The Thoth Tarot-Key 10 :THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE compared to the Barbara Walker Tarot-Key 10: THE WHEEL OF
The Tarot Card, Key 10: the Wheel of Fortune, is called the Path of Caph (meaning: Fist) and 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 Serphiroth above Tiphareth are in the Higher Self).
THE 21st PATH OF CAPH: Key 10-The Wheel of Fortune.
* Primary path color: Violet
*Musical note: A#
* Astrological Planet: Jupiter
*Meaning of Caph: Fist
* Hebrew letter-Double Letter: Riches-Poverty
*Esoteric Title: The Lord of the Forces of Life
The Path of Caph,
has a mediating function as the planet Jupiter is assigned to this
Path. Jupiter, is also said to govern the flow of blood, thus
reinforcing the mediating function of Caph.
The Hebrew letter Caph, is a "double letter', meaning that it is a union of opposites; riches and poverty,
which are the natural fluctuations of Jupiter's forces on this path.
Since this Path is one of the "Gateways to the Soul", the riches and poverty here are of the Psyche itself.
The meaning of Caph (Kaph) is fist, and refers to a completion of an activity, such as, the closing of a circle or grasping comprehension.
Therefore the Wheel represents a closed cycle.
Hence, the Wheel of Fortune is considered a
flow of Karma, which is an effect state "of you get what you put out". The Wheel
is an important symbol of the Mysteries, often shown as a prayer wheel, or medicine wheel,
it is also the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
Therefore what is represented here is not a roulette wheel of chance and accidents, for in Qaballah, it is
known that we are solely responsible for our own destinies which the
words "freedom of choice" imply. The Wheel of Fortune supplies us with
what we earn, which can be pleasant or unpleasant and the words freedom
of choice imply that; for Free Doom, the Anglo Saxon root of the English
Freedom, states" I choose my own death". Understanding comes when one realizes the "personality" is not the Real Person, for that is the Soul/Psyche. The personality is merely a Soul's "artificial intelligence" designed to operate limited experiments in discerning self-awareness, called "alive forms".
The interchange of opposites
is what makes the wheel Spin, in this case, we have, the
Feminine-Geburah-Severity, and the masculine Chesed-Mercy,
interchanging their forces and form. This interchange of opposites, is
shown by the Ten Spokes on the Thoth Deck card, symbolizing the Ten
Sephiroth on the Tree of Life which is a continuity of Will to Force (masculine) and Will to Form (feminine),
In his Qabalistic 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 moving 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 Deck 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 women 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 Person and
therefore the Soul/Psyche of the individual. Again the union of
opposites, is the birth place of all Power.
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 describe by Ezekiel in the Biblical interpretation
of his vision. Therefore, The Wheel of Fortune
, is the glyph of perpetual motion,
where the flying Eagle balances the Man; the roaring Lion counterpoises
the laborious Bull.
The Wheel of Fortune, key -10 of the Thoth Deck Tarot, represents the fortunes of the Soul.
It is a Karmic card that some misinterpret as "punishment for past
sins", but that is in error. The reason for Karma is simple, Wisdom
comes from creating, see the error in that creation, and then correcting
it. All manifested- creation has error in it, even personalities,
because forms are built out of a type of containment, called Time, which
impersonally decides the creations end. It is the Second Law of
Thermodynamics: "...all things proceed from order to disorder.", and
creations are things (Personalities are made of thoughts and thought is a material), even thoughts are things and are made of Consciousness imposing itself on energy,
that is why thoughts, although "first matter", can be expanded and liberated, but never successfully
repressed. To repress a thought, is akin to trying to repress water....sooner or later it will break its bonds and the rage/pressure built out
of bondage will wash away all in its path. So a Conciliatory extension of that thought must be made, such as, " boy this makes me mad, but in truth, I am mad because I am not getting my own way". Besides,Nothing can make me do anything, I am already made. My reactive thoughts to a situation empower or weaken action, not the situation itself.
are many messages of "Know thyself in this card'", first and foremost
is that this is a card that represents the Soul's journey as a builder
of Self-Expression forged from Self-Awareness, i.e. a personality. The Path of Caph runs from Chesed (Mercy) to Netzach
(Victory) on the Qabalistic Tree of Life (can be spelled, Kabbala,
Cabbalist, etc) and it is the Path between the Personality and the Higher Self and/or The Real Person.
In Dr. Paul Case's text, Thirty two paths of Wisdom The Tarot- key 10
, The Path of Caph
, is called the Intelligence of Conciliation
because it has a meditative function and that meditative function
belongs to the Soul (the meditating Buddha, within). The Word Caph is
of a double meaning--Riches and Poverty, and as a Gate Way of the Soul,
this means riches and poverty of the Soul. A Soul is Rich in Personality
creation and growth, when it expands and liberates personality from
survival thinking but impoverished when survival thinking runs the body.
Besides, to create riches, is to also create poverty.
When that Gate Way of Caph
is open and Self knowledge of the Soul is freely communicated into the Personality, the
Personality becomes expanded and liberated from the Karmic Wheel of survival
thinking, as it now communicates directly with the Real Person. It is a scientific fact that when artificial intelligence is in direct contact with its Creator, is fares very well in problem solution. When it is not, it often blunders into more problems than it has data for and comes to an untimely demise.
Even though the Brain will have and has had one life
and no other, the successful artificial intelligence created by the Soul to operated an Alive
in the name of Life, is kept and passed on to the next body! In other
words, the Real Person, finds out that the artificial intelligence it
created, works! Hence, it passes it onward to operate yet another
"living being" as a type of "wet ware" imitating the Greater Self-Reflection.
Wheel of Fortune then also is the Alpha and Omega of personalities.
This can be considered as the nature function of Jupiter
on this path, as he, is often considered to be the Great Teacher
and The Lord of the Force of Life
and so the wheel of fortune is considered to be the symbol of Life
itself. It is the Duality, of Female and Male forces that spin this
wheel, and that is why the Greek Sphinx is shown sitting atop the wheel,
as it is a androgynous figure, representing the Soul. The wheel
represents the duality of all functioning Life; (Alpha-Omega, light and
shadow, riches and poverty, electric-magnetic, Female and Male, etc.)
The Soul then is the Intelligence of Conciliation
as it mediates between the opposite to continue the flow of Intelligent energy in the Universal Tree of Life.
Sphinx is also considered the traditional Gate Way between the life and death of a
. When the Personality can successfully conciliate between
opposites, it is a keeper and is then passed through the Gate of Life
and Death, keeping full memory of its past and moving forward into the
present. That is why some Archetypal personalities are named on this
planet, for they keep showing up throughout history as teachers,
healers, and/ or Gnostic Souls, whose personalities and Soul immortality
are linked in a conciliatory flow of Life Force, that continually
expands Self-Awareness. Rotation of the Wheel, is then considered a
sequence, something which begins and ends and begins again. This is
rhythm, a kind of periodicity that is cause and effect
and can be considered the domain of the Causal Intelligence
(Causal body of the Human Aura), the intelligence of Cause. The personality lives within the Life that is the Auric Real Person.
Higher Self or "Real Person", does judge the personality's work and if
the Personality is flexible and able to preform under extremes, in Life's Great Work ; expanding and liberating the alive from
self perceived limitations of operation. In other words, to be mentally expansive, in a
world where operations of form are often restricted by Rules and
violent enforcement of those rules, that personality becomes too
valuable to "put to sleep" and it is sent in again, and again, often
many times, to help in the evolution of personal presentations of Life.
This also means, such a personality begins operating more than just five
senses, but also is endowed with the Soul Senses, which we often call Psychic abilities.
Sphinx also represents a regulatory intelligence as it regulates the amount of
information, from the Higher Self, that the personality can absorb
without overpowering it with"too much information". It is nice to know
that the Soul is a Sphinx and that it adores it's personalities enough
to pay attention to them, but this attention is of no use to the
Personality unless it pays attention to the Soul. The Souls see's the personality as its own desire "to be", however, there is no communication between Soul and Personality, if the personality is "seeking a soul/master" or looking to be more "spiritual", etc. For then the perspectives of the Real Person, and the artificial intelligence are not "in sympathy", therefore, communication is not possible. Above All things
Know Thyself....has great meaning here!
Therefore The Sphin
x (shown on top of the Wheel of
Fortune) is the stable element in the midst of change (as the wheel
spins) and often represents the Soul. In well touted Greek tale of Oedipus on the
road to Thebes, the Sphinx bared the road and ask a traveler the
question: "What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?"
to answer the question correctly brought on destruction. Oedipus knew
that the correct answer was Man, who crawls in childhood, walks on two
legs in adulthood, and uses a cane in old age or "twilight years". The
Sphinx responded to Oedipus's correct answer by throwing itself into the
sea, which is an action replete with meaning for a Qabalahist who knows
of the Great Sea of Binah, as the Universal Collective Unconscious. In
this tale, The Soul, allowed the Personality, Oedipus, to continue since
it "Above all things, knew itself".
Recently the Sphinx
represents the synthesis of the Elemental Forces
(Golden Dawn: Papers on the Enochian Mysteries). This recalls the
Pentagram,(symbol of Ascended Man), which is the Spirit above the four
The Papers on the Enochian Mysteries
even state that there are four forms of the Sphinx: Bull, Eagle, Man
and Lion, making the Sphinx the cardinal symbol of manifestation. It is
the Gate that one passes through both in birth and death and the
Intelligence that controls the passage. Being the directive power of the
Higher Self in Tiphareth; it is protective, and a Keeper of the Gates
which keeps the Personality from absorbing more than its system of
reality can handle.
The answer to the Sphinx's question is really an extension of the Greek axiom: Man, know thyself!
By throwing itself into the sea, the Sphinx has shown it is no longer
needed when the gate is opened; the Gate Keeper was absorbed back into
the individual Higher Consciousness, i.e. The Great Sea of the Divine
Collective Unconsciousness. The Personality is protected by the Higher
Self by the destruction of those self- identities that are unready to pass consciously
beyond the restrictions of time/space which can also be considered as
the real death process. Those who know the nature of the Sphinx/Psyche may pass
consciously from one state to the next, while others fall into a deep
sleep, a "destruction" of awareness from which the soul gradually makes into another personality; into a new condition of Self examination. I
As you can see, this card is vaster than
just the Sphinx in mundane concepts, and Greater research is required.
surrounded by Trump Tarot cards, The Wheel Of Fortune, doesn't speak of
"personality incarnations" but rather of Good or ill fortune on the
Querent's personal wheel of life and the reading will convey the
Personal Soul's advice to the Querent, often by showing opposites in
their life that must be joined to succeed.
It is also important to know
that personalities are not your Soul, they aren't really you at all,
just Artificial Intelligence, that is used to operate the wet-ware that turns
Life (existence) into Alive (manifestation). You can actually "step back" into your Soul-Observer and see the
in personal perspectives that keep your personality from
preforming in the wet-ware that is your physical body. Thus each of
us are able to take full responsibility for our actions or inaction,
whatever they may be, and expand and liberate our very own personal
software from dysfunction. We are not alone in our dysfunction, we are
loved and observed by our Very Soul, personalities are It's children,
and often as children they need guidance from a more experienced source.
the card means that when the Higher Self or Soul brings the Four Elements
(alchemy) under control, the vibratory patterns (serpentine forces) Imagined by the Soul,
become our self-conscious and we are no longer bound to the Karmic wheel. The Three
figures on the Wheel of Fortune represent the "Three Alchemical
Principles", which are called in the Hindu system Gunas;
- Sativa (philosophic Mercury-Superconscious)
- Rajas ( Sulfur- activity, passion, and desire- Causal-mental-emotional)
- Tamas ( Salt-- ignorance and inertia, physical body.)
is generally accepted that the Wheel of Fortune represents the
revolution of natural phases. In the Golden Dawn papers, Mercury is
attributed to Kether, Salt is attributed to Chokmah and Sulfur is
attributed to Binah., i.e. "The Three Principles of Nature".
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. 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
The Sphinx symbolizes the directing aspect of the Higher
Self in Tiphareth (beauty) and/or The Soul of the individual and being a
Gate Keeper, it is protective and keeps the Personality from absorbing
more perspectives than its system can handle.
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 Individual Higher Consciousness
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 those personalities that are unready to pass consciously
beyond the restrictions of time/space.
The dog faced monkey
, on the left side of the wheel, is in reference to the Plutonian
. Cynocephalus is the not only the companion of Thoth but also the symbol of time and eternity.
Thoth, being called the Lord of Holy Words
by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, is 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 past blog on the Adjustment Card). Thoth is
also said to divided time into months, seasons and years. Thus his
companion is Cynocephalus, the symbol for time and eternity. In a nut shell, the Words of Thoth are the microwave patterns that turn the Wheel of Fortune.
Being quite esoteric here, the Wheel of Fortune means that when the Real Person
, that brings the Elements under control, bestows upon the
Personality that which "knows itself", faithful companions that are the
"words" (vibratory patterns), freeing the Personality from the General
Wheel of Fortune and/or Karma that governs the "sleeping personalities" who
"above all things" don't know themselves.
The Thoth Deck Wheel of Fortune card, depicts the interaction between 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.
Typhon was of Greek origin and was involved in the wars of supremacy of
the Gods. But as time develops the complexity of Myths, Typhon became
the dark aspect of Osiris known as Set, 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.
The Barbara Walker Tarot-Key 10: THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE,
depicts a more tradition Wheel of Life and Death.
Here the Latin triple goddess of fate, is shown as a derivative of the Etruscan Great Mother, Vortumna ("she who turns the year").
The symbols of the Egyptian goddess of Fate, Hathor abound on this card. The horned crown with the Full Moon center, the Ankh, an Egyptian symbol of the infinite Real Wedding of the Divine Phallus and Divine Yoni.
In Tarot lore, there is a descriptive palindrome: Rota Taro Orat (Tora) Ator: "The Wheel of the Tarot expresses (the law of) Hathor".
World wide, the symbol of the Goddess Fortuna, was the wheel of time, derived from the the heavenly star-wheel of the Milky Way, which marked earth's seasons and cycles. Ancient mythologies, basically stated that the heavenly wheel was made of milk from the breasts of the universal-birth giver who had many names. To the Greeks she was Hera, whose breasts spurted the Milky Way across the night sky (the word galaxy came from the Greek, "gala", meaning "Mother's Milk). All of us coffee drinkers know of the Italian word for milk, "latte", which came from Lat, or Latona, the Mother Goddess of ancient Latium. She was Al-Lat, The Moon, to the Arabs who latter masculinized her name to Allah. There is a very old shrine in Egypt, called Latopolis which was dedicated to her as an "archaic queen". Egyptians called her shrine Menhet, "The house of the Moon".
Therefore, Barbara Walker placed the Milky Way in the night sky behind the Hathor figure. Hathor being another milk giving Moon Goddess, often shown as a white horned moon cow, which was revered everywhere and still represents divinity in India. Hathor had her grimmer mood as Mother Time, The Sphinx, who in cycles, is eating up all that she brings forth.
Therefore, Tarot often depicted the Sphinx at the peak of the Wheel of Time, with hawk headed Horus, the rising half of the year, climbing the Wheel and his Ass headed counterpart Set, the perpetual rival in the declining half of the year, sliding down the Wheel. Barbara Walker's card honors this tradition.
She also places the eagle, bull, lion and a humanoid form as traditional symbols of the Four seasons marked off by the solstices and equinoxes with their festivals of bull, lion, eagle and serpent, the serpent being changed into a man or angel.
Many other names of the Goddess of the heavenly star wheel, who ruled time and fate are: Lat, Fortuna, Vortumna, Hera, Isis, Mena,Tyche, Artemis, Bona Dea, Kali, Psyche, just to name a few whose primary symbol was the Moon or even a life giving world sustaining breast.
When the WHEEL OF FORTUNE is thrown during a reading, it indicates:
- That in the next 10 weeks or 10 months there shall be new opportunities for creating fortune in the querent's life.
- Life is moving and being busy here, so breakthroughs in prosperity and abundance are approaching fast.
- Generally this is a good luck card depicting rewards and recognition for things completed.
- Remember, when at the bottom of the Wheel, you have only one way to go and that is Up!
- Turning point, where one stops devoting their life to the manipulation of the outside world and begins inner contemplation, striving for new insights.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!