In this symbol I have again followed the reconstruction of Eliphas Levi, who has furnished several variants. It is legitimate--as I have intimated--to use Egyuptian symbolism when this serves our purpose, provided that no theory of origin is implied therein. I have, however, presented Typhon in his serpent form. The symbolism is, of course, not exclusively Egyptian, as the four Living Creatures of Ezekiel occupy the angles of the card, and the wheel itself follows other indications of Levi in respect of Ezekiel's vision, as illustrative of the particular Tarot Key. With the French occultist, and in the design itself, the symbolic picture stands for the perpetual motion of a fluidic universe and for the flux of human life. The Sphinx is the equilibrium therein. The transliteration of Taro as Rota is inscribed on the wheel, counterchangd with the letters of the Divine Name--to shew that Providence is implied through all. But this is the Divine intention within, and the similar intentionw ithout is exemplified by the four Living Creatures. Sometimes the sphinx is represented couchant on a pedestal above, which defrauds the symbolism by stultifying the essential idea of stability amidst movement.
Behind the general notion expressed in the symbol there lies the
denial of chance and the fatality which is implied therein. It may be
added tha, from the days of Levi onward, the occult explanations of
this card are--even for occultism itself--of a singularly fatuous
kind. It has been said to mean principle, fecundity, virile honour,
ruling authority, etc. The findings of common fortune-telling are
better than this on their own plane.--A.E. Waite
. . . The Tarot recognizes that each person sets his own path in life, but is also subject to the larger cycles that include him. We experience chance events that appear to be accidents although they are part of the great plan.
In readings, the Wheel of Fortune can represent these unexpected encounters and twists of fate. You cannot prepare for the impact of this card; you can only be aware of its presence. In addition, Card 10 suggests certain wheel-like actions - changes in direction, repeating cycles and rapid movement. When the energy of the Wheel arrives, you will feel your life speed up. You are caught in a cyclone - one that may deposit you anywhere. "Round and round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows!"--Joan Bunning
The Wheel of Fortune shows the cyclical nature of life on earth;
the universal principles of growth, completion, decline, renewal. The
karmic nature of what has been done or started has come full circle
to completion. Loose ends are never really loose. They must be woven
into the wheel as it spins. All beginnings must have endings, the
seasons come and go, as do our periods of triumphs and failures. The
cyclical rhythm of life does not allow for one to be on top of the
wheel with everything going wonderfully forever. In that same regard,
the bad times will inevitably pass, too. The wheel is ever-spinning.
The free will to pick and choose exists only in the mysterious circle
of our fate and destiny. We have to adapt to the ever-changing
environment of nature and the collective consciousness of humankind.
Like the snakes pictured, we have to shed the skins we have outgrown
and keep moving. What happens in the future depends on the sum of
past events. As ye hath sown, so shall ye reap. --
Fortune can be plainly traced from the earliest sun glyphs, which were wheels.
"above," the watery trine, and "below," the fiery trine, appear within the wheel of Key 10, and become "One" in the cyclical untiy of the wheel ... The square of our design becomes the elevated, or ascended, elemental world, winged earth, air, fire, water; and thus the circle is squared.
In Key 10, a half-animal, half-human form moves up the evolving side of the wheel.
Zero is the circle of the world, now empty. This emptiness connotes maximum freedom in that the One is no longer bound; it is now not there, the "no-thing." The number zero suggests the circular Wheel of Fortune. . . Key X contains within the wheel four glyphs. Reading counterclockwise . . . mercury, salt, dissolution and sulphur.
On one level the wheel in Key 10 is the sun rolling through the sky. . . . ROTA equals the Wheel of the Sun
...a golden serpent often symbolized the sun in its movement about the pole and up and down through the signs of the zodiac, pursuing on its annual journey a spiral course. Or, the sun was thought to roll through the heavenly zodiac like a giant wheel . . .
. . . descending, materializing . . . Fall and Incarnation one and the same