The Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Meaning
The tenth card in the Major Arcana is the Wheel of Fortune, which denotes change, either for better or worse. It not only serves as a reminder that fate is inescapable, but also that luck is fickle and can flip from good to bad in an instant.
Illustration Credit: Катерина Еременко
- Element: Fire
- Planet: Jupiter
- Astrological Sign: Capricorn
- Key Dates: 12-year cycles (Jupiter’s orbital period)
VISUAL ELEMENTS AND SYMBOLISM
The Wheel of Fortune is one of the most visually complex cards packed with different symbols and iconography, serving as a reminder that luck is not simple. Multiple symbols surround the wheel of fortune itself, which is located at the epicenter of the card. At the noon, three, six, and nine positions on the wheel are the letters TARO (in that order). In between are the Hebrew letters Yod, Heh, Waw, and Heh (YHWH), which is how the name of God is denoted in the Hebrew bible. In addition, sometimes the four elements are also represented on the wheel (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water).
Working outward, the wheel is surrounded by the sphinx, the snake, and Anubis. Perched atop the wheel, the sphinx represents knowledge, strength, and power, and its position serves as a reminder to stay balanced despite underlying turmoil or change. Down the left side of the wheel descends the snake, representing the Greek god Typhon (or Egyptian god Set), coming down just as evil or bad luck can suddenly strike the material world. Finally, Anubis, the Egyptian god of the underworld, rises from the bottom up to the right side of the wheel, symbolizing the cyclical nature of luck. Just as evil and bad luck can descend instantly, one’s fate can suddenly turn around and rise with good luck.
Finally, surrounding the outer edges of the card are the Four Evangelists, the Man or Angel, the Eagle, the Ox, and the Lion (from top left to bottom right). All four figures are reading a book, signifying both intelligence and wisdom, and bear wings, representing stability in times of great turmoil or change. The figures also correspond with the fixed Zodiac signs Aquarius (The Man), Scorpio (The Eagle), Taurus (The Ox), and Leo (The Lion).
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THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE CARD AS A PERSON
People who draw the Wheel of Fortune are lucky, and seek out relationships with people who they perceive as good and kind. They are intuitive, and their awareness of the world around them allows them to often tip the scales in their favor.
The Wheel of Fortune also signifies someone who has lived through turmoil, which has made them stronger and empathetic to those less fortunate than themselves. However, that empathy can also allow people to take advantage of them, so it is important for them to stand up for themselves just as they do for those less fortunate than themselves.
THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE UPRIGHT
Upright, the Wheel of Fortune signifies an upcoming change for the better in some aspect of your life. While you may be going through a difficult time, the universe has a plan for you, and you are on the right track to fulfill your destiny. The wheel also reminds you that luck is cyclical, so always be prepared for sudden change and turmoil, because luck is fickle, and can switch from good to bad, or vice versa, in an instant.
LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS
The Wheel of Fortune denotes a change for the better in your relationships or your love life. While in the short term it may signify the ending of a rocky relationship, the change will be for the better moving forward, as the universe has a plan for you to find your true love. However, the card can also represent that a change for the better is coming in a relationship, so open up with your partner to improve communication and either strengthen your relationship or move on if you are not compatible.
If you are single, the Wheel of Fortune can signify that you may soon meet your true love, so it is a good time to make yourself available and meet new people or build a relationship with someone already in your life.
The Wheel signifies an upcoming change in your career that is for the better, whether that is a promotion you have continually worked hard for or changing jobs to something you find more fulfilling. If you stay focused and keep working hard, your career goals can be met.
The Wheel denotes an upcoming change in your financial situation. If you are struggling, things will change for the better. You may receive a promotion or find a better job, or a family member or friend may lend a hand, but you must ask before you can receive it.
However, if you are currently stable financially, expect an upcoming monetary setback. You can prepare by adding more to your savings until your fortune turns, but you should not fret, as you will whether the storm and it will soon pass.
Once again, the wheel represents an upcoming change in your current state. If you have been ill or suffering a long-time ailment, you will soon begin to recover. If you have been healthy, beware of an impending injury or sickness. However, do not be overly worried, as your ailment will not be severe. You will emerge stronger and more stable from it, and it will serve as a reminder to take care of your body and mind.
THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE REVERSED
When the Wheel of Fortune is reversed, it denotes upcoming turmoil and a change for the worse. You have allowed a malicious force to influence you and cause chaos, pushing you off the path the universe has for you. It is a reminder that you cannot control everything, and you need to accept and embrace change instead of fighting the inevitable.
LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS
Your relationship or love life is currently in a rut, and you need to break out of the negative cycle. You must move on from a previously toxic relationship as trying to force it to work will only result in more heartbreak and chaos. You should not allow a past relationship to hold you back, as it is preventing you from being happy and finding your true love.
In a current relationship, the card signifies that the burning passion you once shared is no longer there. Try and rekindle the spark by opening up with your partner and doing activities you both enjoyed when you began your relationship. However, if you are unable to reignite the flame, the card denotes that it is time to move on.
Your career trajectory has stalled, either because you have been lacking in your effort or you have made some poor choices in your career. An upcoming layoff may be in your future, or you may have to slog through the grind for a while longer as you must wait for the Wheel to turn before you make any significant change. Use this time to reflect on what you could have done better so you can be ready to start anew when the time is right.
When the Wheel of Fortune is reversed, it is not the time to make significant purchases or take any financial gambles. Beware of aggressive salesmen and intrusive advertising, as you should be frugal with your money and avoid the temptation of needless purchases. Until your fortunes turn, focus on saving your money and building a reserve.
The reversed wheel signifies that your health is negatively impacted by the malicious forces in your life, particularly your weight and your skin. Resist the temptation to turn to alcohol, drugs, or overeating during turmoil, and try and better handle your reaction to outside events beyond your control.
YOUR PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
In the past position, the Wheel of Fortune shows that you have emerged stronger from the challenges you have faced and that they have shaped you into the person you are today. Your resolve has allowed you to stay on your path to achieving your desires.
The Wheel of Fortune in the present position shows that luck is currently with you. While you may see obstacles in your way, they bring good fortune as long as you seize the opportunity while luck smiles upon you. The card also serves as a reminder that you have to act for good things to come your way. If you idle, your opportunity may slip away, so don’t let it pass you by.
The Wheel of Fortune in the future position denotes upcoming change. This change can be for better or worse depending on how you handle the change, so keep a clear mind and stay focused to push luck in your favor. Slacking or trying to fight fate may result in a change for the worse.
IMPORTANT CARD COMBINATIONS
Just as luck can be either good or bad and change in an instant, the Wheel of Fortune can either positively or negatively impact the meaning of a card it is paired with. It may signify a shift in conditions or an improvement from a temporary setback.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND HERMIT
On its own, the Hermit denotes solitude and the pursuit of self-actualization. Paired with the Wheel of Fortune, you may go through a loss of a loved one or some type of break-up shortly that causes you to be alone. However, this experience will allow you to focus on yourself, and through introspection and reflection, you will come out of your cocoon better off and with a deeper understanding of yourself.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FOUR OF CUPS
The Four of Cups signifies taking things for granted, as is human nature, and not actively seizing opportunities. When combined with the Wheel of Fortune, the cards mark a second chance to right a wrong or get your life back on track. Be willing to seize opportunities that present themselves, and take a chance on something you may have initially dismissed or overlooked.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND ACE OF PENTACLES
The Ace of Pentacles on its own represents an opportunity ripe for the taking, and paired with the Wheel of Fortune, it denotes extremely good luck. A financial windfall or medical miracle may be right around the corner, you may be about to find your true love, or the opportunity of a lifetime may soon present itself. Remember to seize the upcoming opportunity and not let it pass you by.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE: YES OR NO?
The Wheel of Fortune signifies yes, as it denotes everything is currently going according to the universe’s plan. Do not worry if this is not the answer you were looking for, as the Wheel symbolizes the cyclical nature of luck and a change in fortune, so things will turn for the better if you stay on the right path.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT DOES THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE CARD MEAN IN A LOVE READING?
If the Wheel of Fortune is in the upright position, your love life is going in the right direction and you are going to fulfill your destiny. If you are single or in a bad relationship, do not worry, as a positive change is in your future. Regardless of how things seem in the moment, the universe has a plan for you and you are on the right path.
If reversed, the card shows that a malicious force has taken control of your love life and things will change for the worse. You have allowed malevolent outside forces to negatively impact your life and force you off your path.
WHAT DOES THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE MEAN IN A FUTURE READING?
The Wheel of Fortune signifies an imminent shift in fortunes, either for better or worse, depending on how you handle the change.
IS THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE A YES OR NO CARD?
The Wheel of Fortune is a yes card that denotes an upcoming change in destiny and fortune.