The Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Meanings Explained

the wheel of fortune tarot card rider waiteKeywords:

Life cycles


Good Luck


Turning Point

Resistance to change

Breaking cycles

General Meaning of The Wheel of Fortune in a Reading

Have you received The Wheel of Fortune in your tarot card reading? Well, buckle your seatbelt because things are about to change! When this Major Arcana card appears in your reading it foretells of a major shift that is about to happen. Generally, it is a card of good fortune, which can be in terms of love or other relationships, career, finances or just about anything else. Karma is kicking in and if you have been struggling with something, The Wheel of Fortune is telling you that these challenges are about to be a thing of the past.

Life is made up of constant cycles. Things come into our lives, we cope and deal as best we can and eventually, we find some kind of resolution. This card says you have reached one of those turning points. Things are about to become clear to you as destiny effects change in your life.

Beyond good luck and simple financial gain (though this card can bring these into your life as well!), The Wheel of Fortune brings change to any situation. Depending on the surrounding cards and the presentation, the energies of luck and fortune are on your side. In the reversed position, this card indicates that you may be stuck in a never ending cycle and its time to get out, but more on that below!

The Symbolism of The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune tarot card la roue de fortuneThe Wheel of Fortune is a very mystical card that is rife with symbolism. In the Rider-Waite deck, we see a wheel with the letters T-A-R-O inscribed upon its face. If you read in a circle and close the loop with the first letter, you receive the message “tarot.” If you read the circle from the bottom, the letters spell “ROTA” or “wheel” in Latin. In between these letters are the Hebrew letters YHVH (Yod Heh Vau Heh), which are known as the unpronounceable name of God. Wow! This card sure packs a punch!

Around the wheel are three figures. Above the wheel, we see the Sphinx again, this time holding a blue sword, representing knowledge, strength and life’s riddles. To the right, we see Anubis, the Egyptian God of the dead, who carries souls into the underworld. This figure represents your shadow self. To the left, is the snake, or the Egyptian God Typhon, who is known as The God of Evil. In Christian symbolism, this represents the Tree of Knowledge from which the snake tempted Adam.

In the four corners of a blue sky, we see four figures representing the four fixed signs: the angel, Aquarius; the eagle, the evolved Scorpio; the lion, Leo; and the bull, Taurus. These fixed signs remain stable during inevitable change and they each hold a book in their hands, symbolizing knowledge.

The Wheel of Fortune in the Past

The order and placement within which the tarot cards appear are of utmost importance. Each card has layers of meanings that shift and change depending on the context of their presentation.

The Past position always illuminates the forces at work that have led you to the place you are in now. The Wheel of Fortune presenting in the past position indicates that you have come out of some tumultuous change, which has brought you to the place you are in today. Whether a violent situation, a divorce in the family, or some other momentous shift, these changes in the past have shaped who you are today and have influenced why you are currently in the situation you are in.

The Wheel of Fortune in the Present

When the Wheel of Fortune appears in the Present position, get ready to celebrate! Challenges that you have been facing are about to turn in your favor. If things have been going great for you, don’t forget that this too will change. That doesn’t mean something terrible is about to happen, but rather, it is a message to appreciate your blessings while you have them.

The Wheel of Fortune in the Future

In the Future position, The Wheel of Fortune puts you on alert that change is coming. Change is unpredictable and cannot be controlled. This may be a little unnerving, but this card is reminding you that the Universe is at work here and resisting change is futile. Send positive energy into the world and go with the flow. It will all work out in the end, even if not in the way you expected.

the wheel of fortune tarot card jean dodalThe Reversed Wheel of Fortune

When this Major Arcana card appears in the reversed position, it is time to pause and self-reflect. How is the inherent energy of this card blocked or out of control in your life? The message of The Wheel of Fortune is one of karma, change, good luck, and destiny. Are you resisting change? Have you been struggling against the will of the universe?

Another possible meaning of this card in the reversed position is that you are stuck in an endless cycle and are not taking the necessary steps to remove yourself from it. In this way, you are doomed to continue repeating the same pattern, making the same mistakes, and continuing the same self-defeating cycle endlessly. Are you prepared to break free?

The Wheel of Fortune Tarot One Card Meaning

The Tarot One Card Meaning of the Wheel of Fortune will have to do with change and the cycles of life. Depending on the querent’s question, receiving this Major Arcana card is a good omen. Change is coming, though it may not present in the way that you expect. Remain steadfast in your positive attitude and your positive karmic path and blessings will come your way. In the reversed position, changes are coming that you may not desire, but in the end, it will be for your benefit and learning on your human journey.

The Wheel of Fortune Yes/No Meaning

Your Yes/No tarot card reading will answer a specific question succinctly. When this card appears in the upright position, your answer is “yes!” Your plan is supported by good fortune and positive karmic energy. If the Wheel of Fortune appears in the reversed position, your answer is “no.” You are repeating old and outdated negative patterns that you need to break away from.


The Wheel of Fortune is so much more than a good luck card. It represents the cycles of life and the return of karmic energy that you put out into the world. Whether in balance (upright), indicating good fortune, positive change, and destiny, or out of balance (reversed), indicating endless cycles and resistance to change, the Wheel of Fortune is a very deep and mystical card that must be interpreted within in the context of your life.

Affirmations for The Wheel of Fortune

“I am open to change.”
“I receive the blessings that are coming my way.”
“Karma will return to me the good things I put out into the world.”
“I accept the cycles of my life.”

More about The Wheel of Fortune

Want to learn more about The Wheel of Fortune? Get the full picture with a complete tarot card spread. Whether using a simple three-card spread or a full Celtic-Cross spread, the cards surrounding The Wheel of Fortune will give you the indispensable information you need to tune into this card’s deeper meaning.

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Article Info

Date: Feb 15, 2019
Amelie Rose Estrela is an experienced psychic and recently published, esteemed lead author for the Psychic Guild since 2003. She has written hundreds of articles for the website on a range of topics covered within the psychic niche, including Psychics & Mediums, Tarot & Angel Cards, Astrology & Horoscopes (the topic of her newly-released e-book), Love & Relationships, and Spells & Magic. You can find out more about Amelie on
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