The Journey of the Tarot
Author: pandimensionalbard

Chapter 58
Major Arcana (the wheel of fortune) intermediate level






Looking at the image on the wheel of fortune card we can see a wheel, with the letters T, A, R, O, and back to T again, giving us the word tarot. Within each of the letters reading clockwise there is a Hebrew letter, these letters together form the word, YHVH, this is referred to as the Tetragrammaton, or the four fold name of God. It has been claimed as a source of magic in a lot of magical books out there; both these words show the power of the wheel of fortune and its influence upon the psyche of the questing human being. The four spokes of the wheel in the centre and the points go to each of the letters in the outer circle, the cross with the arrows pointing to the T, A, R, O, each have four symbols of the elements involved, the T, has air, the A, has fire, the R, has water, and the O, has earth. These are further enhanced with the three animals and the human around the outside of the card; in the bottom left corner is the bull, symbolic of the fixed astrological sign of Taurus. In the bottom right corner is the lion, symbol of the fixed astrological sign of Leo. In the top right corner is the eagle, one of the early companion symbols of the astrological sign of Scorpio. Then in the top left corner is the human, who is the symbol of the astrological sign of Aquarius. It is interesting to note that the movement appears to be anti-clockwise, and not the normal clockwise direction. They all have wings, showing their spiritual side and how they can lift themselves above the norm, and they are all floating on clouds with books in front of them, this is to show that knowledge is the key to lifting the self above the mundane. On the horizontal plane of the spoke with the fire symbol pointing to the A, and the earth symbol pointing to the O, these are a reference to the Alpha and Omega, as the beginning and the end of the Greek alphabet, as well as being the beginning and the end of the journey, the A at the rise, and the O at the descent.  At the point of the T, there is a sphinx who is coloured grey, again this is the balance of black and white, who in this case is wingless, but she has a naked sword, being wingless would indicate purely physical matter, and the naked sword emphasises this, since the sword is symbolic of knowledge and discernment, and its left hand on sword over right shoulder, female side dominating the male. Down the left hand side of the card is a snake, green going from top to bottom; this could be an oblique reference to the forces of nature and the sliminess of money. At the bottom of the wheel is a red demon, this is for the forces of nature, red in tooth and claw, it’s also the demon of life and living crushed at the rolling of the wheel, if as stated earlier its moving in an anti-clockwise direction, the head and torso are free, but the legs are still to be crushed, only to emerge from the wheel on a continuing spiral and the journey of the forces of nature.

The Golden Dawn reference to the card the wheel of fortune is The Lord of the Forces of Life, this means that fate directs us all, and as she leads we must needs to follow, what starts at the bottom must eventually reach the top, but the stay at the top must needs be very short, as the wheel keeps turning, so the top becomes the bottom again. We know that the wheel of fortune usually represents fate, destiny, even evolution and revolution, things in a constant state of change and flux. But it must be remembered that what can evolve, can also involve or devolve. What was up is down and what was down is now up. It’s the cycle of life in all its beauty and it’s magic. Rather than being caught on the outer, find your way to the centre and the peace of being in awareness of your own fate will guide you like never before. The wheel of fortune tells us, that it will come in its time, the result will be discernable, and the phases of life will rise and fall in its constant movement of change. You change not by fighting it, but by accepting it in all its qualities. Here we move from sephira 7 which is Netzach to sephira 4 which is Chesed, so its passion to mercy. The Hebrew letter assigned to this pathway is that of Kaf, now Kaf is the unity of heart and mind, intention and initiative, which roughly fits in with the passion and the mercy energy of the two sephira. The numerical value given to Kaf is 20, and this is pathway number 21, so so far we have the numbers 4 and 6 and the numbers 20 and 21, which we can’t use and so much reduce to a single digit, it becomes 2 and 3. This gives us the following, 2 is the submissive, balance, receptive and the Yin, 3 becomes the divided, communication/interaction, with 4 being the builder, and the creation, with the number 7 being the analyst and thought/consciousness.

Astrologically we move from Taurus/Leo to Sagittarius, so we go from first earth and first fire to second fire, thus in a way taking us higher. When we move into the chakras for this card we go from the Manipura (navel) chakra to the Vishudda (throat) chakra and this gives us the ability to communicate what we are receiving and giving out to people. The colour associated with this pathway is that of dark blue, now the colour dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity and seriousness. The body part that is connected with this pathway is the digestive system, now the digestive system is made up of the digestive tract, which is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus, and other organs that help the body break down and absorb food. The illness or disease that goes with this pathway is that digestive illness, usually called gastrointestinal diseases; some of the symptoms of these diseases are blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits, severe abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss and heartburn that is not relieved by antacids.

Netzach is the sephira of passion/victory/Venus; it is the creative energy in all its wild and diverse manifestations. In Hesed we looked at the ground plan of creation, the blue print if you will, in this sephira of Netzach we are looking at the various principles that allow that plan and blue print to take on and utilise different forms, each one according to the laws and functions of the different representations of all physical creation. If we look at Hesed in the terms of our own physical world, then that plan and blue print will and must consist of everything in existence, or coming into existence, is both implied and important to be understood. Since Netzach is immediately below Hesed on the tree of life it can be seen to be a deeper reflection of it. In Netzach, the plans and blue prints and the principle that separates out the various elements of them in the vast unfolding preparing them for actively manifesting all forms of life. In humans this is our passion, how we deeply feel about things, people, and situations. It is and has to be our passion, first of all for ourselves then for whatever or whoever we believe in, since it is also our passion that drives us from birth, through the majesty and mystery of life, until the servant of death calls on us and we are asked to account for who and what we are. Our passions also guide us, through either waking or sleeping; they goad us onto searching for something ever higher, even better, more in line and tune with who we really are. When our passion is aroused or not, it stimulates thought, and feeling, until they become something else all together, and it is this that makes life and being so powerful and enjoyable. Some Kabalists have described Netzach as a Sephira of repetition, a view which expresses well the circular nature of the inner human activity just described. Netzach refers to the sevens in the minor arcana of the tarot deck.              

Chesed is the sephira of mercy/loving-kindness/Jupiter: as we move down the tree we are obviously approaching full physical manifestation which of course occurs in Malkuth, but here we are at Chesed. Chesed is ruled by Jupiter and in astrology it is the planet governing religion and philosophy. Here in Chesed we need to go beyond the basic principles of both religion and philosophy, that triangle from Binah has an apex added to it, with Chesed, thus forming a pyramid, immediately giving us the possibility of movement with space, confined but allowed to evolve. We are adding the energy of the motion of time and hence of duration. It is also in Chesed that we get the roots of nature and the unfolding of the natural law, laid down in blue-print for all and each according to its own to flourish and grow. Even though the dimensions of Chesed are defined and confined, the energy stirring within those definitions and confines is able to move, grow, and evolve, due to the influence of the energy of time. The capsule, the boundary of Chesed is of infinite size and infinite duration. Chesed is also associated with charity and expansion, this is balanced by the opposite sephira of Geburah, which is restriction, limitation, and these two divergent energies can only be reconciled in the balance of Tiphareth, which of course is balance and harmony. Chesed is also the energy of abundance, not just in the financial world, but also on a deeper level, it is the perception of health and well-being, since time heals all wounds, and fixes all problems, this is the centre, the sephira to use to re-energise, to re-ignite the passion of time as it flows both backward and forward. With the symbolism of the pyramid, Chesed is the firm base, leading through the inner dimensions to a higher point, a pinnacle, and the apex at the top of the pyramid. Chesed is related to the fours of the minor arcana of the tarot deck.

If here we can recap on the basic level of our reading for our fictional client, Jenny having selected the wheel of fortune card, has decided, or had chosen the path of her destiny and it now must complete its revolution, and only when the wheel returns to the point it was at when the decision was made, can the decision be unmade. And then a new direction can be chosen, one of the many ways of understanding this point is to listen to the intuition, the inner guidance that comes from being aware. But rather than a circle which implies that life goes around and around on the same level or plain, see it as a spiral, as it moves around, you are at the same point, but at a higher/lower level, because the spiral can go up or down, and keep in mind there is a mirror at the base, so the reflection on the top has to be the same as the reflection on the bottom. From a negative or reverse aspect, she could be being obstructed in some way, going through a bout of bad luck, or simply going through a tough phase, and simply needs to just relax, knowing it has to end and the upswing come her way. In our reading for Jenny and her ongoing concern for her relationship/s on the intermediate level we will delve deeper and use the journey of the Kabalah to highlight where she is and how she can use the energy and the power of the wheel of fortune card to explore the pathway she is treading. We can ask Jenny has she thought of her passion, her sense of adventure, because here the sephira of energy and life meets the sephira of expansion. It can be seen that at this point we can move from the realm we know to move on, to explore things and energies beyond us, to extend ourselves, and go out of our comfort zones, Jenny needs a quest, something that inspires and fires her.

The Hebrew letter assigned to this pathway is that of Kaf, now Kaf is the unity of heart and mind, intention and initiative, this is pathway number 21. The exercise here is that we are going to explore the quest and what or how it pertains to you as an individual.  What does it mean to step off the beaten track? What quest would or could you yourself explore? Can you do it? If yes then why, if no then why not? Now as a wheel implies a circular motion, roughly going round and round in circles, so instead of seeing it as a circle, see it more as a spiral, you are at the same point every now and again but you are at a different or higher level. And if it takes you twenty years to do the first round, the second can take maybe fifteen, then ten and so on. Has this changed your concept of the quest, that by doing so you are awakening and activating yourself on a much deeper and higher level than before?



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