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Origins of the Wheel of Fortune Card

The Wheel of Fortune, a captivating and symbolic archetype in the Tarot deck, unfolds a narrative of cycles, fate, and the ever-turning wheel of life. To unravel the origins of the Wheel of Fortune card, we must navigate through the intriguing history of Tarot and explore the diverse cultural and philosophical influences that shape its symbolism.

Tarot cards, with roots in medieval Europe, emerged in the 15th century as playing cards for the nobility. Over time, Tarot evolved into a mystical system of divination and self-reflection. The Wheel of Fortune card holds a significant place in the Major Arcana, a set of 22 cards that delve into archetypal aspects of human experience.

In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, a highly influential deck created in the early 20th century, the Wheel of Fortune is depicted as a large wheel with mystical symbols, including an Egyptian sphinx, an Anubis-like figure, and a serpent. The wheel is set against a cosmic backdrop, emphasizing its connection to the celestial cycles.

The Wheel of Fortune is a card of change, cycles, and the inevitable ups and downs of life. The presence of the sphinx and Anubis figures suggests connections to ancient Egyptian symbolism, where the sphinx represented mystery and the passage of time, while Anubis guided souls through the afterlife.

The wheel itself is a powerful symbol found in various cultural and religious traditions. In Hinduism, the wheel of life, or samsara, represents the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The concept of fate and destiny is also present in ancient Greek mythology, with the Moirai, or Fates, spinning the thread of life.

One influential aspect of the Wheel of Fortune card is its association with the concept of “karma,” stemming from Indian philosophy and later incorporated into Western esoteric traditions. The card reminds us that our actions and choices have consequences, and the wheel’s turning reflects the cyclical nature of cause and effect.

Interpretations of the Wheel of Fortune card can vary among different Tarot decks and readers. Each deck may offer a unique artistic representation, bringing its own nuances to the symbolism. Despite these variations, the core themes of change, destiny, and the interconnectedness of all things remain central to the archetype of the Wheel of Fortune.

The Wheel of Fortune card serves as a poignant reminder that life is a constant flux of experiences and that we are participants in an ever-turning cosmic wheel. Whether used for divination or personal reflection, the origins of the Wheel of Fortune card encourage individuals to embrace the dynamic nature of existence and navigate the cycles of life with resilience and awareness.

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