Doctor Who and the Major Arcana: The Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune

We’ve arrived at our eleventh stop on our tour of #22DoctorWhoTarotQuotes, so let’s use a quote from the Eleventh Doctor to take a closer look at the meaning of The Wheel of Fortune, the tenth major arcana tarot card.

In Vincent and the Doctor, Amy is disappointed to realize that she and the Doctor were unable to assuage the distress and mental illness of Vincent Van Gogh enough to prevent him from taking his own life. The Doctor comforts her, saying, “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”

I think this is a terrific illustration of what the Wheel of Fortune tells us. The great wheel of life turns and turns; sometimes, we’re on the upswing and all is wonderful, and then but a turn later, we’re sliding down and out of control. I also considered a very similar quote (also from Matt Smith’s Doctor) from one of the Christmas episodes that says more or less the same thing: “Because every time you see them happy you remember how sad they’re going to be. And it breaks your heart. Because what’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later. The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.”

The Wheel of Fortune speaks to the cycles of life, and of turning points, and of giving in to the things that are largely out of your control. It reminds you that neither the good times nor the bad times last forever, so enjoy the good times while they last and if you’re being crushed under the weight of fortune’s great wheel, hang on – the upswing is coming around again.

As a Chariot sort of girl who likes to be in the drivers’ seat, I find the Wheel of Fortune oddly comforting. Handing over control and trusting in the great cycles of life can be a relief and a welcome break from always struggling for control. Which of the major arcana do you find comforting?

The next stop on our #22DoctorWhoTarotQuotes adventure is Justice, and we’ll step away from the TV show and into the deep well of audio books for that quote!

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