The Wheel of Fortune is the Zodiac.

You may have heard about correspondences between the Major arcana of the Tarot and the symbols of astrology. We shouldn’t be dogmatic: a planet or a sign can have important themes in common with a particular Tarot Card, however two different symbols belonging to two different systems are not  the same. It’s not the style of the universe and not the style of the psyche! 


I have heard Claude Hagège – a famous French linguist – say that it is always possible to translate what is said in a language into another language. However, in some cases, one word will be sufficient in a language, but a whole sentence will be necessary to say the same thing in the other one. We can’t superimpose two languages, translate word for word and make sense. Research in linguistics has shown that speaking a second language makes you see the world differently. 


The same can only apply to symbolic languages like astrology and tarot. Two systems are two cultures. 



Saying, for instance, that the Arcana called “Strength” is the equivalent of the sign “Leo” is almost nonsense. Yes, there is a lion on the Tarot Card, and yes, strength and willpower, are key words for Leo. But they make sense only within the context of their natural habitat, the zodiac for one, the Tarot for the other. 


On the Tarot Card, the lion is not alone. The main character is actually a young maiden. She masters the lion, which, on the Marseille deck, is opening his mouth at that place where humans feel desire. Virgo and Scorpio themes are relevant to this card as well. 

In the Wheel of Fortune I see the Zodiac. This is not a dogma. Tomorrow, the Wheel of Fortune may represent something else. With symbols, we are swimming in a fluid world. For today, let’s see the Zodiac in the Wheel of Fortune.


Zodiac etymologically means “the wheel of animals”. On the card, animals are chained to the Wheel of Fortune. 


The Tarot Card is a teaching. Let’s take it as a teaching about astrology. Two animals, representing animal energies, desires, fears, emotions and instincts are going up and down as the wheel turns. We may think of the Moon as well. 


A sphinx is sitting above the wheel, undisturbed. 


 It has a crown and a sword, symbols of power and achievement. The sphinx is a symbol of mystery and mastery.


In the myths of Oedipus, the sphinx asks a riddle:Which creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening?” 


The answer is “man”. He walks on four legs in the morning of his life, when he crawls on his hands and knees as a baby. He walks on two legs in the middle of his life, and in the evening, when he is old, on three legs, his two plus a stick for help.


Nowadays, it would be politically correct to say “human being”. 


The riddle of the sphinx is a deep philosophical question in disguise: “What is man?” “What does being human mean?” 

An answer is suggested: it is to master the energies and sit, undisturbed, above the wheel rather than chained to it. 


The card shows it. It says: Aim at this! 


Become like the sphinx! Integrate and master the animal energies and become free from the ups and downs of Lady Fortune. The stars impel but do not compel.