One stands on the ground below the wheel, arms stretched upward toward the heavens. The second hovers at the top of the wheel, arms to his sides, shrouded in light and rising into the heavens. The third small human figure can be seen falling or leaping into a lake or river of fire just beyond the edge of the cliff on which the wheel stands. In the background, white clouds hover over black clouds.
Symbolism: La Rueda represents the ups and downs of life. The gold cloaked Santa Muerte represents earthly fortunes and worldly success, which always seem to come and go with the ups and downs. The wheel has long been a symbol for the cycle of life, and the wheel in this image is made of wood (an Earth element) and is adorned with astrological symbols (symbols of spirit and the energy of the universe). With these characteristics, La Rueda serves as a symbol for the connection that all humans share with each other, and with the universe, as children of Santa Muerte, our Holy Death.
The fact that Santa Muerte has her hand on La Rueda represents her important role in the cycle of life, and serves as a reminder that we too have our hands on the wheel of life and are fully capable of steering our lives in any direction we want.
The small human figure on the ground reaching toward the sky represents the beginning of life, when everything is new and the road ahead is open. The figure at the top of the wheel rising into the heavens with arms outstretched represents adulthood, success, accomplishment, and coming into yourself. The human figure seen falling or leaping into the fire represents the end of life, or the completion of a journey, and the ultimate end that comes to everything we know.
The cliff represents a fork in the road of your life. On the one hand, the cliff represents the end of the road, at the same time, it represents the platform from which you can leap into the next adventure on your life path.
The white clouds in the background represent peace and hope, and the black clouds represent trouble and uncertainty. The fact that the white clouds are pictured over the black clouds, however, symbolizes that peace and hope will eventually triumph over trouble and uncertainty. Together with the symbolism of the rest of the card, the presence of both white clouds and black clouds represents the cycle of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, that we all must walk through.
In a reading upright, this card signifies a turning point in your life, the beginning of something good. Even if times seem troubled and uncertain, have faith that these times will pass and will eventually lead to positive, open roads ahead. Keep a firm hand on your own wheel of life and focus on thoughts and actions that promote positive energy, well being, and the direction you want your life to go.
In reverse, La Rueda represents a time of trouble, uncertainty, and negative energy. If trouble and uncertainty are what lie ahead, as indicated by this card appearing in the "future" position of a reading, remember that you have a hand on your own wheel of life, and you can choose to steer yourself away from the negative and toward the positive. If you give up now, the negativity will consume you, but if you keep pushing, you can be sure to come out better and stronger on the other side.
Purchase your own "Tarot de la Santa Muerte" deck HERE.