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TotOP - X - The Wheel of Fortune

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TotOP - X - The Wheel of Fortune


Astrological Influence - Jupiter
Element - Fire, Water
Month - March, December
Contributor - Sylvia Gainsford

This is yet another interesting reinterpretation of the traditional image. We have the Wheel, formed from a snake swallowing its own tail. We have the figures representing changing fortunes, resembling a combination of the Visconti-Sforza deck and the RWS deck. The centre of the Wheel is very different. There is a female figure, perhaps a representation of the earth goddess, curled up beneath a farming and hunting scene.

In taking a closer look at this middle scene, it can be argued that the top half represents the day, the sun/light, and life; while the bottom half is the night, the moon/darkness, and death. The goddess is part of both of these things, and she holds a sheaf of wheat, which represents the cycle of rebirth, to illustrate this. In the dark half of the Wheel we see a moon and stars, an owl, an animal skull, and a salmon. From her hair flows a dark stream. These are all symbols of dark or hidden things - vigilance, death, psychic powers, balance.

The upper scene shows a farming scene, with both harvest and planting occurring. Another nod to the cycle of life. There is also a hunter and prey in this scene, perhaps representing the god aspect? The castle could be a representation of security, in contrast to the uncertainty of the dark half of the Wheel.

The figures around the outside of the Wheel represent those who are affected by the Wheel. The King is trying to hold on to the Wheel, perhaps to maintain his position. But if he dropped his goblet, his wealth, he could probably hold on better. Of course, there is no stopping the Wheel! Beside the king is a peasant. He is either asking the king for something, or perhaps trying to tell the king that it is futile to try and hold on. Balancing the Wheel with his knees is a fool. He could easily move the wheel in any direction.


Meaning
To me, the Wheel of Fortune means to expect the unexpected. Your situation is likely to change quickly, and in a way you don't expect. But it is also a caution to remember that everything is part of a cycle. Your situation may be difficult right now, but it will get better. Or you could be on top of everything, but you could fall. Hopefully you were nice to everyone on your way up! It is also wise to keep in mind cause and effect. Plants can only be harvested if they are planted, and you can only succeed if you work hard.
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I think, by the way, that this is an excellent exploration of this card. I have nothing to add, except to say that it has enhanced my awareness of it.
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I see the imagery of this card depicting many different cycles of change, and illustrating it's lesson in a unique way. I'm seeing the story of Persephone, the golden maiden who holds the stalks of wheat, representing her return from the underworld. And she holds the skull in her other hand, signifying her position as Queen of the dead, for half the year. And the Ouroboros (snake eating it's tail) represents the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

To me this card sends a clear message that all things must change. Seasons, day into night into day. Fortunes change. Whether you be peasant or King, it's possible that if you start out as one, you'll end up as the other. The hunt is significant to me, in the respect that sometimes we're the hound, at others, we feel like the fox. This card serves to remind us that no matter who we are, or where we end up, everyone is subject to the cycles of nature, circumstance, and time.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkElectric
I see the imagery of this card depicting many different cycles of change, and illustrating it's lesson in a unique way. I'm seeing the story of Persephone, the golden maiden who holds the stalks of wheat, representing her return from the underworld. And she holds the skull in her other hand, signifying her position as Queen of the dead, for half the year. And the Ouroboros (snake eating it's tail) represents the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

To me this card sends a clear message that all things must change. Seasons, day into night into day. Fortunes change.
Thanks for pointing out the Persephone symbolism. Makes sense.
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