Tarot Musings: The Wheel of Fortune

Deck: Robin Wood Tarot
Card: Wheel of Fortune (X)

A large wheel divided into eight sections of equal size takes up the center of this card. Each section is filled with the image of the same young girl. In the uppermost section, the girl is dressed in the purest white gown with uplifted arms while a star rests upon the crown of her head. In the section opposite this one, the girl is dressed in a nearly-black gown. Her usually blond hair is darkened, and she covers her face in despair with her hands. Each of the images in the sections leading to and from these two extremes show a progression from despair to utter joy and back again. A small ball rolls around the rim of the wheel, reminiscent of a roulette wheel.

This card reminds us that the circumstances of our life are constantly in motion and often beyond our control. Sometimes, our circumstances are rosy, while they are abysmal at other times. Often, they are somewhere between these two extremes. Part of life is coming to understand the fluctuations of fortune and misfortune we experience throughout it and take them in stride. The person who fails to accept this reality is the most likely to be destroyed by the turning of the Wheel of Fortune.

However, even though our circumstances may be beyond our control, our response to them never is. One of the hidden meanings in this card is that what circumstances may befall us are less important than how we choose to deal with them. Do we learn to make the most of even the worst situations? Or do we allow the despair of the moment overcome us? If we choose the latter, we risk missing the opportunities that first come to us when the Wheel turns yet again.

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