I have been working with James Wanless’ book, “Strategic Intuition for the 21st Century: Tarot for Business”. I love the way he uses the Wheel of Fortune card (called “Fortune” in his deck) to map opportunity.
“Fortune is the manifestation of your talents so you are rewarded in return.” – James Wanless
The traditional Wheel of Fortune image symbolizes good and bad luck. In the Voyager Tarot, however, opportunities can arise from fortunate events or even setbacks. Wanless has created a wonderful spread in this book, the “Fortune” spread.
I wanted to design my own layout based on the symbols in this card. The Fortune card usually has four to eight figures rotating around the wheel. Some are lucky; others are suffering. Joseph Campbell, the famous mythologist, describes the center of the wheel as “bliss”. When a person follows their bliss, the ups and downs of fortune are easier to negotiate.
Some tarot decks show Fortune herself in the middle of the wheel. The Voyager “Fortune” card depicts her as a statue that is associated with the Treasures of Dresden. Fortune carries a sparkling diamond (clarity) and a butterfly (growth and change).
Like a medieval Wheel of Fortune, she is surrounded by figures at different positions on the wheel. I have focused on four figures. The golden crown she wears at the top of the wheel symbolizes success. At her right side, a hand spinning the wheel represents risk or where the querent needs to take control. Below her, a matador represents lightness and agility in rough situations. To her left, a roller coaster indicates a fun risk; this is an area where her opportunities are increasing.
So one night I was feeling discouraged by a lack of success with some of my current projects and wanted to use tarot to map my opportunities within this situation.
Where is my opportunity?
Hand spinning wheel: 5 of Worlds/Setback
This card represents where I need to be cautious.
I need to be careful not to view a lack of success as failure. This can turn into negativity. When I am not successful, it’s an opportunity to rethink my strategy and try again with a better plan. It’s also important to take time to protect finances and health by avoiding risky actions.
Matador: 3 of Wands/Compassion
This position describes how I can adapt to changing circumstances and create an opportunity.
The 3 of Wands is a card of healing and inspiration.
There is an opportunity to recognize where I am successfully helping, understanding, and reaching out to other people. This “success” grows out of my self-healing work. In order to stay flexible, it is important to make time for this.
Roller coaster: Eight of Wands/Harmony
This card indicates a “lucky” break. I can afford to take a chance in this area.
I can use my abilities to negotiate and bring different people and ideas together. This may be a good time to achieve cooperation with others while respecting their differences or to resolve conflicts within myself. I can take risks by bridging competing activities or concepts within the projects I’m working on. I’ll be able to bring balance.
This position of the layout indicates my current successes.
I’m on top of my game when I affirm and showcase my unique strengths. This card is connected to Leo, the astrological sign associated with performers. I have the “strength” to do this right now.
The Center: where I find my bliss.
Blackamoor: Man of Cups/Surfer
This card represents how I can stay open to opportunity.
I open to opportunities by keeping emotionally balanced and helping others to do the same.
I am growing by doing this.
I am beginning a new phase in my life, if I’m willing to embrace change.
Diamond: Eight of Worlds/Change
This is where my thinking is clear and optimistic.
I can adapt and create new strategies. I am most successful when I can recognize trends or track what is interesting to others.
If I keep these three ideas in mind I will be able to stay centered and recognize new opportunities. They are the core message that the rest of the cards flow from.