Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

The Tarot Year of the Wheel of Fortune, Part Two: A Reading

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view,
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance
A wildcat did growl.
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl…

Bob Dylan

Yesterday, I posted an overview of the implications for us in a Tarot Year of the Wheel of Fortune. This is based on the fact that 2017 reduces to 2+0+1+7 = 10.

Many numerologists would continue to reduce that number to 1, and some Tarot readers also feel that this should be recognized as a Magician Year.

I disagree, though.

For decades I have used the system that the late Angeles Arrien used. She in turn taught it to the renowned Tarot scholar, Mary K. Greer, and it has become the standard for many, if not most, Tarot practitioners. That system does not reduce the 10, since it falls within the range of the Major Arcana.

However, as Mary herself has reminded me, the numerological relationship between the 10 and the 1 in the Majors is important, as is the other card that is tied to this numerical “constellation,” namely, the 19.

So in honor of the Magician (1) and the Sun (19) being influential to this Wheel of Fortune year, I decided to create a spread that incorporates them, and do a reading for 2017.

I hope you will find the results as fascinating as I did.

The 2017 Wheel of Fortune Year Reading,
by Beth Owl’s Daughter

First, a funny story. Okay, mainly just funny for those of us who love to geek out on the Tarot.

When I was creating the spread, I’d planned to pull out The Wheel card and use it as a significator. (My good friend Theresa Reed, The Tarot Lady, has an excellent explanation of what significators are).

But then, in my meditative preparations and shuffling, I’d forgotten to find it and set it aside. Since I hadn’t started dealing the cards yet, I decided to hunt for it and then maybe shuffle some more. Ha. I needn’t have worried. As I picked up the deck, there it was on the bottom, looking right at me!

The Layout

So here is my spread:

The first card will be the card that illuminates what we most need to know about this Wheel of Fortune year. (Learn more about The Wheel either from yesterday’s post, or by going here.)

Card 2 represents the role that The Magician will play in this pivotal year. (Learn more about The Magician here).

Card 3 represents the role of The Sun in the events of this year. (Here is some background on The Sun).

Thus, we have the three cards of the Constellation of The Magician/Wheel of Fortune/Sun; with the Magician and Sun standing to each side of our Wheel, as guardians and allies.

Card 4 shows us what we should know is on the ascendant in the coming year. This energy is growing, and aiming for the top of the Wheel.

Card 5 shows us what is at its peak, at the top of the Wheel. This is now in triumph, at the zenith of its power and influence. For now, there it stays, but of course, all things must (and will!) pass.

Card 6 represents that which is now on the way out, in descent. This influence is now passing away, though not entirely gone.

Card 7 is that which is no longer visible to us. It awaits in the Underworld, and may seem dead and buried. But the fact that it shows up in this Wheel spread tells me that movement and return is probable at some point in the future.

And Here Is the Reading

Since the significator is the “holding place,” we begin with Card 1, which reveals the main message that the Wheel of Fortune is telling us this year. And the answer couldn’t be more clear and, in some ways, less surprising. The Tower.

My friend Byron Ballard, and other wise women like HecateDemeter have been warning for a long while that we have arrived in “Tower Times.” They are referring to how The Tower of the Tarot portrays the dramatic downfall of the established order, and a cleansing of what is false and corrupt.

I think that there is no doubt of this, based on current astrology (Pluto in Capricorn, Jupiter now getting into the act by squaring Pluto, the impact of Eris, and more).

But if astrology is not your thing, you need look no further than the perilous implications of current events. Mindful of the wider arc of history, most thoughtful observers can see that the wheel of change has now arrived at an unprecedented crisis point that will leave our civilization transformed, for better or worse.

There is no avoiding the fact that, no matter how many princes may strut to and fro keeping watch, the wind has indeed begun to howl.

The Two Allies of The Wheel of Fortune

So, how does The Magician respond? Card 2, which represents his view and influence is another very important Major: Judgement. As the Magician is the manifester, the initiator, and the creative force that aims to awaken and change the world, the juxtaposition of his meaning with this second to last card of the Major Arcana is very interesting.

Clearly we can see that this card depicts the motif of the biblical “final judgment,” when the “quick and the dead” are called to rise up and be judged in the last days of the world. Are we there yet?

At the very least, the Judgement card is the soul’s wake-up call. It demands that we drop all artifice, and stand revealed before whatever and whoever we hold holy, for now is the time of reckoning. We must answer for what we are doing with our lives. Our rebirth is at hand, and The Magician’s influence urges us to use all our power and our creativity to be who we incarnated here to be.

His is the gift of making our truest wishes come true. But Judgement insists that we use that wish wisely and for the highest good of all.

Card 3, shows us what The Sun would have to say about this Wheel year. And its message is the Ace of Pentacles. This looks to me like the Sun shines upon the promise of new prosperity and abundance. In the broad daylight, after the Tower falls, when all is revealed, all shadows dispelled, this is a potential for renewal around the matters to do with hearth and home, health and wellness, and the creation of a more grounded, sustainable system of wealth.

The Magician’s message of Judgement points to how we may initiate the turning of the Wheel, and The Sun offers the Ace of Pentacles as the reward that is possible in this game of destiny. These constellated influences, connected as they are by numerology to the Wheel of Fortune, are powerful partners that add dimension to our understanding of this Tarot year.

The Rising and the Falling Influences

The next four cards represent what is coming, what is at its peak, what is fading, and what is currently underground.

Card 4 indicates that the King of Swords is waiting in the wings, and ready to be an important factor this year. Frankly, I find this hopeful news, although he is not the most friendly of the Court Cards. The recent problems we’ve seen thanks to fake news, shrill, deliberate ignorance, the undermining of intelligent discourse, and even the widespread subversion of science has been ominous. This King’s rigorous insistence on facts, clarity, and honesty are much needed. His tendency to be arrogant and inflexible, however, are not.

Card 5 shows us what is on top this year. The Ten of Wands seems to me that we may all be feeling completely overwhelmed. The energy is about carrying too big a burden for what we are actually capable of. Obviously, the man carrying all those wands is overloaded, and since he can’t see where he’s going, he is cruising for a fall. Can you think of someone that has taken on too much for his or her own good? Very possibly due to some inflated ego issues? Yes, I can too. Just make sure it’s not you!

In Card 6, we are seeing what influence is now passing away, falling from its prior importance, and I for one am happy that it’s the Five of Pentacles. I would love for this to be a harbinger that the unspeakable tragedy of the refugee crises, the problems of hunger and homelessness, and the extreme, senseless poverty that haunts our globe are on the way out.

With the promise of the Ace of Pentacles shining so nearby, I think we are being shown that such hopes are feasible, and that there is a pragmatic, realistic way way forward. It must come from a more equitable economy that works for all people, and wealth systems that are earth-friendly, humanity supporting, and peaceful.

Finally, our Card 7 shows what has dipped below the horizon, out of our sight, at least for now. Here we have the hopeful Three of Wands, not one I would normally choose to see buried in the Underworld. However, there it is, and I find it interesting that, by its very definition, it is a card of waiting.

So if its sunny expectations are now dormant, so be it. If we must wait, as this card indicates, for our seeds to sprout, well, having them underground is where they belong in the first place.

The Bottom Line

I see much of what the Wise among us have already foreseen – a year of tumult, unexpected shifts, where sudden influences seemingly out of the blue shake the landscape. The foundations of our institutions may be rocked into collapse, particularly if they are corrupt or functioning in a way that harms the greater good. The Tower, after all, is a necessary cleansing; tough love for healing when we refuse to take our medicine any other way.

Each action we take should be viewed from the perspective of our highest moral understanding. And the main focus of hope and growth can be directed to practical matters, including a new, better economy and the systems that support our livelihood and well-being.

Pay attention to the facts. Ask pointed questions. Demand intelligent answers and do not fear complexity. Communicate clearly and honestly, and be on the lookout for the cool, calm face of reason.

For those of us who feel like a lone firefighter in a world set fire by a thousand acts of arson, beware of burnout. Even though such drama may win you some admiration in the short term, exhaustion serves no one, and just opens the door for more trouble to enter.

Instead, learn to ask for help, or else let go of what you cannot handle.

And do all you can to aid those on the margins of survival or who are at risk from bigotry, prejudice, and exile. Although our faith may be tested, there is now an opportunity to make dramatic progress in easing poverty, ignorance, and the hatreds that separate us.

Finally, if you, like I, have spent a lifetime working for a new day to dawn, do not despair that we must wait a while yet. Our actions in this pivotal time are laying the foundation for next year, in which Justice will insist on a karmic accounting.

Plant your seeds and trust their gestation in the rich and fertile dark.

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  • January 3, 2017, 11:27 pm Baxter Clare Trautman

    Curiouser and curiouser. Thanks for sharing. I see the coming times as hopefully, albeit there may be rough waters ahead. This spread reinforces my belief.

  • January 4, 2017, 9:11 am Donna Tower

    Life has been interesting. I pray that more people waken to practicing kindness in their everyday life. One planet, one people to live in peace. No one gets off alive. These will be unusual times so we must be flexible.

  • January 4, 2017, 9:54 am donna

    WOW
    It looks like it’s going to be an interesting ride this year. I have great hope that the journey is toward a better world where we share our lives and dreams . I like your reading. It gives me more hope.

  • January 4, 2017, 10:01 am Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady

    Thank you for the shout out – and for this amazing post. 2017 is not going to be dull, that’s for sure!

  • January 4, 2017, 2:07 pm Amy Doyle

    This is a brilliant spread, and I’m so grateful for the hope that it offers. Thank you for your wonderful insights!

  • January 4, 2017, 9:22 pm Nina fox

    Thanks for this spread. Very cool and interesting. It makes sense three of wands waits underground for us to find common ground for common good. 💫

  • January 5, 2017, 12:30 pm Beth

    Thank you ALL for these insights and thoughts. I really appreciate your comments.

    When I first pulled the cards, starting with The Tower, I felt like all was lost.. But of course, The Tower is a gift of love and necessary revolution.

    And then, the exercise of breaking the rest down. card by card. helped me see the possibilities and the hope. Your own feedback helps reinforce that, so thank you for sharing!

    We sure have a LOT to do, don’t we?

  • January 8, 2017, 2:02 pm M

    Thank you for sharing! As I’m still learning, how did you come to the card 19?/Sun? And a shout out – have enjoyed your blog over the last year of discovery… and greetings from the Carrboro/Durham area!

    Somehow also not surprising… it also feels like we as a society need to be stirred a bit to be pulled together to move to the next level. I am also looking ahead optimistically though I agree there will be some rough waters to get us there. Hoping ultimately we figure out on a global and local scale how best to work, treat and love another.

  • January 9, 2017, 10:00 am Beth

    That’s a good question, M.

    According to Mary Greer, Angeles Arrien, the Amberstones of the Tarot School, and many others who have developed their groundbreaking methods, the Tarot cards have numerological correspondences that can be applied to birthdays, years, and other dates.

    For instance, if my birthday is July 21, 1953, you would add 7+21+1,953 and get 1,981. Adding 1+9+8+1=19, which corresponds to The Sun in the Major Arcana. 19 can then be reduced to 10=The Wheel of Fortune, which in turn can be reduced to 1 — The Magician. I call this someone’s Tarot profile, Mary calls it their Constellation, etc.

    All of the Majors have pairs (and some have threes) that connect through such numerology.

    So last year, 2016, was the year of The Hermit (2+0+1+6=9). But there is another card within the scope of the Majors that also is connected to the 9: The Moon: 18. (Because 18 reduces to 9). So we speak of pairs, or constellations to describe these associated clusters.

    For lots more information about this very juicy aspect of working with the Tarot, I have written a series of articles about it which you can browse in my Reading Room.

    I also highly recommend Mary Greer’s “Who Are You in the Tarot?” or else a book that follows the Amberstone method by Bonnie Cehovet, “Tarot, Birth Cards, and You.”

  • January 9, 2017, 8:25 pm Kathryn

    You are indeed a wonder….! Thank you for your ongoing light…

  • January 10, 2017, 5:47 pm Ann Burns

    I could only hope to be able to read tarot with such clarity, hope and positivity as you Beth. Love your work. best wishes for your year ahead! 🙂 So good to see the shape of the coming year for all of us, with some timely advice on how to ride the wave/s!

  • January 11, 2017, 11:56 am Francine

    Pretty heavy stuff, but positive too, I like it