What Does The Wheel Of Fortune Card Mean In Tarot?

The art of tarot card readings dates back some 600 years, when Italian nobles used cards with elaborate illustrations for games or even for a form of storytelling (via Mental Floss). In the 18th century, it was believed that the tarot was connected to ancient Egyptian soothsaying, and from there, it wasn't long before fortunetellers were using the cards to provide insights into clients' lives, careers, money matters, and relationships. 

The 78 cards in a tarot deck are comprised of 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards. The Minor Arcana is divided into four suits, similar to a regular deck of cards, while the Major Arcana are picture cards that represent primary aspects of life, per Keen. Tarot readers may use just the Major Arcana for a big-picture overview of past events and future issues, or include the Minor deck for a reading that's more specific to the client. 

Among the Major Arcana cards is one called the Wheel of Fortune. It's the tenth card in the series, and is often depicted as a wheel with animals or people rotating around it, and a sphinx or other figure controlling it. Some decks show the wheel suspended in air, with winged figures representing Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius in the corners (via Labyrinthos). It's definitely a far cry from the Pat Sajak TV wheel divided into money and prizes, but what does it mean when it shows up in your reading?

The Wheel of Fortune card indicates change is coming

If the cards in your reading include the Wheel of Fortune in a right-side-up position, take it as a good sign. The card means that changes are on the way, generally for the better. As The Tarot Guide explains, "The upright Wheel of Fortune signals that the universe is working in your favor to help you reach your goals. Make sure you make the most of this time by focusing your intention on what you truly want!" Since tarot readings typically involve the client talking to the reader about their specific concerns, according to Vogue, the meaning of the Wheel of Fortune depends on what you're focused on. If you're wondering about a relationship, you might be about to find someone new or take the next step in an existing romance. If it's work that's on your mind, the card suggests you could be in line for a promotion or even a career shift.

As you might expect, the opposite is true when the Wheel of Fortune turns up reversed (upside down). Your plans could be delayed or even canceled without warning. That relationship you're in could get caught in a rut. But since the purpose of tarot is to get to know yourself better, take this card as a signal to think about how you might be getting in your own way, suggests The Self Care Emporium. Are you clinging to destructive habits? Afraid to embrace change? 

No matter which way the card is turned, the Wheel of Fortune is also a reminder that nothing lasts forever, says Biddy Tarot. Appreciate your good fortune while you have it, and if things aren't going your way, remember that better times lie just ahead.