Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- ATU X-Fortune
The Tarot Apokalypsis- Key 10- Wheel
The Tarot ATU 10- the Thoth-Fortune Card, is called the Qabalistic 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.
Contrary to many mundane interpretations, the Thoth Fortune Wheel, is not a roulette wheel of chance and/or accidents. For in Qabalah, it is known that we are solely responsible for our own fate 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. The feminine is not merciful, with her you get what you put out. The Masculine grants mercy because he can fall prey to praise and sycophancy. That male "ego" can easily be tricked by praise. Jupiter is no exception to this principle. 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.
The Tarot Apokalypsis- Key 10- The Wheel
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. This rotating and interlocking gearing is also shown on Tarot Apokalypsis- Key 10 as the Wheel of Seasons being held in the lap of Demeter. The sense being that there is a cyclic and rhythmic motion of activity, as well as cause and effect. Demeter is a fruitful Goddess (Greek Mother Goddess) who is the stabilizing effect of this card. This card emphasizes that change is the only universal constant. Later in Greek art Demeter, maybe because of Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt, became the "female sphinx".
What is interesting here is that on the Thoth Tarot Fortune Card, the Sphinx is seen as the stabilizing element during 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, 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, a Divine Hermaphrodite, that we know as our Soul. Again, the union of opposites is seen as the birthplace of all Power and Fate and once again the knowledge of the Divine Hermaphrodite is depicted in form.
The Qabalistic concept of the Sphinx is that it is the Synthesis of all Elemental Forces, much like the Pentagram symbol of Humankind, 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 of wheels spinning within wheels. The Wheel of Fortune is the glyph of perpetual motion where the flying Eagle balances the human; the roaring Lion counterpoises the laborious Bull. Also, the Sphinx symbolizes the directing aspect of the Higher Self in Tiphareth the sixth Sephiroth (beauty) and being a Gate Keeper, it is protective and keeps the Personality/Body from absorbing more force than its system can handle.
The Four Elemental Cherubs.
As stated, the Sphinx represents the stabilizing element during 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 and/or Moiria (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. The Traditional Tarot depiction of the WHEEL OF FORTUNE often used the 3 Fates or Moirai (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 pushing force of the Great Wheel is shown in its spinning atomic motion.
Our evolutionary motion starts with the Fire element, which perceives truth through instinct, then to the water element, which imbues it with feelings, and emotion, the resulting "vapor" spreading through the air element reaching the intellect of the earth elemental body. Without a smooth transition, this process will cause a blockage, much like a "vapor lock" of a car fuel system. Then nothing reaches the body manifest but "whisps of intellect".
To add more information to aid in understanding this Tarot Key, one will find the transposition of the letters TARO, which appears on the Rider-Waite-Smith Wheel of Fortune, which may make the following five words: ROTA-TARO-ORAT-TORA-ATOR. "Ator" is the old Latin form of the Egyptian Goddess Hathor (Mother God). Therefore, this barbarous Latin sentence is often translated as, " The Wheel of Tarot speaks the Laws of Hathor (Laws of Nature)"; Hathor (the Egyptian Mother Goddess), being represented here as the sphinx. Physiologically, the Wheel represents the law of periodicity in mental activity, whereby, mental states tend to reoccur in definite rhythms, as well as the law of the involution of the undifferentiated conscious energy, and its evolution through a series of personalized forms of itself. It is the Law of Cause and Effect, making sure that we "reap what we sow'".
Radiant: Rider-Waite-Smith- Key 10 Wheel of Fortune.
"Man know thyself".
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 pass through 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 the tenth Sephiroth of materialization 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 not only the companion of Ibis headed Thoth but also the symbol of time and eternity. Thoth, being called the Lord of Holy Words, by the Ancient Greeks (as Hemes) 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 divide time into months, seasons, and years. Thus, his companion is Cynocephalus, often represents the symbol for time and eternity and to us moderns would represent the "False Ego" who isn't bound by time and is a "mind virus" from the shadow of Self.
Briefly, 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", "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 and whose identities are bound by the words of man.
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 developed 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, to be alive and/or life eats itself to stay alive.
More than most, the determination of this Fortune or the Great Wheel's interpretation, good or bad, depends on the cards surrounding it.
When the Fortune or Wheel of Fortune Card is thrown during a reading, it implies:
- Life is moving and busy here, so breakthroughs in prosperity and abundance are approaching fast.
- 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, ending of a problem.
If ill defined by surrounding cards, it implies:
- Difficulty adjusting to changes.
- Resistance to change.
- Turns for the Worst.
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