Renaissance Tarot (Jones / Lyle) - The Wheel of Fortune X


I really like this Wheel card.

Against a pale blue background we see a golden eight spoked wheel.
The spokes in the middle look almost like an eight pointed star.
Around the outside of the wheel is a black serpent which forms a perfect circle, it's mouth is open and it appears to be swallowing it's own tale.
As well as the snake, two figures appear to be attached to the wheel, although no ropes bind them to it. There is one person on either side (once again there is perfect symmetry here - this seems to be a theme in this deck). The two figures make me think of the two pillars that we often see in the Tarot's Major Arcana.
Both figures are blindfolded and the one on the left has his head upward whilst the one on the right seems to be heading towards the bottom of the wheel and has his head facing downwards - I say 'his' but it's impossible to tell the sex of these two people.
In the top corners of the card we see an angel and a golden bird and in the bottom corners we see a bull and a lion. All of these creatures are pictured with red ribbons - I'm unsure as to the significance of these ribbons and the exact meaning of the four creatures also seems to be evading me.

I really like the way the wheel has a star at it's centre. It makes me think of hope: Even when things are getting very bad, the wheel will keep turning and things will get better.
The eight-spoked wheel makes me think of The Wheel of the year and so reminds us that time is never ending and that everything has a beginning and an end.
The snake reinforces this message.


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Some more thoughts

I knew that the significance of the creatures in the corners of the cards would come to me and they have :)
I have a feeling that they represent the elements and also that they represent the 4 fixed signs of the Zodiac (although my knowledge of astrology is minimal to say the least :))
Bull / Taurus - element - Earth
Eagle (the little white book says it's also a phoenix) / Scorpio - Fire and I would also say representing the element of Air
Man / Aquarius - Water and I would also say representing the element of Earth
Lion / Leo - Fire

'Spiritual Tarot' by Echols, Mueller and Thomson says that 'they represent the unchanging reality in which the rotation of events takes place' - I quite like that.


This card seems based on the Rider-Waite-Smith card. (I've attached a copy of the b&w version.) The snake is much more obvious here. I think those four creatures are also supposed to be the four apostles Matthew John Mark and Luke. Where did I read this? Probably someplace on AT.

It's the blindfolds that make me wonder, though. Do they indicate that we can't see if our luck is going up or down? But how can that be--usually we DO see that we're having good luck or bad luck.


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Well I tried to post this on Friday and then got locked in and/out with the server upgrade, thank goodness I could save it! Phew! :)

I like how in the book it also connects the four figures in the corners of the card to the seasons as well.

Angel - Aquarius - Air - Winter
Bull - Taurus - Earth - Spring
Lion - Leo - Fire - Summer
Phoenix/Eagle - Scorpio - Water - Autumn

It really reinforces the cyclical nature of the wheel for me. And it also helps when it appears in readings, and if you are having a downward turn in the wheel, that it is just part of the cycle and it will be spring or summer again. I find the Wheel quite a humbling card in a way.

The snake is a tail eater or ouroboros, which is an ancient symbol and in the RWS it appears (if I recall correctly) on the Magician as his belt and in the Wands courts. This again reinforces the idea of a cycle or a circle... the circle of life. The circle, ends where it begins and begins where it ends, or doesn't really have an end or a beginning, it just is. Which is sometimes a nice way to look at the Wheel, no point maybe questioning the whys and wherefores... it just is!

The figures bound to the wheel being blindfolded is quite different, not anything that I have seen before anyway. I am reminded of a saying... round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows. Sometimes I liken this card to a roulette wheel and we are the little ball that goes spinning round and round. You might be able to place bets on where it will stop, but getting that right is about luck and chance not anything else.


Yes the four creatures (3 beasts, one person), represent the 4 Fixed zodiac signs (elements).

The blindfolds seem obvious to me, we are bound (by ourselves!) to the wheel of samsara - life & death, birth & re-birth etc. blindly subject to our individual perceptions of life. Hence our relative definitions of 'fortunate' and 'unfortunate' - 'good' and 'bad'.

How we ride the Wheel is the karmic (or web of wyerd, whatever...) consequences of our previous, present and future perceptions/actions.
We can only respond to what we perceive and how we perceive it - and this covers the whole of our lifes' experiences.