Atu X: Fortune
Letter: כ Kaph (K), ך Kaph Final
Number: 20, 500F
Proximity: Sephira #4 (Chesed) to Sephira #7 (Netzach)
Pent #21 “Fulfilled Desire”– Earth of 兌 (Tui) The Joyous, Lake (Above/Below)
Earth of 離(Li) The Clinging, Fire (Without/Within)
Berashith: “Elohim saw that it was good”
(Upper right) Fire: Hex #38: 睽 (K’uei) Opposition
(Lower left) Air: Hex #37: 家人 (Chia Jȇn) The Family / Clan
(Upper left) Water: Hex #40: 解 (Hsieh) Deliverance
(Lower right) Earth: Hex #39: 蹇 (Chien) Obstruction
Keywords (Dignified): Change, Luck, Fate, Karma, Dharma, Cycles, Seasons, Opportunity, Aspirations, Challenges, Conflict, Danger, Reciprocity, Cause-and-Effect, Industry, Mechanism, Negotiation, Balance, Attachments
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Stagnation, Misfortune, Gridlock, Blockades, Imbalance, Despair, Loss, Hopelessness, Horror
Historical: At some point in history, the winged, feminine form of Fortuna, became a sphinx, in so-called Egyptian tarots. She is said to be the same female on the Lovers, the Chariot, and Justice, in the oldest decks, such as the Visconti-Sforza pack. She is the one who has unmade the most powerful, and she cares nothing for worship. Figures surround the wheel, indicating the cyclical nature of fortune, summarized in the axiom “As the wheel rises, so must it fall.” More importantly, the one at the top of the wheel is depicted as a Christ-like child, a possible warning to Christianity, which is sharply declining today in The United States of America. Indeed, a hint to this is found in the work of Giulio Ferrario, who states that the fourth figure, about to rise in the place of the child-like figure, says, in a monologue with Fortuna, “I shall reign, if Fortune pleases, and the wheel turns to the fourth place. I shall be above and rule all the world. How great my pleasure then! Virtue moves me to speak such words, because I plan to do justice and punish those who have maliciously robbed the men of good estate. What joy I shall have to be able to punish them!” (Giulio Ferrario, Poesie Pastorali e Rusticali: Alcune Poesie Inedite del Saviozzo et di altri autori, 1808) This curse against the status quo of the time echoes the future culling doctrine of modern Satanism, and the left-hand path.
Golden Dawn: Called the Wheel of Fortune Lord of the Forces of Life, the the Wheel of Fortune card corresponds to the planetary Jupiter and places between Sephira #4 (Chesed) and Sephira #7 (Netzach) in the Golden Dawn system.
The Golden Dawn grew up amidst a time when popular culture was fascinated with Egyptian culture. It’s no surprise to find the sphinx on this and other cards, such as the Chariot. The wheel itself is always present, but the four animals to the corners are not universal. The name of Ezekiel is often present, in reference to Ezekiel’s role in coordinating the fall of Jerusalem with Ha’shem.
Thoth: Stating that it is believed to be ruled by Jupiter “Greater Fortune” Crowley explains that Jupiter is not good luck, but luck itself. The wheel itself is the Sephiroth in spoked form, amidst an ever changing universe. He calls attention to the revolving nature of the Indian Gunas, and compares them to the alchemical qualities of sulphur, salt and mercury. The sphinx on top of the wheel in Fortune in Thoth represents sulphur, exalted. Hermanubis is to the left and represents Mercury, while Typhon to the right represents Salt. The lightning bolts in the scene are attributed to the destructive Siva (who was once called Rudra and is associated with storms.)
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: The hexagrams, on Fortune, form a consecutive fluke, with #37, 38, 39, and 40. Starting with Opposition in the position of Fire, The Family in the position of Air, Obstruction in the position of Earth, and (following the East Asian chronology of the elemental hierarchy,) Deliverance in the position of Water, we get the image of sexual tension, followed by success being tied to “the perseverance of the woman,” in The Family, and pregnancy, followed by birth. This equates Fortune to the reproductive cycle, and pairs well with its classical alchemical traits. It also informs us that the nature of Fortune’s fickleness is connected to Love, and Life in general. Given that #37 and #38 are out of order we also get the idea of a kind of back and forth motion inferring the wheel isn’t bound to spinning one way. These mysteries are but a small sampling of the hundreds of curious insights The Mutational Alchemy Tarot has to offer for the intrepid occultist. We have not begun to scratch the surface of these mysteries.
The Pentagram’s Earth of Fire and Earth of Lake signifies the “Awakening of the Eld of the All-Father,” oft repeated by Aleister Crowley, as a key to the mysteries of the cthonic gods. In the Lo Shu we have a suitable All-Mother, and in the binary Trigrams we have a suitable All-Father to represent cosmic union. Here the sphinx are decorations, but wholly reinforce all of these ideas and more – they are the representatives of the Nu Aeon moving towards Hrumachis, reputedly an epithet for Lady Ma’at, Justice.
The Scene: The Lo Shu square is used in Feng Shui as the template for arranging Earth, in coordination with Heaven, to increase fortune. The arrangement of hexagrams in the “ba gua” style format is different from that which is usually used by Feng Shui masters. It is the essence, or shorthand version, of the P’an Ku movement, or descending heaven arrangement, which is also illustrated in more complex, yet essentially identical 64-hexagram format, on the Tree of Life.
The sphinx is present, the upper has a body of a cheetah, the lower the body of a lion. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, demonstrating fortune as something that is relative to the situation.