The Wheel Of Fortune Tarot Card Meaning, Explained

In some cases, it could mean wealth is on its way.

by Kristine Fellizar
Originally Published: 
What does the wheel of fortune mean in tarot?

When you pull the Wheel of Fortune tarot card in a reading, you can’t help but feel a sense of excitement. Unlike Death or the Devil, which tend to evoke feelings of unease when pulled, the Wheel of Fortune in the traditional Rider-Waite tarot deck has brighter colors and more uplifting imagery featuring a large wheel at the center. Plus the words “wheel of fortune” alone just make it seem like money and good luck are coming your way. While that’s one way to interpret the card, RaDonna Reed, professional tarot reader and teacher says there’s a lot more to the Wheel of Fortune than you think.

A standard tarot deck features 78 cards, 22 of which make up the major arcana. Cards like the Lovers, the Chariot, and the Wheel of Fortune represent bigger life lessons, influences, and events, while cards in the minor arcana deal with smaller day-to-day occurrences. With that said, the Wheel of Fortune is the 10th card in the major arcana, and comes after the Hermit and right before Justice. According to Reed, the Wheel of Fortune presents a “massive opportunity” to redirect and change your circumstances.

“It is a tool, a compass, an axle, and a guide to flip the narrative of your life,” Reed says. “In its position, the Wheel of Fortune comes after a person makes a choice to explore life on their own terms, versus what they were conditioned to do, think, or feel. It may come when a person feels unsure about next steps to take and seeks assurance about their choices, as well as guidance about their journey. Its place in the major arcana reminds us of the power we possess to make change.”

Here’s a deeper look into the meaning of the Wheel of Fortune tarot card, and how you can apply its meaning to your life.

What Does The Wheel Of Fortune Tarot Card Mean?

When it comes to reading tarot, there’s no right or wrong way to interpret a card. Although there are general meanings, each reader will have their own take on what a card means to them. For Reed, the Wheel of Fortune represents “spirit” the most.

“It’s a card which is full of symbols of spiritual guidance,” she says. “No matter what or when received, even if a little ironic at times, it always indicates that there are powerful energies beyond our understanding working in our favor. At the basis of all our decisions, successes, and missteps, we have a spiritual support team cheering us on.”

What Does The Wheel Of Fortune Tarot Card Mean When It’s Upright?

The Wheel of Fortune is an interesting card to pull in a reading because it’s easy to associate it with money, career change, or luck. But as Reed says, it’s a card that’s very ambiguous. While it can mean wealth is coming your way, the wheel is at the center of the card and that deals with movement and direction.

“Truth be told, when I pull the Wheel of Fortune, I often giggle a bit — there’s nothing like asking for direction and being told to just drive and figure it out,” Reed says. “It sometimes feels like a practical joke from the universe. But to me, that’s the power of the Wheel of Fortune. It may not pinpoint with precision what to do, but... it affirms the rustling feeling in your gut that you do, indeed, want something different for your life.”

When you pull the card upright, it suggests that you have the support from the universe to take control of your destiny and do what’s necessary to have the life you truly want. It’s a very positive and encouraging card to get, especially when you’re feeling stuck or nervous about change. The card is giving you the OK to start a new cycle in your life.

What Does The Wheel Of Fortune Tarot Card Reversed Mean?

Contrary to popular belief, reversals aren't necessarily the opposite or the negative side of a tarot card. According to Reed, that’s especially true with a card like the Wheel of Fortune. “To me, the card will always signify a moment of uncertainty mixed with anticipation toward the future, however, the reversal intensifies the desire for direction,” she says.

When you pull the Wheel of Fortune in reverse, you may be at a point in your life where you’re feeling lost or uninspired. If this is the case, Reed suggests going back to the root of why you chose your path and reflect on whether your actions align with where you want to be. If they aren’t, it may be time to make major adjustments.

“The Wheel of Fortune reversed suggests there's a lot of doubt, so tapping back in to trust, faith, and vision through joy, play, and creativity can help,” Reed says. Journaling, meditating, or talking to your spirit guide can help you figure out what you need to do next.


RaDonna Reed, professional tarot reader and teacher

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