Exploring the Wheel of Fortune

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Wheel of Fortune and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


The Wheel of Fortune is card number 10 in the deck and the eleventh card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.

Card Examples


L-10Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

Each of these cards are different versions of the wheel of fate.

The Mythic Tarot depicts it with the three sisters of Fate: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. The ancient Greeks, I feel, seemed to have this belief that we really didn’t have much say in how our lives turned out. I strongly disagree with that. I truly believe in the power of free agency even if there might be fixed points in a time line, in the end I have the ability to choice how I respond or what I do with those points. This is why when I use tarot it’s for the purpose of helping me think “outside of the box” rather than seeing what the future holds.

The next card is the Dragon Tarot with a spectral dragon woven around an astrological wheel biting its own tail floating over a compass. This one I feel suggests an influence and direction rather than a fixed destiny. I think this one is more in line with my thoughts and feelings.

The Universal Tarot card has a lot of symbolism on it to unpack. Honestly, I think the Biddy Tarot website describes and explains this card best in their first paragraph on their site’s page for the card. It’s important to note here that both this card and their descriptive text is based on the traditional Rider-Waite tarot style of the card.

The Tarot of Dreams card is a bit interesting. It depicts a clockwork wheel, which gives it a relentless and unyielding feel to its motion. Time waits for no one after all, and it will always move ever forward no matter what you do or choose. So in this regard I appreciate the artwork here. It doesn’t suggest to me that fate is decided by any one thing, but only that it is a constant motion of many gears. In many ways, when you think about it, this is true.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:


You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

Out of all the keywords and concepts I’ve associated with this card, is karma and the rule of three. Incidentally, for all you fellow writers out there, the rule of three has quite a bit of punch in written work as well when used properly.

I do believe that what you put out into the world has the power to ripple out around you. Your actions and choices has the capacity to fertilize or poison the environment around you. Not only does this impact you, but others as well. You truly do reap what you sow.

And yes, it does mean that sometimes you benefit from or are harmed by the work of others. The wheel here just turns due to the actions we all take. What we need to be mindful of is how we are effected by it.

Are we taking the opportunities available as they come around? Because if we don’t, someone else will. It doesn’t matter if you built the door for that opportunity if you then later choose to ignore it. What will happen is at some point someone else will take the door. As I said before, time waits for no one. So if you earned it, if you built it, claim it.

And all of you opportunists out there, beware. The wheel’s system isn’t entirely mindless. Remember that ripple effect. Every time you take what isn’t yours, it creates a ripple. Every time you harm someone, it creates a ripple. It poisons your environment. Eventually this poison will reach critical mass for you.

The reason this happens is because for every ripple you create, those around you respond and create their own ripples. Each ripple causes the wheel to turn. It’s for this reason I believe the old saying, “What goes around, comes around,” came about.

The keyword I choose for this card is: KARMA.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

One thought on “Exploring the Wheel of Fortune

  1. Pingback: Chaos Wave: The Wheel of Fortune – The Art of Chaos

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