The Wheel of Fortune Tarot is kind of like a map of clues. The card itself is almost impossible to interpret without an understanding of Tarot; all of the symbols are, well, symbolic, and nothing is quite as it seems. That said, a talented Tarot reader can make connections through the Wheel of Fortune that are not possible anywhere else.
But as complex as the Wheel of Fortune is, we provide a full explanation and interpretation below, with tips for reading the card in the three different Tarot positions and a few examples of what the card means when paired with other cards from the deck. You can learn all the card meanings and other Tarot skills with this course on how to become a professional Tarot reader from scratch.
The Wheel Of Fortune
As you would expect, the central illustration on the Wheel of Fortune card is a large red wheel. Letters are inscribed around the wheel. There are two set of these: the first is comprised of the letters T, O, R and A. The T is at the top, and when read counter-clockwise, it reads TORA; read clockwise, it reads TARO (and if you make a full circle back to the T, it reads TAROT). The second set is comprised of the letters I, H, V and H, the Hebrew letters for god.
In each corner is a golden figure. Let’s start in the top left corner and move clockwise: first is an angel (Aquarius), second is an Eagle (Scorpio), third is a lion (Leo) and fourth is a bull (Taurus). If you are not familiar with astrology, these are the signs of the Zodiac. However, in the Wheel of Fortune card, they all have wings, indicating an ability to move or stabilize themselves.
Get even deeper readings with this quick and easy Tarot lesson that teaches you how to reach cards in the upright and reverse positions.
On the top of the wheel is a Sphinx (the riddler). On the left side of the wheel is a snake that is crawling towards the bottom of the card; needless to say, this is the god of the underworld. On the other side of the wheel is a creature rising towards the top of the card; Hermes, representative of wisdom and intelligence. Finally, we notice the wheel is actually made of two wheels: the inner wheel has symbols for the elements of life, while the outer wheel, flanked by Hermes and the snake, represents the temptations of reality.
Interpreting The Wheel Of Fortune
- Circle of Life
Now that you know the symbols in the Wheel, you should be able to predict what I’m about to say. First of all, the Wheel symbolizes a hard fact of life: sometimes you’re high (Hermes) and sometimes you’re low (the snake). Life is a cycle. A balance. You must enjoy the good and accept the bad (but not the extent of complacency).
- Facing Adversity
Clearly the strongest message of the Wheel is not that life can be good; it’s that life can be bad. And when life is bad, we must balance ourselves (like the Zodiak symbols) and learn from what life is showing us. Accepting adversity is not enough; we must use it against itself to improve ourselves.
- Glass Half-Full
You wouldn’t expect it, but the Wheel of Fortune Tarot is an optimistic one. This card has faith that through the human spirit, any and all bad can be subdued (or at least until the next cycle begins). There is also an innate sense of luck that lives in the Wheel; anything can happen if given a nudge in the right direction. Give yourself a nudge and learn the core meanings of Tarot with this class on explaining Tarot through storytelling.
Past, Present And Future
Every card in the Tarot deck changes when it falls in the past, present or future position of a Tarot spread. The Wheel of Fortune card is not different:
The past position represents a recent change; the change is usually one in which a difficult transition finally became a reality (lost love, death, separation, etc.). While this is clearly a bad time in life, it is also the beginning of a new phase. Growth and repair can only results.
The Wheel of Fortune has the best implications in the present position. It tends to shine favorably on whoever draws it. An imminent change for the better is coming, usually in relation to your inner strength or beliefs. But it could be something else, too. This card can help you find the power to finally overcome procrastination.
You can also find power in the Strength card; this blog post goes into the almost unfair advantage the Strength card gives you.
The future is a position of uncertainty. Change is coming, but it could go either way. This is usually a warning to brace yourself and to try to resist the temptations of the snake (follow Hermes instead!). This is when the other cards in your spread have more power than ever.
With Other Cards
The last card you want to see when the Wheel of Fortune falls in the future position is the Devil card. This is setting you up for a severe loss; often, this will be in the form of some balancing event that plays counter to your selfishness.
However, the Temperance card is a fine card to accompany the Wheel (find out more with this blog post about the Temperance Tarot). This is just the opposite of the Devil: a time of sanctity is ahead, with a clear and long path into the future.
Of course, when dealt with the Hermit (in virtually any position), you are going to have to face whatever changes happened, are happening or are going to happen alone. This is not a bad card, but not a good one, either.
But you can at least take financial matters into your own hands with this five-star course on how to master Tarot reading for profit.