Today’s card is The Circle, number ten of the Major Arcana. In a more traditional deck, this card is called the Wheel of Fortune. The Major Arcana are used as a teaching tool to introduce the initiate (seeker) to the principles of occult worship. Each represents a point along our evolutionary path as magickal beings and discussed the science, and the mysticism, that work in tune to guide our journey as spiritual seekers. As in any tarot deck, this journey begins with Initiation (The Fool), representing innocence and new beginnings. But while the Major Arcana have a finite number, the journey through them continually begins again as the spiral of our existence plays out.
The keywords for this card are Changes and Turn of Events. Here we see the Circle of Shapeshifting, another visual example of the Wheel of the Year from Celtic tradition or the Wheel of Karma from Hindu culture. The Wheel of the Year represent the eight linear divisions that separate the calendar year; these are marked by celebrations for the various Sun holidays, Yule (Winter Solstice), Candlemas, Oestara (Spring Equinox), Beltane (May Day), Litha (Summer Solstice), Lughnasadh (Lammas), Mabon (Autumn Equinox), and Samhain (Halloween). It can also be a great tool for marking the growth of an initiate, usually placed on a path of study with a mentor or active coven member for a year and a day. In spite of their similarities, this Circle also symbolizes the ever-turning, ethereal life-wheel of physical existence: past incarnations, present cycles of development, and the chain of events that make up life’s experiences. This includes many initiation rites along the way, as the path walked by each seeker is circular in nature and will be rounded again, each time at a higher (or lower) frequency than the cycle before. Thus, a strand of DNA is pictured passing through the center of this Circle (Wheel) signifying the spiritual spark of divine life that endlessly creates and perfects.
Around the Circle are animals that represent each of the Elements: a fish (Water), a bird (Air), a wolf (Earth), and a red snake (Fire). The half-merged forms around the Circle symbolize the various stages that we each go through during our development over several lifetimes. In the center is a human face, half shifted with an owl, symbol of wisdom and representative of the Seeker. With wide-open, all-seeing eyes, this owl/man looks upon reality and acknowledges it yet is also aware of the existence of ancient and spiritual knowledge that he/she can use to make changes. To the upper left and behind the Seeker, we see a stone ‘henge’, a gate or doorway to a higher level of consciousness and esoteric knowledge. In order to advance on the spiritual path, the Seeker must learn when to spin the Wheel of Fortune and when to let it ride, dealing with the lessons or Karma now instead of later.
This card wants us to pay attention for new opportunities and practice positive magick to attain spiritual growth. In this way, you can influence the Circle (Wheel) to bring success, a change of luck, or a positive evolution in your life. However, be critically aware of your motivations before you take your spin! You must understand what motivates you in order to achieve positive results.
May your spin on the Circle bring truly positive changes in your luck and may the Wheel of Fortune smile upon you!