Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Meaning

wheel of fortune tarot card meaning

10 – The Wheel of Fortune:

Keywords: Fate, random chance, powerlessness, change, turning things around, luck

Round and round she goes… where she stops, nobody knows… The Wheel of Fortune reminds me of a roulette wheel. You make a bet and take a chance. You have no control over the outcome, fate will have her way. Sometimes this card is called Fortuna, in honor of the goddess that ruled fate. There is a powerlessness inherent in the energy of this card… we can’t control everything that comes our way. What is sure when the Wheel of Fortune makes an appearance in a spread is that change is coming. In history, often this card was depicted as upsetting the fortunes of royalty… it gave people hope that no matter what your status at birth, it could all go away with the turn of the wheel. Another saying that comes to mind when considering this card is “Stop the world, I wanna get off!” Sometimes things move faster than we like. When you feel the world picking up speed and you feel ill prepared for the future, don’t be surprised when the Wheel of Fortune makes a showing.

The Wheel of Fortune Card #10

Planet: Jupiter


A Change is Coming, Fate, Movement, Progress, Unexpected Events, Pot Luck, Luck, Moving in a Different Direction, It is the Beginning or End of a Cycle, Look for New Opportunities, The Beginning of a New Life Cycle, Changes, A Major Change in Your Overall Circumstances, A Turning Point, Gambling, Chances, Ability to Adapt to New Circumstances, Advancement, Could Signify Career Advancement, Taking chances and seeing where it leads you, Destiny, You may Surprised at a Turn of Events, Something Beyond Control, Karma.


Difficulties, Being Held Back by Lack of Opportunity, Obstacles, Influences Not Expected, Changes that bring Stress, Temporary Bad Luck, A Time of Misfortune, Resistance to Change, Things Not Going Your Way, Setbacks, You seem to be on a Losing Streak, Delays, Unpleasant Curve Balls in Life, Unpleasant Surprises, Negative Energy, Bad Karma.

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Brianna Stoker

Element: None Suit: None

Like the Fool, the Wheel of Fortune has no associations with elements or suits. As was pointed out when talking about the Fool, the Fool represents fate, while the Wheel represents chance. The difference between the two is, of course, sometimes difficult to pin down. The Wheel is very much an indicator of change, but also of the unexpected. The change brought about by the wheel tends to be major, and often surprising. The change indicated by the right-side-up tends to be good luck, though it may be diluted to near-neutral depending on the surrounding cards in a spread. If the cards following in a spread are all bad, then the implication must be bad luck, or at best, good luck that is going to take a long time to feed through. The Wheel may represent an opportunity, perhaps a window of opportunity. The window of opportunity may be fleeting, so it is important to grasp the chance while it is there. Think of it in terms of the Wheel grinding to a stop on a really good number, but it will only rest there for a short time before starting to spin again. While it is always important to view and interpret any card in the context of the surrounding cards in the spread, when it comes to the Wheel of Fortune this is especially important. When you look at the Wheel on its own in isolation, it has a tendency to just stare back at you. In the end, it just says luck, chance, lady luck. But of course, if it is in close proximity to the Tower, we may conclude that the change will be very sudden. Out of the blue. In association with Justice, we can view the Wheel in the sense of something happening to upset the balance. Turn harmony into discord in an unexpected way. In association with the Emperor, the Magician, and some coin minors, a change of plan, or something happening to cause a change of plan. Or a major change in political fortunes, when the proverbial hits the fan. The stock market changing from a bull to a bear market. In association with the Pope, it would indicate a change of mind, perhaps a change in scientific opinion. Or a major breaking news story. An unexpected turn in a conflict. In association with the Hermit, perhaps a major internal change. An unexpected event will show you the way, guide your steps. In association with the Moon, perhaps something unexpected is to happen which will clarify a murky situation, or dispel doubt. In association with the eight of Swords it might indicate a way out of an apparently hopeless situation is about to appear. In association with the Lovers, something that can have an unexpected effect on a relationship or friendship. Perhaps an indication of a chance meeting that will lead to love, romance, happiness. So generally speaking, the Wheel indicates an unexpected, chance The event, or perhaps a series of events that turn the tide, change the direction of something.

Like the right-side-up card, the meaning Wheel-Reversed is very much dependent on the surrounding cards. It tends to indicate bad luck, though this aspect may be very much diluted by the surrounding cards. In some contexts it may indicate good luck. One possible interpretation for the reversed card is the absence of luck. Not so much bad luck, rather, no luck at all. For example, think of the actor, or rock singer who never manages to get that big break. That bit of luck that could project him/her to stardom never comes. You can’t really call that bad luck. It’s more a case of no luck. Another way of looking at the reversed Wheel, which is similar to no luck, is to think in terms of the Wheel coming to a stop, grinding to a halt, but not stopping on a number, just sort of hanging in between. I like to use the phrase ‘the waiting room of the world’ for this. It’s as though the world has stopped. This aspect is strong in association with the Hanged Man, one of the meanings for which is being in limbo, life in a sort of suspended state. Very strong in association with the eight of Swords too. This is the one where the figure is standing blindfolded and bound on a beach, with swords sticking in the sand around her. It could also be thought of like a missed opportunity. The Wheel stops on a very good number for a short time, but the querent fails to grasp the brief window of opportunity offered. He fails to seize his chance. The Wheel, whether reversed or right-side-up is a difficult card at first, but once you really understand the divinatory meanings of all the Tarot cards, it really falls into place.

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