Wheel of Fortune — Tarot of the Absurd

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Blind Fortune“What is fortune?” I ask the Web of Answers.


“The Fortune Society’s mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities.”



Fortune is freedom; freedom is fortune. Only—


“A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad.”



Fortune is the ability to learn repercussions of poor actions in a constructive manner. Holding people in jails teaches people how to live in jail. Allowing people to do nothing with their lives teaches them how to do nothing with their lives.


“Fortune cannot aid those who do nothing.”



Fortune is the ability to be integrated into— to become one with the whole of— one’s society and community. Fortune is to feel accepted. However, most often in our society, fortune is thought of as monetary wealth; with money, we are instantly accepted in one way or another. Where and when goes fortune goes luck.


“No one is truly free, they are a slave to wealth, fortune, the law, or other people restraining them from acting according to their will.” 



“Fortune” can be read as luck, fate, destiny, karma, serendipity, chance, or accident. These are words that we have attached to circumstances where success or failure is brought on by something other than our own direct action. The action may be imperceptible; the origin of the action may be unknown. Maybe, maybe. So, if success or failure is brought on by something other than our own action and we are slave to the turns of fortunes wheel that keeps us from acting according to our own will, are freedom and fortune mutually exclusive?


“We do not know what is really good or bad fortune.” 

—Jean-Jacques Rousseau 



Blind, Fortune doles out gifts and punishments with no regard to person. Though Fortune cannot see what Fortune does, this does not stop the wheel from rolling! The result is seeming randomness.


“Fortune rules the affairs of men at random and, blind, she hands out her gifts.”



We are Fortune; we are the Wheel, and we are ultimately blind in to actions. No matter how much we try to see the world around us, no matter how aware we try to be of how we treat our environs, we are ultimately blind. Despite this, we are not freed from the responsibility of our actions. Blinded, we hand stars to others, blind. Thus we are bound to the Wheel of Fortune, and thus the wheel rolls on.


10. La Ruota — Tarocchi dei Celti

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Benito Jacovitti

Illustrator: Benito Jacovitti


The Wheel of Fortune can be interpreted very simply. Right-side-up= Good luck. Up-side-down= bad luck.


Yet again I am reading from a deck that is all Italian. This is the second of two majors-only decks of the same name. I much prefer the other: these images were illustrated by a humorist whose humor I don’t appreciate. I didn’t ask a question because I didn’t want to use this deck to be insightful in any manner. I’m not exactly sure what makes this a Celtic deck.


This Wheel [of Fortune] is lodged under the over-sized breasts of a very large woman. The sausage at her feet is a repeating theme throughout the deck, as are the dismembered fingers sticking up from the ground. Three-headed gods are not uncommon. They see the past, present and future: every way the wheel can roll. Someone has thrown a pot of coins and a die— common symbols of gambling— at the woman’s helmeted head. The pot empties out and the woman remains oblivious, laughing.


I guess I don’t ever have to look at this deck again. I got it for “free” when I ordered a bunch of other decks from Italy. It gives me the same-sort of grossed-out feeling as do movies with too much bodily-function comedy and too few brains.