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Join Date: 01 Mar 2016
Location: UK
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Night Sun Tarot - The Wheel of Fortune


Card X – The Wheel of Fortune

Astrology = Jupiter

Hebrew Letter = Kaph (Palm of the Hand)

One of the first things that struck me about this card was the replacement of the traditional characters on the wheel i.e. Sphinx, Crocodile, Monkey, Hermanubis etc., with wooden artist’s mannequins. These are interconnected via a complex system of pulleys and gears, both to each other and to the wheel itself. The mannequins also have Yin-Yang symbols on their faces.

Inscribed on the wheel is the motto ‘Complementa Sunt Contraria’ (Opposites are Complementary). Niels Bohr of Physics and in particular, wave/particle duality fame, took this motto for his own along with the Yin-Yang symbol and incorporated them both into his personal crest. The hermetic maxim regarding opposites as being inherently similar in nature but different in degree would therefore seem to be a lesson that this wheel would like to teach us.

Rising up from behind the wheel are three ribbons containing I Ching hexagrams. In the LWB, the author explains that this is due to the deck being heavily researched and having diverse cultural influences*. These ribbons of symbols remind me of ticker-tape or punch cards and so I speculate as to whether they are a form of input to the wheel’s machinery, like a divine program, or output from it and are therefore symbols of a future reality constructed by the actions of the wooden mannequins.
Of course, it is conundrums such as this, which go to the very heart of meaning with this Arcanum.

Largely obscured and hidden behind the wheel itself, we see a Solomonic pentacle. This particular one is the Fifth Pentacle of Jupiter and according to the Greater Key of Solomon was responsible for granting the vision of the ladder to Jacob.

On a subjective level, I like the feel of this card. I can bring it to life in my mind’s eye easily and watch/hear the cogs turn and whirr as the figures move around the wheel’s rim and the lines of I Ching flow like a river behind it. It seems to speak of the complex/chaotic nature of modern life much more than traditional images of this card and I am reminded of things like CPUs and weather systems. Despite this however, the soft green colouration and solid wooden physicality of the objects are soothing to the soul. Strive as we may, we can only ever do our best. Que sera, sera.



*According to the LWB, research is one of the two basic ‘streams’ on which the deck is constructed. The other is a ‘holistic/organistic’ stream
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