Astrological correspondence: Jupiter.
Keywords: Change, cycles, status, fate.
The Wheel of Fortune beyond tarot: the Earth, the Fates in Greek mythology.
The Wheel of Fortune is crested by a Sphinx-like half-human attired in an Egyptian-style headdress. In some decks, the wheel is also attended by an individual wearing a blindfold; and often there are people sitting or riding on the wheel whilst others are shown falling from it. There are also four winged creatures in the corners of the card, representing the symbols of the four Evangelists or the four classical elements (The Lion, the Ox, the Man and the Eagle). These four Evangelists or elements (as you wish to see it) are also represented by the four fixed astrological signs: Leo, Taurus, Aquarius and Scorpio. In addition a representation of the god Anubis is seen rising with the wheel on the right side, while the snake-like Typhon descends on the left. On the wheel, alternating with the letters T-A-R-O are the Hebrew letters י-ה-ו-ה, usually transliterated as YHWH (Yahweh — Hebrew for God).
As the first two-digit card, the Wheel is the beginning of a new cycle. It comes after the necessary and enlightening break taken by the Hermit, that makes one ready to face changes, endings, and new journeys. Whether it is followed by Justice or Strength, the Wheel braces us for what’s ahead either way.
The Wheel can represent a change of status: for instance, you can go from poor to rich, or from rich to poor; look at how you can make it through the transition as well as possible, and accept that it won’t always be permanent. Things can always get better, and they can also get worse. The Wheel can also be a reminder that some changes are natural (such as menstruation, seasons, aging, and life in general), and have to be accepted with grace, because they’ll happen regardless (I try to remind myself of that when I have to put up with infuriatingly-hot Washington, D.C. summers).
When you get the Wheel of Fortune in a spread, look at the various cyclical patterns, big or small, that happen in your life (some could be happening at the same time). Ask yourself the difficult question: are there any vicious cycles that need to be broken? Ultimately, accept that you cannot always control certain things, and it is easier to just let them be, and make the best out of each situation as it progresses. After all, you can’t stop the Earth from spinning: it will do so whether you like it or not!