Fortunes Wheelhouse podcast final episode

Update from the Wheelhouse:

Hello everybody. We have arrived at a major threshold in our journey together. If you are on the Fortune’s Wheelhouse Academy Facebook page, you may have already heard the news that we have decided the podcast has come to the end of its natural lifespan. The last episode was recorded this past full moon, fittingly, and will be released on the Equinox, 9/22/2021.

After we completed the 78 cards, plus the planetary, numeric, zodiacal, and elemental series, we spent some time trying to decide whether there was another system it made sense to take on, and ultimately we concluded there was not.  And for each of us to continue growing and creating in the tarot world, we needed to reclaim the time demanded by the podcast.So we decided to record one final episode. (I’d thought jokingly of going out with a bang and doing an all-phallic-symbols episode, which would have been fun.) But in the end we thought, why not do readings for each other? We’ve read for many of you patrons over the years. But neither of us gets readings for ourselves very often.  So giving the gift of divination to each other seemed like a fitting end to this 4-year adventure.

Going forward, all 120 episodes of the podcast will remain freely available on all podcast streaming services, for anyone to refer to whenever they like. Our books and decks will still be out there. You’ll still be able to find me here at tabulamundi.com and Susie at tsusanchang.com.  You’ll still be able to buy Fortune’s Wheelhouse merchandise at our RedBubble store, which is at www.redbubble.com/people/wheelhouse93/shop, and this will help fund the fees for keeping the podcast episodes still available to all. And everyone is still free to join the FWA group on Facebook.

Thank you to the over 300 of you who supported the journey with patronage via our Fortunes Wheelhouse Patreon page, for being our heroes of the astral world, and thank you to all who came along for a listen. After all, a podcast only exists for its listeners. By going on this journey through esoteric tarot with us and sharing it with others and incorporating it into your own praxis, you complete the circuit of knowledge Fortune’s Wheelhouse represents.  As above, so below.  As within, so without.

At the end of this episode, there will be some final notes on what each of us is up to. But for now, enjoy this last ride on the Wheel as we invite you enter into the draw with us.

Virgo 3: third decan of Virgo, Ten of Disks

magical image of the decan per Crowley’s 777: An old man leaning on a staff and wrapped in a mantle

Mercury rules both the sign and the decan. The related deities are Cronus and Hestia.

10 of Disks/Pentacles ©2021 M.M. Meleen

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Virgo 2: second decan of Virgo, Nine of Disks

magical image of the decan per Crowley’s 777: Tall, fair, large man, with him a woman holding a large black oil jar

The Nine of Disks/Pentacles is the secand decan of Virgo. Virgo is Mercury ruled and the decan is ruled by Venus

9 of Disks/Pentacles ©2021 M.M. Meleen

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Virgo 1: first decan of Virgo, Eight of Disks

per 777: A virgin clad in linen, with an apple or pomegranate

The 8 of Disks or Pentacles is also known as the Lord of Prudence. The ruler of Virgo and 8’s is Mercury, ruler of the first decan of Virgo is the Sun.

8 of Disks/Pentacles ©2021 M.M. Meleen

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Leo 2: second decan of Leo, Six of Wands

The tarot Six of Wands is the Lord of Victory, the succedent or middle decan of the fixed Fire sign Leo. 777 describes the decan image as “A man crowned with a white myrtle wreath, holding a bow“.

The Picatrix decan description is similar, with the additional detail that this is a man who will mount and ride [a horse].

36 Airs of the Zodiac give the related deity as Isis, the goddess who wears a crown that has what looks like the pictogram of a figure seated on a throne. It is shown here in the card on the hill in the distance that the figure rides towards.

Six of Wands, Lord of Victory ©2021 M.M. Meleen

Leo I: first decan of Leo, Five of Wands

Per 777: A man in sordid raiment, with him a nobleman on horseback. accompanied by bears and dogs

Deity per 36 Airs of the Zodiac: Hephaestus

A complicated image for the Five of Wands, the Lord of Strife (and striving). An image that suggests the hunt.

The 777 description is likely loosely based on the Picatrix description: A man dressed in filthy garments; and there ascends with him the figure of a lord of the horse looking toward the north; and his figure is like the figure of a bear and the figure of a dog. And this is a face of strength, liberality, and victory.

Sort of bleeds into the 6 of Wands, Victory. if you ask me. Working on that one now!

Both Agrippa and Bruno have a figure riding a lion. I did incorporate the lion (Lion-Serpent) for Leo into the design, but enclosed in a pentagram, and netted – as Saturn, the planet of restriction and pressure, rules the decan.

Five of Wands. Copyright M.M. Meleen© 2021

Per 777: A man in sordid raiment, with him a nobleman on horseback. accompanied by bears and dogs

Cancer 3: third decan of Cancer, Four of Cups

Per 777, the decan for the Four of Cups (Luxury, or Blended Pleasure): A swift-footed person, with a viper in his hand, leading dogs. Except for the male pronoun, it sounds a lot like the huntress lunar goddess Artemis, who was swift and often accompanied by dogs. Her lunar connotations make a lot of sense for Cancer, ruled by the Moon, and the decan itself ruled by the Moon. So this figure had an Artemis inspiration, and is shown running along the seashore with two dogs that will probably be colored black as a nod to Hecate and Anubis, also associated with the decan.

Some of the other decan source image descriptions also mention hunting, dogs, and running. The 36 Airs fragmentary text gives the decan to Hecate, triple faced lunar goddess who also is associated with dogs, Ibn Ezra mentions Anubis, and the Egyptian god of the decan is serpentine Typhon or the somewhat canine Set. In this image the faces in the Moon represent Hecate.

The figure carries a lunar horn-shaped drinking cup, while the dogs each bear a cup as well however precariously. The fourth cup is spilling out – no one has the need for it or an additional hand to carry it! After all, a fourth cup would be both a luxury and a restrictive burden. Two figures look behind, one ahead. The pleasure is blended with the knowledge that stasis is impossible!

Four of Cups, ©2021 M.M. Meleen

Cancer 2: second decan of Cancer, Three of Cups

This was a fun image to work with. Crowley’s 777 lists the decan image as: A beautiful woman wreathed with myrtle. She holds a lyre and sings of love and gladness.

The tarot Three of Cups, Lord of Abundance, is the middle decan of Cancer, Cancer ruled by the Moon, with the decan itself ruled by Mercury (though the Vedic tradition has it as Mars – which is perhaps a hint as to why 36 Airs of the Zodiac attributes it to Hercules, who doesn’t fit well with the cards meaning unless you ponder Hercules/Herakles’ connection to Hera.)

The woman here was inspired by the goddess Saraswati, who has many Mercury-like attributes. Saraswati normally holds an instrument called a veena which is in the same family as the lyre. Here she holds a lyre as she sings “of love and gladness” and toasts with three different ornate chalices. The peacock is a bird sacred to both Saraswati and Hera.

Three of Cups. ©2021 M.M. Meleen

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Cancer 1: first decan of Cancer, Two of Cups

The Two of Cups is also called the Lord of Love. At first, I found the decan image listed in 777 (which appears to be loosely based on the Picatrix images) a bit perplexing for a card of Love. 777 lists it as “A man with distorted face and hands, a horse’s body, white feet, and a girdle of leaves“. Picatrix lists it as “A man having twisted and crooked fingers and head, and his body is like the body of a horse, and having white feet and upon his body fig leaves. And this is a face of teaching, knowledge, of love, subtlety, and of skills.” Thinking about this made me see him as a Chiron-like figure. Chiron the Centaur was very learned, and a loving teacher and father-figure to many great heroes whose rearing was entrusted to him in their childhood. You can see the illustrious list of his students in the link, and he formed many loving relationships as he reared and cared for them.

Agrippa’s decan description is different, and fits with the idea of Venus as the decan ruler: “In the first face of Cancer ascendeth the form of a young Virgin, adorned with fine cloathes [clothes], and having a Crown on her head; it giveth acuteness of senses, subtilty of wit, and the love of men.” Likewise Bruno’s description is very Venusian: “In the first face of Cancer is a crowned woman who is luxuriously dressed. She is holding an olive branch in her right hand and a drinking cup in her left hand.

36 Airs of the Zodiac gives an association with Nike, the goddess of Victory who was Zeus’ charioteer. At least the charioteer reference fits for the introduction of the sign of Cancer, whose trump card is the Chariot. Nike however had no consort, and no children. While she could indeed be a crowned virgin, it’s a curious association for the Lord of Love except that she was often paired with Eros, the god of love and child of Aphrodite/Venus, who flew along behind her chariot in the celebrations that followed Victory.

I’ve also included the dolphins “argent and or” (silver and gold in heraldic terms) that are in the traditional Golden Dawn description of the card, and as seen in the Thoth deck, in my Rosetta, and as the lower half of the hippocampi (horse-dolphin hybrids which in consideration of the horse references of the decan image is interesting) of Tabula Mundi. Dolphins are associated with the womb and with the womb’s alchemy. The idea of them as silver and gold are likely a lunar-solar thing, a fertile combination of female and male. Makes some sense with the idea of Cancer and Venus (both feminine and lunar) in the sephira for Twos, Chokmah considered masculine and associated with the Zodiac itself, composed of stars that are after all suns, so solar.

One thing you will notice if you look at the Two of Cups in almost any classic tarot deck is that every one contains some curving twisting sinuous shapes. You can see it in the card from Rider Waite Smith, Thoth, Golden Dawn decks, my own Rosetta and Tabula Mundi, and even many Marseilles deck. Looking at them all together one thing pops out at me – in every one these entwining shapes form a vesica piscis by their intersection. This is very symbolic and intentional, for it not only references the “bladder of a fish” – an indirect reference to the dolphins and the womb – but also form a quite feminine shape, that of a portal through which things are born. Quite appropriate for the maternal sign of Cancer paired with decan ruler Venus, the Empress and mother figure.

So I’ve put both the male centaur-like figure in, as well as the young female figure. Perhaps the bundle she so lovingly holds will someday be entrusted to the wise centaur for rearing. Perhaps she is the vision of love that arises from the alchemical mixing of the fluid in silver and gold cups he holds. I’ve seen this card predict a future pregnancy, before it even happened and was just as they say, a “twinkle in the eye” (which sounds very zodiacal and vesical!) In any event, this card can signify the start of love – and that love can take many forms. It can be romantic love, or the love of a mother for a child, or a mentor for a student, or that higher love where 0 = 2. One becomes Two, or two become one and none.

Two of Cups Lord of Love ©2021 M.M. Meleen

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