Alternative Names: Fate, Destiny, The Wheel
Astrological Sign or Planet: Jupiter
Key Meanings: Fate, change, intuition
The Wheel of Fortune card in Tarot symbolizes destiny, unexpected events, and progress. This card reminds you that good luck happens as easily as bad, and everything happens in cycles. You may be on top of the world now, but you could just as easily be headed downward. Change is a constant and inevitable part of life, and nothing lasts forever. The basic symbols of this card are a clockwise-turning wheel with figures or beasts on it that are rising or falling. Some cards have a sphinx on top of the wheel, and some cards include alchemic symbols and Hebrew letters.
Upright Meaning: When The Wheel of Fortune appears in a reading, it means that something has been put in motion over which you now have little or no control. You are being forced to accept the action of the forces of destiny, to get in tune with them, and to align yourself with their aims. Generally, however, the outcome is considered favorable.
These forces already set in motion foretell of changing circumstances, usually for the better, beneficial changes that will promote your growth and advancement. Balance may be an issue if you are resisting change, but you now have no choice but to go along with whatever process is working in your life. The Wheel of Fortune is a reminder that every period of intense activity must be followed by a fallow time of rest and inactivity. Where you are in your own personal cycle will be shown by the other cards in the spread.
This card almost always heralds good fortune coming as a result of what you yourself have put into motion, even if you aren’t totally aware of what you have done to initiate the process. You may have applied for a new job, met a new person, begun a romance, decided to take a college course, or had a chance encounter that got the ball rolling—or the wheel turning. It means a new phase, possibly the need to make an important decision, or even a totally unexpected circumstance developing that will change your life.
Reversed Meaning: When the Wheel is reversed, you may suffer some bad luck, but thankfully this marks the end of a run of challenges. In this way, the simple interpretation of the reversed Wheel is closure. The benefits of the upright Wheel will come—it will just take a little longer to gather momentum and move you forward. On a spiritual level, this card can also show a lack of confidence in your intuitive messages or a false start when choosing a way to spiritually develop. Vow to adapt, begin again, and keep on working toward your goal.