Very fittingly, we end September's work with the Death card that focused on transformation and roll into October with The Wheel of Fortune, another card about change and the natural cycles of existence. This card reminds us there is no one fixed way to be, live, or think. As in nature, human life is composed of many small cycles inside its single major one. This need not be threatening; we have weathered changes before, and can do so again. The contrast between different states of being (represented by the creatures on the Wheel) is valuable; we often only appreciate something fully when we experience its absence. Fluctuation also provides needed rest after periods of heightened activity, as well as a spark of newness after prolonged existence within one state. Acceptance of these cycles, and a positive outlook whenever possible, is crucial, as the Wheel will turn regardless. Each week this month I'll pull a card to give us additional insight into this idea of wheels/cycles/rotations. Stay tuned! Cards pictured are from Le Tarot Noir by Matthieu Hackiere.
WEEK 1: The Nine of Swords
My challenge this month is to apply the concepts of the Wheel of Fortune to each weekly draw. This first one, the 9 of Swords, makes a lot of sense in that way. Oddly enough , before I drew the card this morning, the phrase “what a difference a day makes“ kept running through my head. I was thinking about times I go to sleep, or try to sleep, with a mind full of worries, and how true it is that often I wake up and either my dreams have processed the anxiety or the light of a new day just puts things into perspective. This seems very connected to the idea of the Wheel, of things shifting on their own, things settling into place after it feels like they couldn’t possibly do so. It makes me think that a big concept often overlooked in the Wheel card is patience. Patience with the self, patience with other people, and patience with the time it takes for certain things to change. I think the 9 of Swords is also pointing to the amount of time we waste worrying about “negative” change. We try so hard to keep things a certain way become blocked by anxiety and don’t actually enjoy them fully. So let’s consider this a week to address the things that give us anxiety, and see which of those things we might be able to dismantle by embracing Wheel concepts.
WEEK 2: The Four of Wands
Balance, harmony, hard work coming to fruition on some level. A clear path is open, giving us a sense of peace. We can celebrate the progress so far but must stay ready for the work that comes next. We need not fear it because we’ve been able to plan and now feel enthusiastic and confident about executing the next phase. So how does this connect to our monthly theme card the Wheel of Fortune? I think it means we may be at one of the resting places along the turning wheel. It pauses for a moment, but we can’t take this period of balance for granted, as the wheel will continue to turn, potentially disrupting the plans we have made. This isn’t something that needs to worry us. If we maintain our awareness and communication with others, we’ll be able to adjust if things don’t go exactly according to plan. Above all, we have to trust that whatever we are turned through is exactly what we need to experience. In the end, it couldn’t have gone any other way.
WEEK 3: The Seven of Wands
Wow, what an interesting card to come up in our Wheel of Fortune month. The Seven of Wands… My first thought on this is that no matter what‘s changing around you, no matter what is happening in your life, there are some guiding principles that you must always protect. You might feel compelled to relax some of these if it seems like it will make the journey easier, but that sort of compromise is damaging in ways that might not be felt immediately. So I’m thinking this means it’s a good week to clarify what those non-negotiables are. More than anything, this card is a sign that it is not time to give up on anything you’ve worked so hard for, even if you’re experiencing discouragement. If you really care about it, keep pushing forward and don’t let the detractors sway you from your mission.
WEEK 4: The Five of Swords
So many of the Swords cards are about force. Putting pressure on others or on the self. Pushing things into being, maybe before their time or when they shouldn’t be at all. Ruthlessness, coldness, ambition, desire to win. The Five of Swords expresses this conflict perfectly. This card often means that the conflict has already happened, and now the effects of that applied force must be dealt with. There might have been a victory, but the damage it took to get there has repercussions. More than anything this card signals a need to make amends. Perhaps it truly was necessary to fight this battle the way that it was fought, but here in the aftermath, what can be done to set things right? If this does not happen, the victor may find themselves without allies at all. This connects to our month card, The Wheel, in an interesting way. Instead of pushing things to the point of confrontation impulsively or recklessly, especially in interpersonal communications, giving it a little bit of time could let some heat dissipate, allowing for clearer thinking and an easier resolution. The Wheel takes us where we need to be and sitting with discomfort can be a revelatory experience. We could even discover our motivations are different than we initially assumed.
A FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: The Two of Swords
Just a couple more days left in this month, but I thought I’d pull a final card to lead us across into next month’s reading, governed by the High Priestess (as determined at the start of the year when I pulled the large spread). What an interesting pairing for this exact moment in the year! The Two of Swords is typically though of as a card of stalemate or indecision. That’s just it: here we are in the place between months, but at the moment when the veil is said to be at its thinnest! The Wheel has paused to let deep information enter into our waking awareness from that place of spirits and the ordinarily unknowable. Each Sword points to one side of this arrangement and the High Priestess is the perfect guide for collecting and processing what we are able to access. How uncanny and wonderful! Take advantage of this pause and alignment and find your way to access what information wants to find you. I’ll post a spread here that might help you reach beyond the veil (see final image below):
I created this spread in collaboration with Tarot reader and mystic Stephanie Adams-Santos (Tarot Obscuro). It was originally inspired by the New Moon in Scorpio; we wanted to evoke the sensation of layers of buried content surfacing during this time of deep exploration and discovery. This reading can be done with the entire deck or only the Major Arcana cards.
Read the cards in the following contexts:
1. This card provides the foundation for the reading. What is happening now that needs to be considered?
2-4. These cards look for the roots of present circumstances, uncovering possible patterns or an accumulation
of experiences that led the querent here.
5. This card suggests ways to follow up or provides encouragement or warnings based on uncovered content.
The Wheel of Fortune
Nine of Swords
Four of Wands
Seven of Wands
Five of Swords
Two of Swords