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Tarot 10 – The Wheel

By James Donahue

The Tenth Tarot card, The Wheel of Fortune, is among the more interesting cards in this deck. We perceive the Fool perhaps depending on blind fortune to assure him a good and successful life as he continues his journey. As wise as he may be at this point, this card assures us that there is still much more to be learned.

The symbolism in this card appears to overpower the ignorance of blind faith and the “wisdom” of science in setting our personal fate. If the god lives within, then we are the sphinx seated at the top of the wheel, sword in paw, looking out with assurance that no matter what fates the world throws in our direction, we have the ability to overcome them all.

There is so much symbolism it is difficult to decide just where to begin.

Two other interesting creatures appear to be riding on this counter-clockwise spinning wheel. On the right, or up-side we find Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of the dead who is strangely a positive figure, and on the left or down-side is a serpent, or Typhon, a deadly monster in Greek mythology. This figure obviously represents evil, or ill-fortune. We suggest that the wheel is spinning counter-clockwise because the two riders have their heads turned in this direction.

Four more creatures appear on this card. They are Taurus the ox, Leo the lion, Scorpio the eagle and Aquarius the man. These are figures representing the pinnacle constellations which revolve in a square within the circle. They are the creatures envisioned by Ezekiel. These are the four fixed signs of the Zodiac. These figures also represent the four elements, fire, earth, water and air.

The wheel is a line without beginning or end, thus the symbol of eternity. The wheel also can symbolize the zero of the number 10, the actions we have done and the actions we are yet to do. The wheel has three spheres. The inner level represents creative force, the middle circle is formative power, while the outer ring is the material world. The eight spokes represent universal energy.

Notice that within the circle are various symbols filled with information. On the spokes are the alchemical symbols of sulfur, mercury, salt and dissolution. In the outer wheel are the strange Latin words: Taro (Tarot), Rota (wheel), Orat (speaks) and Ator (Hathor, goddess of love). Appearing between the above anagrams are Hebrew symbols that include the four-letter name of God: yod, heh, vau and heh.

Chapters could be written about the significance of such symbolism.

Also of great interest is the significance of the numerology connected with this card. It is card 10. The Tenth Hebrew letter is Yod, one of the names of God. The hieroglyph for Yod is the finger of man, the forefinger extended as a sign of command. Astronomically this letter corresponds with the zodiacal sign of the virgin.

In simplistic form, the number 10 represents 1 for the penis and 0 for the vagina, the male and female which is within every structure and every code of creation.

Adding 1 plus 0 equals 1. And this takes us back to the beginning of the journey. The zero is, remember the Fool, and the 1 is the Magus or Magician.

The boundless circle in the number 0 symbolizes the universe, boundless space and the maternal aspect of God. Thus in this we find Nuit, the absolute nothingness that is about to give birth to everything. The number 10 is thus creation perfected and fulfilled. The masculine-positive number 1 is the force, Hadit, which penetrates and fertilizes space.

Number 10 follows number 9, the Hermit. The Hermit is the self-realized wise one. 10 plus 9 equals 19; 1 plus 9 equals 10; 1 plus 0 equals 1.

The Tenth Arcanum is midway between the Seventh (Chariot) and Thirteenth (Death) arcane, the central point between creative realizations to the necessary destruction of Death. We thus have 7 plus 13 equaling 20, divided by 2 and this gives us 10. This expresses balance.

The three arcane, 7, 10 and 13 correspond with the Hindu trinity, or Trimurti, which are Brama the creator, Siva the destroyer and Vishnu the preserver.

This stuff can boggle the mind if we dig deep enough.

 

 


The Mind of James Donahue