© US Games Systems, Inc

“Gay bars, clubs, and discos have long been places of refuge and possibility in queer culture. A chance encounter may reveal the love of your life or end in heartbreak. Partying til dawn may bring euphoria or regret.” – Liz Blackbird ( Pride Tarot Guidebook, © US Games Systems, Inc)

Suggested Archetype: The Roulette Wheel

Life is all about taking chances and dealing with unexpected outcomes. Every day, we experience predictability and luck jumbled together in ways that bring good and bad to us all without any real regard for what is fair or sensible. Roulette, a casino game, means “little wheel” in French. Players may choose to place bets on single number, various groupings of numbers including odd or even, high or low as well as the colors red or black. The Wheel of Fortune is only one of a handful of Major Arcana cards that presents a concept without anthropomorphization.

Primary Symbolism

The disco ball: A disco ball has a mirrored surface composed of hundreds of small facets that reflect directed light to create a glamorous display. One of the best articles exploring where disco balls fit into the modern mythos was written by Emily Colucci in their LGBTQIA+-embracing blog, “Filthy Dreams.” I highly recommend reading it.

The chess board: The black-white checkered pattern of a chessboard is a perfect metaphor for yingyang and the concepts of dualism and polarity being inherent to human kenning of how the universe works. Chess is a game of strategy involving making calculated captures and sacrifices.


The shoes in northwest corner: Glamorous footwear is certainly part of gay culture. The image of simply the shoes and lower legs waiting on a sidewalk open up all manner of possibility. If the four pictures were viewed as scenes of a story that revolved like a wheel, however, this would most likely be the beginning. Those bearer of those shoes is off to have an adventure but not necessarily a happy one. Their fate seems uncertain by intent.

The friends in northeast corner: While the “shoes” depict a solo protagonist who might be taking risks waiting on a street corner for a promising stranger, this group of friends suggests there is safety to be had in numbers. Diverse in appearance, everyone in this section of the card seems to share camaraderie and a sense of group identity. It reminds the reader that some of the best- and most frustrating- experiences in our lives come from our interactions with our Tribe.

The broken bottles in southeast corner: This section represents the risks or consequences to individuals when they make bad choices consistent with the cards overall “nightlife” theme. Such consequences are generally short-term and may not be wholly negative.

The fire in southwest corner: Finally, we reach a cataclysmic conclusion where the outcome to decisions or action have heartbreaking or tragic consequences that could not have been predicted. The fire can be interpreted as metaphor for self-destruction versus the loss of property.

Reading The Wheel Of Fortune (In General)

Upright this card could mean something like:

Reversed this card could mean something like:

The Wheel of Fortune In Questions About Relationships

You as the Wheel Upright: There are a lot of events in motion in your life. Relationships are likely to be transitional and not necessarily what you expect or romanticize about. Be flexible and open-minded towards the needs of others without denying yourself the kinds of intimacy you want to participate in.

You as the Wheel Reversed: Circumstances beyond your or the other person’s control are probably going to interfere in any kind of meaningful relationship for the foreseeable future. Think about the entire situation and everyone involved to try and determine what those obstacles are and what it would take to resolve them.

The Other Person as the Wheel Upright: This person might have a lot going on in their life, especially a lot of chaos or bizarre circumstances. Pay close attention to what they say and do; are they living a lifestyle you genuinely want to participate in?

The Other Person as the Wheel Reversed: Right now, this other person has a lot of obstacles and challenges to face. They might be coming out of a relationship or life event that was very damaging or tragic. Ask yourself if both of you are prepared to be a good support system for one another. If they seem distracted or shy from commitment, be patient and don’t demand more than they want to give.

His success may be great, but be it ever so great the wheel of fortune may turn again and bring him down into the dust. -Gautama Buddha

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