The Wheel of Fortune on the Path of Initiation

The Wheel of Fortune, one of only two cards to show no human figure, moves us from the Human to the Cosmic; the great spinning wheel of Karma. For the uninitiated, Atu X can represent ‘The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, being tossed about on the winds of fate, but, for The Magician who has reached this exalted plane it’s an opportunity to use his Works and Higher Learning to use the spinning wheel of the TARO/ROTA (TORA?), as an engine of manifestation and willed change. The Image shows some familiar characters. We have the four creatures from the vision of Ezekiel, who are now winged and reading books, illustrating the power of Knowledge, and on the wheel itself are The Sphinx, holding the sword of intellectual clarity, a Serpent or Crocodile- Typhon and a mammalian figure who may be Anubis or his ape-like form Hermanubis, these opposing forces create Dynamic Force, evolution through our reptile and simian developmental phases and also the the alchemical elements Sulphur-Sphinx, Mercury- Anubis and Salt- Typhon.

The Aspirant who has reached The Wheel of Fortune is the still centre of the circle of life, through meditation and the practice of ‘mindfulness’ he knows that sometimes the best course of action is non-action, he is the calm, centred, eye of the storm. He has learned that every Magickal act is effective in the higher, formative world of Yetzirah. As a Neophyte he yearned for ‘signs and wonders’ but the experienced occultist knows that his Magick is effective and trusts the process entirely. By accepting that everything that happens to him was caused by him he takes full responsibility for every event. The Magician has not yet crossed the Abyss but he is now fully merged with his ‘Higher Self’. The Hebrew letters on the Disk spell YHVH, the TETRAGRAMMATON signalling he is moving steadily towards the ineffable mystery of the Creator.

The number ten brings us to the end of the first cycle of Initiation, being an octave of one. It is also the number of the Sephiroth on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. The Neophyte has become a powerful Mage, but his journey is not yet halfway through.


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