the wheel of fortune (la roue de fortune)

Translation by Kitos Digiovanni from

wheel of fortune


The number 10, in context, is formed from the unity followed by zero, symbolizing a departure and an accomplishment, and consequently, an evolution.

general and abstract meaning

This card represents THE PREPARATION OF MAN FOR A NEW CYCLE, ONE RESULTING FROM THE PRECEDING CYCLE. It is a law of destiny and comes after Card VIIII because truth and wisdom are at the foundation of evolution.

specific analogies

This card presents to us three phases, as indicated by the three figures depicted in animal form, to show us that they apply to all beings of creation.

The first phase, a monkey on the descent, represents a descending evolution, a phase of instinct, which has never been conducted by intelligence, but by ruse or by a clever adaptation to physical life. It corresponds to involution, which is to say the descent of the divine spark into matter, whose embedding in it is symbolized by the flesh color. The animal is raising his head because he is not descending willingly. His red and blue clothing indicates that this instinctive adaptation to the Cosmos is realized as much in the material as in the spiritual. It separates the lower parts from the higher parts of the animal, in the sense that the lower parts, more attached to the land, must fade with evolution.

In the second phase, the dog represents for us the first degree of ascending evolution, the first spark of intelligence, which is why it must be yellow. His head, turned upward, shows the germ of the first human thought. His vest, blue with red on the sides, signifies that his intelligence is beginning to perceive the rudiments of spirituality and to leave matter behind; his claws indicate that he continues to feel desire [?]; his necklace, that he is still a slave, and also that he is beginning to break free, this being shown by his ears. His green color represents for us the scientific adaptation which is beginning to manifest in the second phase of his evolution.

In the third phase, the third figure, in the form of a sphinx, shows us the destiny, unknown to Man in the course of his evolution, the aspiration towards an unknown which he must decipher. This is the mystery to be unveiled, the last stage, which he is, however, obliged to pass through, because the sphinx not answering the question he asks him about his ultimate end, he continues to enter into matter, to get out, to return anew and to come out again through his successive lives, until he has found on his own an answer to his question.

The sphinx is the manifestation of the role of the Divine in the evolution. His crown of gold represents his supreme royal authority, the reliability of his judgement. His sword is certain justice. This, held in his left hand, indicates his passivity, and the white blade expresses is neutrality. His red wings show that divinity, of which he is an expression, is ubiquitous, and that, having interpreted the world of matter, it must not dwell on it, but escape. His body is blue, because it is the representation of pure and essential spirituality. The platform on which he reposes is yellow, characterizing divine intelligence.

The two yellow posts supporting the wheel are the two poles of intelligence, active and passive, between which evolution must take place. They in turn are set up on beams, also yellow, and connected with two cross-bars, in order to emphasize the solidity and immutability of their base.

The wheel represents the Cosmos; its rim is flesh-colored, streaked with back, as this has to do with the role of the Cosmos in the physical plane. The hub is red, because the two poles must operate first in the material plane,in order to find their way, by the attached blue spokes, on the spiritual plane and, from there, by the white spokes, on the mental plane. This last is represented by the color white and not yellow, because it is void of the intelligence appropriate to physical life. The separation in the form of the blue ring-shaped joints represents the barrier, often impassable, which separates the spiritual from this higher mind. When Man breaks through this obstacle, he ceased to keep undertaking successive lives.

The spokes of the wheel, being of a similar essence, represent a link between interior and exterior life. Their number indicates the six planes of evolution, which is to say, proceedings from those of the most sluggish vibrations to the finest: the Physical, the Psychic, the Mental, the Causal, the Spiritual, and the Divine. There are six spokes and not seven, since a seventh plane would symbolize a terminus and would deviate from the card's correct meaning, which is about marking the process of evolution.

The crank indicates that Man is of his own able to slow down or speed up evolution; it symbolizes his capacity for free will, and indicates that he is not a slave of his own destiny. Its whiteness underscores the independence of his power.

The ground, flesh colored, is streaked and represents the fulcrum of the poles in their subtle resistant way, which is to say, on the physical plane. The flesh colored bars joining the two beams of the base are the currents of life on the physical plane which connect to the mental plane in an inseparable way, so representing both involution and evolution.


The separate positions of each of them makes this this a complicated card. The sphinx is facing forward and motionless, the dog is in profile and ascending, while the monkey is in profile and descending. While it is the sphinx who commands and forces the action, one of the animals ascends and is actively rising, the other descends and is passive, but the wheel is turning so that the active and the passive alternate and substitute for each other in the evolutionary process.

specific and concrete meaning

The Name THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE has been given to it because the movement of the wheel implies a cycle whose return to origin brings with it the experience acquired during its course, experience which will result in favorable or detrimental circumstances.

meanings as they relate to the three planes

MENTAL. Logic, with the wheel evocative of balance and regularity. Sound judgement, balanced.

ANIMISTIC. Apport, animation, and strengthening of feelings.

PHYSICAL. Whatever events present themselves in the lfe of the consultant, they are not stable, they are moving towards an evolution, a change, necessarily a happy one, because the card does not point backwards. Security in the midst of doubt.

With respect to health: good circulation. For a marriage: actions to bring it about.

INVERTED. Transformation will come about with difficulty, but it will come about all the same. It is not maleficent, but delayed through an upheaval of movements; this indicates that there is change in fundamentals and in new beginnings.

In sum, in its Elementary Meaning, the ROUE DE FORTUNE represents Man in the midst of present actions which have their origin in cyclic works of the past and which prepare those of the future, on which the Divine will confer a beneficial outcome in the end, whatever their vicissitudes are.

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