The Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

The wheel of fortune upright

The Wheel of Fortune At A Glance

Keywords: Time (passing of and effective use of time) patience, success, follow the seasons, not the right time, a sign to wait, destiny
Seasons: Autumn
Zodiac/Planet: Jupiter

The Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Description

In tarot The Wheel of Fortune is the eleventh card of the major arcana and is often numbered as 11. Within the original RWS (Rider Waite Smith) system which most modern day tarot cards are based on The Wheel of Fortune card’s art shows a 6 or sometimes 8 spoked wheel topped with a sphinx.

The symbols on the wheel are broken down by their quarters. The vertical and horizontal spokes have the symbols R O T A which means wheel in Latin. The Diagonal spokes sometimes are not included but if they are there they are written in Hebrew and transliterated as Y H W H. This means Yahweh: God in Hebrew.

Altogether the spokes are spelling out God Wheel. In tarot is referring to one’s destiny or fate. There are often 4 winged creatures (man, eagle, lion and ox) in the corners of this card. They represent the 4 elements and also the 4 suits within tarot.

The Wheel of Fortune Upright Meaning

When The Wheel of Fortune card is turned over in a card reading and is in its upright position (the art work is right side up) it can symbolize the passage of time and allowing our destiny to come to us.

It’s generally a positive card and a good omen or confirmation that what we are trying to manifest for ourselves is on its way to us. It suggests that we have no control over time itself but we do control how we use our own time and it suggests using it wisely.

“There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be...” - John Lennon

The Wheel of Fortune Reversed Meaning

The wheel of fortune reversed

If The Wheel of Fortune card appears reversed (the artwork is upside down) then it carries a slightly different meaning. The Wheel of Fortune card, even when reversed, is still about the passing of time but unfortunately the darker side: the feeling of impatience or the inability to use our time wisely.

It suggests that everything we try in order to manifest our goals hasn’t worked and we are likely very frustrated. The card asks us to stop putting so much effort in and instead to relax and allow what we desire to come to us in its own time.

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” - William Shakespeare

The Wheel of Fortune: Yes or No

The Wheel of Fortune is a no card. More specifically it’s a be patient and wait for the right time card. However if we have asked the tarot a simple yes or no card and we get The Wheel of Fortune card reversed this is actually a yes.

It is saying do not stall for the sake of it. If fear is the only thing stopping us that’s not a good enough excuse. 

Let’s Break Down The Wheel of Fortune In Our Lives

How The Wheel of Fortune card applies to our lives in more detail and specifically in the different areas of our life.

The Wheel of Fortune In Love

If the reader has asked a question about love either romantic or platonic and The Wheel of Fortune card appears then it can suggest a relationship that will last a very long time. This person will become a stronghold within our lives. We shouldn’t rush the beginning phase we should just enjoy taking our time getting to know them.

Reversed The Wheel of Fortune in love can mean a relatively short lived relationship. It’s the incredibly intense ‘sparks flying’ type of love. All things come to an end but we mustn’t mourn. We should spend every second we can enjoying this and creating memories that we will savor for years.

The Wheel of Fortune With Money

If The Wheel of Fortune card appears when a question about money has been asked it is suggesting a period of patience. This would look like a small investment with slow growth but invested over many years. It’s not a quick return but it’s worth the wait.

Reversed The Wheel of Fortune with money means an inability to wait, or the need to act quickly with our finances. More heavy investment may be needed but this means the rewards will be reaped much quicker because the growth will be short lived but very steep.

The Wheel of Fortune At Work

When asking a question about a situation at work or about our careers The Wheel of Fortune card can mean we must relinquish control and allow fate to intervene. We may be confused and unsure of the next step we must take so we must wait and see the signs from the universe which will guide us.

Reversed The Wheel of Fortune at work suggests this endeavor we are considering will be a waste our time and we must abandon ship. We will gain nothing so for now we should shelve this idea and come back to it when our situation has changed.

The Wheel of Fortune With Others

If we are asking about our external world, either our immediate world of people we know or the world at large and we get The Wheel of Fortune card as an answer it means all things take their turn with the highs and lows of life. We might feel things currently aren’t going well for us but this card reminds us that all things pass and the wheel will spin and put us back on top once again.

Reversed The Wheel of Fortune with others can signify a strong no from the universe. Instead of a confirmation this is saying not now. It’s not the right time and it answers a direct no to the question the reader has asked the tarot cards. We don’t often understand why at the time but when we look back after the fact we see that this was for our protection all along.

The Wheel of Fortune With Self

The Wheel of Fortune card relates to our internal world asking us to notice the seasons and learn from them. We can bloom (manifest) in Spring and shed our leaves (let go) in Autumn reacclimatizing with nature. This is great for calming our stress levels. In life we are often always on the go. This card reminds us to stop and notice how slow and perfect nature is and to movement a little time to slow down in our daily lives.

Reversed The Wheel of Fortune card with self can symbolize resisting inevitable change and stunting our own growth due to fear of the unknown. We all grow and change, it’s inevitable. But when we try to hold on to things exactly as they are we cause a lot of mental friction and unease. All to no avail, the inevitable happens regardless. This card reversed says surrender to change, it might just be exactly what we need.

The Wheel of Fortune As Feelings

The Wheel of Fortune feels like patience and delaying gratification for our betterment. It also feels like those times we didn’t delay gratification and chose to give in to our impatience. For example it is tempting to slice into a cake that is meant for a social visit later and we have all thought of giving in to temptation in situations like these.

But we know it will taste better if shared (or we at least fear the social consequences that would come to us if we gave into this temptation) so we delay the moment of gratification. Sometimes we don’t though. We indulge in that cake, we give in and sometimes it’s worth it. It is for the reader to determine on a case by case basis when to be patient and when to seize the moment.