As of this writing, which is late March 2020, things are very chaotic and we are living with a lot of unpredictability. In his forthcoming book, Fearless Tarot, Elliot Adam shows us different faces of challenging cards so that we can better understand and work with them. Doing this can also prepare us for life by teaching excellent lessons.
Enjoy this excerpt from the forthcoming Fearless Tarot:
10 The Wheel of Fortune
“Making peace with life’s unpredictability.”
The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes unpredictable events, both considered fortunate and unfortunate. These are the events that occur with seeming randomness. They leave you feeling as if you have no control over them. The figures on the turning wheel illustrate that life moves in cycles where it brings periods of feeling on top of the world (like the sphinx), and other times when you feel down and out (the descending snake and Anubis, the God of the Egyptian Underworld). Chaotic and unplanned things do occur in life. The rim of the wheel represents the external world with all its chaotic unpredictability. The center of the wheel represents your center, the seat of your best self. If you can find you way home to your center, then the random things that occur in the world outside of your control will not feel as disturbing.
Are you stuck at the rim of the wheel, rising or falling with each unexpected event in your life that happens? Can you take unexpected events in stride, or are you rigid and inflexible? Do you panic when something doesn’t go exactly according to plan?
The Wheel of Fortune floats amid the clouds, the domain of the element of Air. The sphinx, symbolizing all that is mysterious and unknowable, is seated on top of the wheel wielding a sword. The sword and the cloud imagery represent the element of Air and symbolize the powers of the mind to find the patterns in seemingly random occurrences. We do this every time we chaotically shuffle tarot cards and identify the patterns laid out in front of us. The mind organizes data through patterns. Amid the Hebrew letters around the wheel are four English letters: T-A-R-O. If read clockwise, starting and ending at the top of the wheel they spell “TAROT.” If you begin reading the letters at the bottom of the wheel clockwise, they spell “ROTA” (Latin for wheel). The Wheel of Fortune can reveal patterns in seemingly random occurrences.
In her book, “Following Your Path,” Alexandra Collins Dickerman perceived the rim of the Wheel of Fortune as a metaphor for the changeable external world. If you wrap up your whole identity and self-worth with what everybody “out there” thinks at the rim of the wheel, then you will be doomed to emotionally rise and fall with each acceptance or rejection you receive. However, if you can reconnect with your center (symbolized by the hub of the wheel), you can remain centered, without taking the chaotic ups and downs of life personally. When you operate from your center life no longer feels random, and you can control the direction of the wheel of your life.
When the Wheel of Fortune appears, it is time to get off the emotional roller coaster and detach from external dramas. Staying fixed at the edge of the wheel can get emotionally exhausting rather quickly. The truth is we don’t have complete control of every life event that occurs. Sometimes bad or unfair things just happen. Other people have free will and can also act unpredictably. Good things can happen to awful people, and terrible things can happen to good people. Some people win the lottery without having done anything to deserve it. Others get hurt, through no fault of their own. In life, events rarely go exactly according to plan. These occurrences are outside of our control. However, you do have the ability to control how you respond to life. You can either choose to let your best self handle the situation, or the part of you that harbors fear.
The Wheel of Fortune appears when it’s time to take unexpected things in stride. Good or bad. Fair or unfair. Don’t take random events in life personally. All you have control over is you and your chosen response. Choose to respond with excellence. Reclaim your connection with your wise center. Sit peacefully within the eye of the storm. View your current situation with the higher awareness that resides within you. If you are centered, you will operate from a place of great personal power. The Wheel of Fortune foretells good luck for those who find their way back to their center.