Meaning of the Wheel of Fortune Tarot card

Wheel of Fortune Tarot CardThe classic image of Fortune associated with a wheel, whose instability places one subject in the good luck position now, and immediately afterwards another. It is the representation of the variability and cyclic nature of human affairs.

Several figures are depicted on the card. The most important figure, but which is almost sidelined graphically, is Fortune itself, represented by the woman, sometimes blindfolded, who is turning the crank to which the wheel is attached. Two subjects are then represented attached to the wheel: one is going upwards, meaning fate is starting to smile on him, while the other on the way down, a sign that fate is bringing him to ruin. The last figure is shown at the top of the wheel, and is a sovereign or a crowned sphinx, armed with a sword, to whom Fortune is giving its maximum benefits at this moment.

General interpretation of the card

Since this is a representation well known in both mythology and art, the meaning of the card is very intuitive: Fortune is changeable, and puts some people in a benevolent situation now, while tomorrow it will probably put someone else there.

It represents the cyclic nature of the events of human life, the irrationality of the desire to “make it” (since in order to maintain personal satisfaction it is always necessary to balance oneself and keep oneself on top of the wheel).

It has a dual significance: if fate is smiling on us, we must not be proud, we must not punish those who have wronged us harshly, we must not become conceited and believe in our infallibility, we must not go overboard in blaming those who have made a mistake.

If fate is not currently in our favor, this card indicates that there is absolutely no need to despair because better times will come, even if we think it impossible; that someone we hate and over whom we have no power to intervene, will sooner or later fall too; that we must prepare ourselves to seize opportunities because so many of them will arise, since it is a big mistake to consider our luck and our happiness as something static.

Finally, there is a sense of “reincarnation” in the meaning of the Wheel of Fortune card. It symbolizes the transformation of things, the end of a situation or condition, resulting in a completely different situation or condition.

Specific examples of possible meanings:

  • An appeal to remain cautious, to remain modest, to be understanding with people who make mistakes.
  • Being understanding (I know it is not easy) with those who get on our nerves, especially when we could crush the opponent definitively, deciding to pardon them instead.
  • Rushing with actions to prepare for opportunities that will certainly present themselves. For instance: have you got the right clothes if they call you for that interview you are waiting for? Have you thoroughly investigated the business of the company you would like to work for, in order to make a good impression at interview?
  • Something might be about to transform into something else. A casual love affair that might move up to the next level? Motherhood? A very intriguing proposal from someone you are really interested in?
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