The Bhagavad Gita is a manual on how to navigate through life in a manner that is principled and reflects dharma or righteous living. As humanity, we are all connected, and we form a circle that can nurture each other. At no time has this been more obvious than in the present pandemic. While travel is limited and we have family and friends that are away, we can still dip into the wisdom of the world and see how connected we all are. The Tarot is a thread of connection that ties into our communal consciousness. Let us begin our journey with India. Today we dip into the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Wheel of Fortune is perhaps one of the more Delphian cards in the Tarot, loudly affirming, we are connected and what goes around, comes around. We are bound by the Law of Karma. The Bhagavad Gita is a path to fulfilling your own unique destiny and living in accordance with the laws of Karma. Karma dictates that we each fulfill our duties to the best of our capability and have no expectations in return. When we live a life, where we perform our respective roles with commitment, we contribute to the growth of society and for us individually. When we let go of expectations, we no longer leave ourselves open to sorrow. Anything that comes our way is a bonus and will uplift us.
This card is an amalgamation of symbolism, from Hinduism, Ancient Egypt, Greece, the Bible, and Alchemy, which is so fitting since it shows how truly connected we are!! The Letters on the Wheel read ROTA TARO ORAT TORA ATOR. This means The Wheel (ROTA) of the Tarot (TARO) speaks (ORAT) the Law (TORA) of Hathor (ATOR). Hathor was an Egyptian goddess who in this case personifies divine justice. The Wheel is borne on the back of the Egyptian jackal god of the underworld Anubis. On the Wheel rides the Sphinx from Greek Mythology with a sword, for only she knows when she is ready to cut you off from the wheel. The Serpent from Biblical myth or for that matter Hindu and Eastern Mythology is on its way down to await its rebirth. On the four corners lie the four fixed signs of the zodiac, and the four creatures from the vision of the prophet Ezekiel. The wheel bears alchemical signs that compose life.
What then is the wheel and what is the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita and the law of Hathor? The wheel is the connection of all life and the cyclic change that we go through. It talks about the ups and highs we achieve and the downs we must weather in order to live. The Wheel is set into motion by our deeds, how the wheel turns then, is determined by what we did, and the actions that set the wheel turning are known as Karma.
The Gita says that we are bound to break if we got rolling on the Wheel while living on the rim. Living on the rim means experiencing acutely the joys and sorrows of life. We are all old souls, and we create Karma. There is so much baggage that we can create in one lifetime that the universe in its magnanimity does not really give us the memories of baggage from another lifetime.
As the Philosopher, Locke mentions that when we are born we are Tabula Rasa or clean slate on which we imprint experiences. The Wheel reminds us that we are connected, that life is based on the deeds we do and the connections we make and the Karma we are involved with. To live through this life with peace, we need to learn to live at the hub. Living at the hub means, that no joy sweeps us off our feet, and no sorrow breaks us. When something happens, Good or Bad, we need to remind ourselves that- “This too shall pass!” The phrase “This too shall pass” is popular in Hindu Philosophy.
It has been said that someone once asked Krishna to mention one phrase which could fit any situation in life and this was his key phrase. And what a glorious saying it is- There is no sorrow that will stay forever, and no joy that can hold on. Whether you will a situation to stay or move the only thing inevitable is change and we shall all move. How shall we live at the hub? The Gita asks us to do our duties and live in the moment. The past doesn’t matter anymore for it is over. The Future is not in our hands. To live, we need to create and work. What better to do than the duties allocated to us, live in the moment, let go of the past, and hold no expectations of the future, and then constantly remind the ego that we need to live at the hub!!
Further Reading: Mythology & Tarot Through Myth
Images Used on The Site. Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.