Friday, March 23, 2012

My Favorite Majors: The Wheel of Fortune

Conceptually, the Wheel of Fortune is certainly an interesting card, and one that has really kind of evolved in meaning for me over time - or, I suppose, expanded in meaning to be more precise. At one time I thought of it as primarily a counterpoint to Justice - sometimes things happen because its fair, and sometimes things are random and just happen and fairness or rightness or balance has nothing to do with it. For a while I thought of this card as being about things that are larger than you, out of your hands, limited control of. Later the idea of cycles, the spinning aspect really came into it. So yeah, a lot more nuanced than it appears. The takes on this card really do tend to vary between decks, and especially between traditions...some more interesting than others, suggesting or emphasizing different conceptual aspects... It was a mix of that and the aesthetic informing my favorites choices for this card.

X. Wheel of Fortune

What can I say? I like the TdM tradition take on the Wheel - nice and simple and gets the point across without too much fuss. At the same time, de la Rea art style specifically is just so PRETTY. Those masks...there is just something about the idea and the execution of those masked figures for everything in this deck that really appeals to me. The most familiar aspects are still there, and quite clear: the regal figure at the top, the rapid like one, hopping forward, and the falling how their capes vary and move here also. The colors are really nice and just...yeah. I guess this was mostly an aesthetic appeal choice for me. I love the look of this card and it gets the point across nicely and so favorite it is indeed.

Runner Up:
So I realize that I have a definite preference for having an actual WHEEL in the Wheel of Fortune card...some  decks (Druidcraft and Victorian Romantic come to mind) forego that and focus more on the concept behind it, which is fine and good and interesting food for thought but...I like to see me a wheel. Here, I especially like the two dragons-serpents, one white and one red - which is itself very tied to the alchemical aspects of the deck - eating each other's tails. I have an particular liking for the ouroboros concept (to the point of having recently gotten a tattoo of an ouroboros-based design) and this isn't quite that but very related: things interconnecting, the end is a beginning etc. and yeah. The one on the top with wings and a crown, the one below without...same idea, cycles, rise and fall, but presented a bit differently which is always interesting. Having all four elements surrounding them in the corners is nice too - it ties together the alchemy theme, again, as it proceeds through all the majors, but to me it also ties in all four suits of the minors, shows the inter-related nature of everything in the world and just...appropriate to the card. Also, I like Robert Place's art style quite a lot, and find this card quite nice to look at too. ;]


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