X. Wheel of Fortune

No matter how fast a wheel spins, no matter what direction it spins in, no matter where it goes, its center remains the same. And no matter where your life takes you, up or down or through a hurricane, you are still your own small boat, weathering it all. The sun always comes out again.

For every failing sun
There’s a morning after

Stop your crying, helpless feeling
Dry your eyes and start believing
There’s one thing they’ll never take from you
-“The World Is Ugly,” My Chemical Romance


The Wheel of Fortune is a card of change, of cycles, of growth and decay and the growth that follows. Everything along a circle is by necessity leading into the next thing, a continuum. You may not be at a point that you love in the wheel’s journey, but all you can do is hang on and wait for it to keep turning. The bad things in life will pass; the flip side of that is that so will the good things. This is the nature of the wheel. Remember: no feeling is gone forever, but no feeling is here to stay forever either. Remember: there is a reason they say “this too shall pass,” because it will, because everything passes and changes and becomes something entirely different – not new, necessarily, but different. Even the love that you feel for others takes on a new character and dimension every day that it lives in you.

Sometimes the Wheel is depicted as the Fates, but the meaning is the same: the inexorable force of the universe continuing, whether you like it or not. I know this sounds kind of maudlin – the end is nigh, and all that – but it’s honestly one of the most promising cards you can turn up in a reading. The Wheel indicates that change is coming, which, I mean. You could turn that card up in every reading you did for a month and it would still be true. Change is always coming – that is the whole point of the wheel, of the wide vast turning world. What the Wheel of Fortune is good for, when you turn it up, is to remind you that although you can’t change the course of the wheel, you can prepare yourself for what’s to come. You can take stock of the things you want to remember. You can look for the things you want to change.

You can dance in the middle of a hurricane
But only if you’re standing in the eye
-“The Eye,” Brandi Carlile

Remember: you are at the center of a vast wheel that is spinning whether you like it or not. In a world that affords you little control this feels like the ultimate insult, to have something show up to tell you, well, it’s just going to happen, sorry, live with it, but this is actually a challenge and a blessing both. The Wheel wants you not to mourn your lack of control, or to lash out and try to jam things in the spokes, but to learn to roll with it. To adapt, to find the good as it comes to you, even in the midst of something largely terrible. The Wheel is a gift, is what I’m saying, but it’s a gift that you have to assemble and it doesn’t come with any of the tools so you have to run out in the middle of the party and buy a flathead screwdriver. But it is still a gift.

Despite the fact that you can’t change the wheel’s course, you can change how you react to it, and you can try to influence it. If the Wheel comes up when you’re feeling low, then Bob’s your uncle – good things are coming! But more often, the Wheel comes up when you’re feeling pretty okay, and it can be disheartening to realize that change is coming for you. The thing to keep in mind in this situation is that you have agency within the larger scope of the wheel. What I mean is that you can’t stop your situation from changing, and changing possibly for the worst, but you can prepare for it. You can figure out how to hit the ground running, to start working as hard as you can to get back on top. The Wheel is impassive, which is probably the most frustrating thing about it – it just turns, and goes where it pleases, and doesn’t really care how you feel about it. But that is what allows you so much freedom within it, to react and recoup and create new plans of attack.

(I’m so sorry for this one, but it had to be done.)

-“Tubthumping,” Chumbawamba

The Wheel itself doesn’t necessarily care, but its message is one that is filled with love, and one that you should try your best to remember when you see it. The Wheel is about optimism, about keeping positive, about finding every bit of silver in whatever clouds come your way. In this life, so much will happen to you that is beyond your control, and that is one of the hardest things in this world to bear, but the thing that is always within your control is how you react, how you create your own luck. What goes up will come down, but it will go up again. The one constant you have in this life is you, yourself, your center, your small boat. The best thing you can do is to keep yourself above water however you can, knowing that eventually the tide will turn and flood back out to the sea and you’ll be on dry land, at least for a little while. Like Battlin’ Jack Murdock said: It’s not how you hit the mat. It’s how you get up.


About Aly

aly was born in nashville but left before she could meet and befriend and ultimately wed taylor swift. now she lives in colorado, where she spends her time crying about bucky barnes, yelling about pop music and vampires, and writing young adult fiction.

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