On my third day in Egypt we visited the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. It holds the most extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world and was established in 1902. It is a very beautiful old building and quite large. It is walled off and I saw more guards and military there than any of the other places we visited. I was glad that they were so careful to protect the valuable and precious items it houses. On the inside I will say that I was surprised at how run down the building itself was and at the lack of maintenance and order. It was explained to me that they were building a brand new and very magnificent structure and that they were in the process of transferring things from the current building to the new one. We did drive by the new museum building that was under construction while we were there and WOW! It really is magnificent and HUGE. I can’t wait to go back again and see it completed, but I was happy that I got the chance to go through the old one before it is gone. The energy in this building was just fantastic. So many ancient objects with such meaning all in one place. Heaven. I will share a few of my favorite pictures. You could take photos in most places, but you always had to buy an extra ticket to do so. I was blessed to be able to see the artifacts from the Tomb of Tutankhamun that day, but that was the one place where pictures were not allowed even with the extra ticket, so unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of those to share. I will say that if you ever have a chance to see them, it is well worth it.
The card I feel drawn to connect with and discuss for this day is The Wheel of Fortune or just The Wheel. I am using my Nefertari’s Tarot deck for these posts, but today for those less familiar with Tarot, I am also going to include a picture from the more traditional Rider-Waite deck. The symbolism in both cards is relevant. The Wheel has numerous meanings and is one of the most fascinating cards in the deck to me. I could write a novel based on this card alone, so to keep it at least a little simpler for this post, I am just going to discuss a few of them as it relates to Egypt and my museum experience. (At this point I do want to remind people that one of the reasons that I am writing these posts in this way is to help me better connect to the cards through my own experiences. It is my hope that following along will encourage you to apply the Tarot cards to your own life in this way. I just believe that it takes you to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the cards and how they work.)
Generally, The Wheel card is symbolic of fate or destiny and the ups and downs of life. I, as so many other people, have always felt that it was truly my destiny to travel to Egypt and I was coming from a period of my life that was definitely “down.” In contrast, this trip will always be a memory of being on “high.” On a deeper level, the Wheel card has more to do with enlightenment, learning and beginning to understand that all things are connected and part of a greater whole.
In the Wheel from the Nefertari deck, the Great Mother Goddess, Nekhbet arches over and holds the wheel. In the Rider-Waite deck the Sphinx with a sword sits atop. Both images represent the keepers and protectors of knowledge. You find this image of Nekhbet over many of the doorways and arches in Egypt. For me, these images were emblematic of all the guards and security they had in place to protect the precious artifacts and the knowledge of the past that is kept within the walls of the museum.
The figures shown in the corners of the Rider-Waite card are all holding books. This is representative of learning. The figures themselves have many meanings, including associations with the four elements of air, fire, water and earth, as well as one of God’s Choirs of Angels, the Ophanim. Interestingly, these angels are also known as “The Wheels.” In the Nefertari deck the blue lotuses rising up out of the mud are equated with enlightenment. As I moved through the Egyptian Museum, I could not help but be a little overwhelmed with all the amazing relics and the amount of information and history that was available there. I certainly did a lot of learning while I was there! I could have spent days going through the place and was disappointed to only have a few hours.
Some of the other ancient Egyptian symbolism that I would like to point out in these cards, are also shown in a few of the pictures that I shared above. In the Rider-Waite card you see the Sphinx and Anubis, and in the Nefertari card you have the Double Crown of Egypt on the Griffin type figure, which is shown in the photo I took of the statue of Horus. This crown is connected to the Pharaoh and shows his power over both Upper and Lower Egypt and their unification. Note the relevance of the figure in the card, as he has his paws on the two people, holding them down (or together.)
Finally, the Latin characters T A R O, shown around the wheel in the Rider-Waite deck can be combined into a sentence in Latin that relates to the Egyptian Goddess, Hathor in her role as the Goddess of destiny. ROTA TARO ORAT TORA ATOR which means, “The wheel of tarot proclaims the law of Hathor.”
The interconnections of all of this is so interesting to me. There I was in Egypt in the year 2018 looking at these objects which were made as far back as the 31st Century BC and more, and here I am in America discussing their significance in a Tarot deck that was first published in London around 1909. Right around the time that the Egyptian Museum was established. So many interesting links. We are not only connected through our common experiences and qualities, but throughout time and space as well. One of the deeper implications of the Wheel of Fortune card. Thank you so much for reading and may the Fates be kind to you!
Rev. Kennedy Turner is the owner of The Cat's Meow, Tarot and Talismans, LLC in Louisville, Ky. She is a Psychic Medium, Professional Intuitive Tarot Card Reader, and Certified Healing Reiki Practitioner. She also designs and blesses jewelry for use as protective personal talismans and charms, tailored to meet your individual needs.