Wheel of Flow embodies the spirit of karma, cycles, destiny, and destination. Here we see a great celestial wheel with two patch characters emerging from behind each one, one embracing and creating, the other surrendering and accepting. Around the wheel sit three beings, representing the creator, the destructor, and the individual who encircles the wheel perpetually.
There is a great flow at work, and so all there is to do is “go with the flow”! Allow good fortune to come your way and don’t hang on to any specific circumstance or experience. Change is a perpetual constant in life, and there will be ups and downs. The point is that they are always flowing, and so by not resisting against the current of life that moves through and around you, you will truly embody what it means to be “centered in the wheel of flow”.
Wheel of Flow is all about the ups and downs of life, letting go to riding the wave of cosmic energy, experiencing yin and yang, and going with the flow. Therefore, the major themes here are change, cycles, and the cyclical ebb and flow that permeates all facets of reality, both your own daily cycles, and the cycles happening around you. Change is the only constant, and so it’s time to embrace it!
No one can escape the ups and downs of reality, and while at times it may seem scary, being able to stay in harmony with change is an incredible state of being, and all we need to do to stay in that awareness, is to connect with our breath! The Wheel of Flow is astrologically connected to Jupiter, the planet of luck; so its upright meaning generally speaks to luck and fortune!
In this card you can see this Wheel of Flow spinning around the earth, encompassing it in its entirety. At the top, a musician is represented expressing and sounding out his melodic tunes. On the bottom, Patchman is seen hanging upside down in a state of pure allowance and surrender to the experience, listening and reflecting.
These two characters represent creation and absorption; the yin and yang – the inner motion and the outer motion, which are both vital to the human experience, and encompass all that we experience. Sometimes we must surrender to what is and take a position of reflection to better understand what’s happening all around us; other times we are in a state of creative motion, moving forward and making things happen, expressing our truth and sharing our love. Whatever is moving through you is ‘the flow’ at work.
In addition to these characters, there are also three distinct beings which encircle the wheel. At the top – the sphinx, representing the power of the creator; it holds a sword demonstrating the power of thought as the birthplace of experiences. There is also a serpent like creature, who descends along the side, who represents the antithesis of the creator, moving in the opposite direction of life, and even holding the ankh in a reversed position. Finally, there is the cynocephalus ape, who has appeared in a similar position alongside the Magician. This represents the individual, who exists between both worlds, climbing towards higher levels and ultimately rides the wave up and down; the waves produced by the other two beings.
Around the planet enwraps a white band of light wrapping around the planet which essentially reads “surrounded by a circle of tremulous light”, and implying “band of light” in sanskrit. For we all exist in a massive field of light which is infinite in nature, and are so much more connected than we realize. On the four corners of the cards are the astrological symbols and constellations of the 4 fixed astrological signs. The four fixed signs appear because of their steady, powerful, purposeful, and goal-oriented motion which spiral in your favor upon drawing this card.
The letters on the wheel, T A R O is a reference to the original Rider Waite cards, whom in A.E. Waite’s own words, the letters on the wheel should be observed as “Rota Taro Orat Tora Ator” which loosely translates to “The Wheel of Tarot speaks the Law of Love”.
This card reminds you to not resist the flow of life, but to exist in a state of allowing it to flow through you. It can also represent a pivotal turning point in your life, where new opportunities and experiences are coming, all the while remembering that you too are a creator of your own cycles, and your own flows too. In this you are reminded that karma is very present always, and what goes around comes around. Ultimately, there is nothing to worry about when you fully live your life through your heart.
The Wheel of Flow normally describes a more positive or “luck and fortune” flow, due to its correspondence with Jupiter. Thus The Wheel of Flow often describes upswings and good feelings. Thus, the reversal of this card is a changing for the worse, a case of bad luck or misfortune, which comes with attachments to the status quo and having things be a specific way.
It’s as if your attitude is clinging towards having things be a certain way, but in the natural flows of the changes we experience in life, we are bound to experience disruption to these attachments sooner or later. Sometimes, this comes in the form of a strong external force coming and affecting your life, and swinging things out of control and bringing something new for you to deal with. Other times, it may indicate more of something that you yourself caused, and may even have more opportunity to fix as a result.
To turn this reversed card upright, we must connect with our breath first and foremost. By putting your breath into a natural rhythm, you get yourself in tune with your own body and your energy fields around you, and even calm yourself down. Then, from this new state – still mindful of your breath, you can begin to embody the feeling of awareness towards these other cycles that are causing you grief, identifying what the problem is, where it is coming from, and most specifically – what it is triggering within you. If you find yourself attached to something, then by breathing and letting go you can release your suffering in relationship to it, because it no longer affects you. If there is a new challenge you have to deal with, by breathing deep and staying calm – it can become significantly less difficult for you as you work through the experience. By correcting your smallest flows, the larger ones will naturally align, and you will find yourself in the center of the wheel once again.
The Book of Thoth
The Golden Dawn
The Tarot Handbook