each other out - things might go well for you; on the other hand maybe not (well, duh!). But I appealed for help in the forum, and as always got lots of different takes and ideas that made the card a lot friendlier and easier to understand. The main thing I realised was that it's a more complex card than I had thought.
That complexity is nicely represented in the ToP Wheel of Fortune by the wheels within wheels, so to speak - the round pictures on the wheel which, while you can't quite see exactly what scenes are, give the impression that all human life is here, the changing seasons the differing work and resources and relationships that make up human life. I like to think, looking at this card that those scenes can spin too within the bigger wheel, like round tarot cards to indicate shades of success and failure, strength and weakness, etc. I was pleased to read that the Wheel is taken from the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square; when I was in Prague I went along like a good little tourist and waited for death to come out of this clock and do his little dance when the hour struck.
The stone figures with their scrolls and accompanying animals are beautifully realised. You can sense that they all have different personalities. The lion beside the angel in the bottom right-hand corner has a particularly benign and lovable expression - he made me think of Aslan in 'the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'.
A little devil presides at the very top of the Wheel, a novel touch, and I wasn't sure what he was doing there, but the book says he's there 'simply to warn you that if you don't take responsibility for your own fate you risk being controlled by it'. That's good enough for me!
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I like the five figures surrounding the clock. There is nobody that going up and down the wheel of fortune. The wheel is the central focus of this card. And this wheel is just right. By just showing the wheel, the symbology is strong enough to get the message thru : the ups and down of life. No need of the "you are here" pointer we can usually find on shopping center maps.
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The "devil" actually looks like Moses with the Ten Commandments. I don't remember the exact specifics as to why, but appearently at some point somebody somewhere was translating the Bible and screwed up. Appearently somewhere in the Old Testament it says that Moses had rays of light coming out of his head. The genius who was translating the that passage mistranslated the word for "rays" as "horns", and because of that mistranslation, there were many images of Moses created for a long time afterwards wearing horns on his head and looking rather satanic. (Art History education talking here....)
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