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Or just THE WHEEL in this case. Cycles and seasons. This card is the tenth in the Major Arcana and is the number of culmination, completion, and perfection.

  • Symbolism: Change, moving in circles.
  • Element: Fire (see Tarot Elements)

What I See:

I love this card. I see all the seasons in the tree. The intertwined roots reminds me we’re all connected. Of all the cards this one has the clearest “Tree of Life” look and feel to me. I see the moon cycle and think of the eight holy days of the solar year. I see the zodiac symbols. I see the butterfly representing the life cycle, to me at least. And then there are the beads, prayer beads according to the book, divided into six sets of nine (3 times 3 is magical). At the very center is what looks like a campfire, the fiery core of our being. I think of wedding rings and the promise of love. I think of counting a baby’s fingers and toes at birth. I think of generations and family.

Light (upright) Reading:

Change is imminent; something is passing away to make room for something new to come into being.

  • Keywords: Good Luck, Change for the Better, Opportunity, and Joy.

Shadow (upside down or reverse) Reading:

Beware of an unexpected turn of events.

  • Keywords: Disappointment, Vicious Cycle, Stagnation, and Cockiness.


Perhaps a family epic? Or turn to myth and the fates who spun the wheel of life. A reversal of fortune, the winning lottery ticket or the loss at the track. What about a fortune teller or tarot reader?

How about exploring the Tree of Life? It can be a symbol of fertility and/or everlasting life. Scientifically you could look for the evolutionary interrelatedness. And there is the World Tree connecting heaven, earth, and the underground.

This is a card rich in numeric significance: the four seasons, the four stages of man (infancy, youth, adult, and old age), the four directions with the four midpoints, the eight holy days of the solar calendar, the eight phases of the moon, the ten spheres of the Kabbalah, the ten numbered cards of the Minor Arcana, the twelve signs of the zodiac.

  • Themes: Cycles, Orderly Change, Impermanence, Living in the Now, Turning Point, Seasons, Wheel of the Year, or Coming Full Circle.


Wherever we stand on the wheel we are certain to continue to the next stage until we come full circle.

  • Archetype: Karma, Faith, Destiny, or Change.

Heralds provide motivation, offer the hero a challenge, and get the story rolling. They alert the hero that change and adventure are coming. ~The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler

  • Mythical Figures: Fortuna, Kismet, The Fates (Moirae), and The Sphinx.

The personality enneagram, a nine-pointed array of personality types, might also be a useful reference for character building.

The Wheel is E1: Perfectionist and/or Reformer

  • Self Image — I am right
  • Passion — Anger
  • Virtue — Serenity
  • Narcissistic Trap — Perfection
  • Avoids — Vexation
  • Speaking Style — Teaching or Moralizing

E1 people are instinctive, spontaneous, and intuitive. Their “gut” feeling is the center of their awareness. They are often direct or territorial. They are concerned with power, ruled by aggression, and may be troubled by self-doubt or self-blame.

Additionally, look up one of the Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) for personality traits.

When the Wheel of Fortune appears in the course of your writing practice, it can remind you of your unique position as a writer. ~Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner

Image: Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert from Llewellyn Worldwide