Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- ATU X-Fortune
The Golden Tarot- Key 10-The Wheel of Fortune ( La Ruota Della Fortuna)
The Tarot Key 10- the Wheel of Fortune, or the Thoth-Fortune, is called the Path of Caph(meaning Fist) that runs from Chesed (mercy) to Netzach (Victory) on the Tree of Life. This path is on the side of the Tree of Life called The Pillar of Mercy, and connects the Personality to the Higher Self (all Sephiroth above Tiphareth are in the Higher Self). Because the meaning of Caph (Kaph) is fist, it refers to a completion of an activity, such as, the closing of a circle or grasping comprehension.
The Path of Caph, has a mediating function as the benevolent planet Jupiter is assigned to this Path. If you will look at the bottom-left of the Thoth-Fortune card, you will see the Hebrew letter Caph and the sign of Jupiter. Jupiter, is also said to govern the flow of blood, thus reinforcing the mediating function of Caph.
Contrary to many mundane interpretations, the Thoth Wheel, is not a roulette wheel of chance and and/or accidents. For in Qaballah, it is known that we are solely responsible for our own destinies which the words "freedom of choice” and "cause and effect” imply. The Wheel of Fortune supplies us with what we earn, which can be pleasant or unpleasant as it is the interchange of opposites that makes the wheel Spin. Therefore, in the Tree of Life, we have, the Feminine, Geburah who is called Severity, and the masculine Chesed-Mercy, interchanging their forces and form. This interchange of opposites, is shown by the 10 Spokes on the Thoth Tarot card, symbolizing the 10 Sephiroth on the Tree of Life which is a continuity of Force and Form, in equilibrium.
In his work, The Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom, Dr. Paul Foster Case calls the Path of Caph, the Intelligence of Conciliation which would best be seen as a gyroscope, two wheels interlocking within each other, spinning in opposite directions, for this card represents the mediation of activity between rotating and/or active opposites. The sense being that there is a cyclic and rhythmic motion of activity, as well as, cause and effect.
What is interesting here, is that on the Thoth Tarot Fortune Card, the Sphinx is seen as the stabilizing element in the midst of change and is positioned on top of the Wheel. The ancient Egyptians used the Sphinx image as the Pharaoh, usually vanquishing his enemies, with lion like power. Later on the Greeks, modified the Sphinx by illustrating it as a woman on a male lion's body. Thus, the Sphinx came to represent the union of mankind, with the raw power of the animal kingdom, and a balance of male (electric) and female (magnetic) in the same form. Again the union of opposites, is seen as the birthplace of all Power and Fate.
The Qabalistic concept of the Sphinx is that it is the Synthesis of all Elemental Forces, much like the Pentagram symbol of Man, where the Spirit is the Fifth element above and added to the four elements of the animal kingdom. In fact, among the documents of the Enochian Mysteries of the Golden Dawn, the Sphinx has four forms, that of a Bull, Eagle, Man and Lion. These four faces are also described by Ezekiel in the Bible interpretation of his vision. The Wheel of Fortune, is the glyph of perpetual motion where the flying Eagle balances the Man; the roaring Lion counterpoises the laborious Bull. Also, the Sphinx symbolizes the directing aspect of the Higher Self in Tiphareth (beauty) and being a Gate Keeper, it is protective and keeps the Personality/Body from absorbing more force than its system can handle.
As stated, the Sphinx represents the stabilizing element in the midst of change. It is both the balancing phase of cyclic energy and the guardian to the gateway of the Mysteries, holding the secret of life and death which is also attributed to the ancient Greek Triple goddess, the Three Fates (Past, Present and Future). Thus the Sphinx is a gate guardian of the Path of Caph (fist) as it is both that through which one passes in birth or death, and that which controls the passage, as does the Triple goddess. In the Traditional Tarot depiction of the WHEEL OF FORTUNE, often used the 3 Fates or Moerae(Greek), as the pushing force of the Great Cosmic Round. The Moerae where, Clotho the Spinner, Lachesis the Measurer and Atropos the Cutter of life's thread. The Golden Goddess Tarot- Key 10-The Wheel of Fortune, seems to represent the image of the Goddess Fortuna, blindfolded, thereby showing indifference to the fates of those around her. Accompanying her, is an image of a person with donkey ears above her, and the figure on the right has a tail and an old tatterdemalion supports them all. This old tattered man represents Time.
The Thoth card image of a Sphinx also conveys a message. By correctly answering the question of the Sphinx, which is an extension of the Greek Axiom, "Man know thyself", implies that one is ready to passthrough the gate of inner consciousness. As in the Oedipus legend, once correctly answered, the Sphinx throws itself back into the Sea which to a Qabalist means that the Gate keeper is no longer needed and is reabsorbed into the vast Ocean of the Universal Collective Unconsciousness that created it. If the initiate can't answer the Sphinx's question, they are "slain", which is the protection part of the Sphinx, as it sends back to Malkuth those personalities that are unready to pass consciously beyond the restrictions of time/space.
The Thoth Card also illustrates a dog faced monkey, on the left side of the wheel which is in reference to the Plutonian, Cynocephalus. Cynocephalus is the not only the companion of the Ibis headed Thoth but also the symbol of time and eternity. Thoth, being called the Lord of Holy Words, by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, was said to be the inventor of writing and scribe for the Gods who records the results of the weighing of the Souls on the Path of Lamed (See the past blog on the Adjustment Card). Thoth is also said to divided time into months, seasons and years. Thus his companion is Cynocephalus, often represents the symbol for time and eternity. In a nut shell, the Words of Thoth are the vibratory patterns that turn the Wheel of Fortune. Being quite esoteric here, the element of Fortune means that when the Higher Self, which brings the Elements under control, bestows upon the Personality that "knows itself", faithful companions that are the "words"/script/or vibratory patterns that free the Personality from the General Wheel of Fortune and/or Karma that governs the "sleeping souls" of the indoctrinated who lack self-knowledge.
The Thoth Tarot- Key 10-Fortune card, depicts the interaction between the triple forces of the Sphinx, Hermanubis and Typhon. Hermanubis is a dual god, combining Horus and Anubis and is written as Heru-em-Anpu, meaning Horus as Anubis. Sword in hand, Heru-em-Anpu is often depicted in mythology as the slayer of Typhon, who is illustrated as a snake or crocodile. Typhon originally was of Greek origin and was involved in the mythological wars of supremacy by the Gods. But as time develops the complexity of myths, Typhon became the dark aspect of Osiris known as Set. Hence, the combination of these symbols plays out the counter-changing influence of Light and Dark energy. In Quantum physics, Dark Energy is the Pushing Force, the "vibrations" that spins the universe and pushes it outward, this may cause one to wonder if "death" is the pushing force for Life. As life dies, in order to be alive and/or life eats itself to stay alive.
More than most, the determination of this Fortune or Wheel of Fortune's interpretation, good or bad, depends on the cards surrounding it.
When the Fortune or Wheel of Fortune is thrown during a reading, it implies:
- Life is moving and being busy here, so break throughs in prosperity and abundance are approaching fast.
- Generally, this is a good luck card depicting rewards and recognition for things completed.
- Going with the natural flow of life, being flexible and open to new opportunities.
- A change in karma, from bad luck to good luck.
- Chance of circumstances.
- Grabbing hold of Fate.
- Time to take what life has given you.
- Destiny, coming to an end of a problem.
If ill defined by surrounding cards, it implies:
- Difficulty adjusting to changes.
- Resistance to change.
- Turns for the Worst.
Thank you for your interest, comments, and supportive donations. Your generosity blesses your prosperity. May you live long and prosper.
For more information about individual Thoth Tarot Readings and/or Western Hermetic Thoth Master Tarot Classes, log onto-elitarotstrickingly.com- and click on the Tarot Pricing page. Thank you.