|The Goddess Fortuna
A Rite to Fortuna
By Caroline Wise
Isis of the Thames Lyceum
This was inspired by my 2008 workshop organised by Laura Janesdaughter in
Los Angeles in September 2008. I had been asked by the Pagan Federation to open their Annual London conference the week after
I returned from the USA. I had one of those rare blockages, an absolute blank as to what I would do, but this guided rite
came to me when I was with Laura and it was inspired by the work she does in LA.
Three veiled FOI priestesses dressed as three aspects of the Goddess Fortuna, carrying her emblems.
We set up a simple shrine, with tarot cards pinned to the front of the altar cloth the in a wheel design. I led the audience
to Fortuna’s Temple. We had placed a French divinatory card face-down on each chair for them to turn over after this
I have obviously changed the season
and astrological sign below. It can, of course, be adapted for any time.
rite is to help us to see where we are in the scheme of things, and what we may be doing to ‘put a spoke in the wheel’
and obstruct our own progress. It helps us see the passing of time. Are we wasting it, are we pacing ourselves? Are we doing
too much and therefore not appreciating life? Fortuna asks us what we want, and how we may realistically get there. Will we
work with her so she can work with us?
very popular in the Roman world, for obvious reasons, from the rulers to the slaves. She had a large temple in Rome. Some
of her temples were round, perched on high places with steps leading up. They would have a horseshoe shaped altar –
perhaps this is why horseshoes became symbols of good luck.
has many aspects and titles. We are attuning to three of them below.
The Guided Meditation Rite
body, do deep rhythmic breathing. Let the frustrations of your journey, worries you may have, slip away as much as possible.
The sounds of the room, the sounds from outside, will cases to be intrusive. Enter the inner world, where the wisdom lies.
|Tarot Trump X Illustration by Pamela Colman Smith
|The Wheel of Fortune, Major Arcana, Ryder-Waite-Colman deck.
Visualise the wheel of the year turning through
the seasons until it gets to Beltane. See before you the steps leading to a round shrine. Fortuna’s shrine. You climb
timeworn steps to a round, cool, quartz-veined granite chamber. The signs of the Zodiac are etched onto the wall. A wheel
design is on the floor, its spokes dividing the space into sections. There is an aperture around the top of the chamber
as a source of light. You see the light move around from each section of the wheel, until it reaches the portion you stand
in. As you are bathed in light, you see the wall in this section lights up on the horned sign of Taurus.
Sit in this lighted section of the wheel, and feel the sun warm
you. The year is turning; the sun is rising in its power as we enter the time of Taurus, with the trees now fully green, the
flowers opening and the bees buzzing as they gather the pollen for the summer honey. The corn shoots reaching up to the sun.
Feel the earth and solar energies rising through the natural world. We are heading towards the summer.
Feel the power of the Great Wheel as it slowly turns on its eternal path.
Visualise its passage through the seasons, the Zodiac signs, and the stations of your life. See the sun rising and setting,
the moon growing and waning, riding across the sky. Do not dwell on negative times, acknowledge them, they are past, they
have helped to form you – let them pass. No regrets. Smile as you remember the good times. Fortune’s wheel moves
Where do you want to be this time next year
when the wheel passes this point once more? Do you want to stay in the same place, as another year passes, or move forward
as she turns the Great Wheel? Will you take a chance, a leap, like the fool in the tarot? Visualise yourself and your situation
as you would like to be a year from today. Be realistic but positive.
Fortuna, She Who Turns the Year, ROTA.
And so the
Great Wheel Turns…
Three veiled priestesses
appear. One holds a wooden wheel, one a rudder, and one a Cornucopia dripping with fruit, flowers and corn.
Acknowledge Fortuna of the Rudder
Hear the voice of the Priestess: We invoke Fortuna, She who steers
destiny as the Great Wheel turns: is your hand on the rudder with Fortuna’s, or do you allow yourself to be tossed by
the winds and the waves? Do you grab good luck and opportunity and build on them, or do you let it slip past? How will you
steer yourself positively towards your goals as the year turns? Will you place your hand in her’s on the rudder on the
passage towards your goals? Think on this as the Great wheel turns…
you steering your life or are circumstances steering you? Do not feel any guilt or blame or self-doubt, just accept, and affirm
and go forward with the flow.
As the Great Wheel turns, think
of the bounty you have received this year, what you have enjoyed and learned, and what you want to blossom and grow as the
year turns again? Have you appreciated it, was your glass half full? Does your attitude stop you receiving in joy? Think of
what gifts you have given to others, what luck you have bestowed, and what changes Fortune can bestow on you.
Do you give too much to others? Why? What harvest would you
like to reap when the Great Wheel reaches the autumn?
Now acknowledge Fortuna ROTA, of the Wheel
She spins it on her finger, faster and faster until it is a blur.
Feel yourself at the centre, calm, anchored, and visualise what you have chosen for the year ahead, reach out and draw the
energy of that moment into you from the spinning wheel. Draw your hand to your heart, see the wheel slow.
And now you give thanks to Fortuna, and leave her temple. When you
are back, draw a tarot card, or the Yi King, or your favoured divinatory oracle. Take note, there are no negative meanings,
just advice and guidance from Fortuna.
About the Author: Caroline Wise has been a member of the Fellowship of Isis for 21 years. She is Priestess,
Hierophant, ArchDruidess, Grand Dame Commander, Solar Alchemist and member of the ArchPriesthood Union, ArchDruid Union and
Grand Commander Union within the FOI, and a Priestess in the Temple of Isis, Geyserville, California. She helped to found
several lyceums, groves and priories within the Fellowship. Caroline organized the first FOI Convention which took place in
London in September of 1990. She has been active in the esoteric community for many years. Her research on the Goddess
Elen is due to come out in book form later this year. Caroline is a regularly featured contributor in the Mirror of Isis.
She is a member of the Star of Elen Advisory Board, the Circle of Isis Advisory Board and a founding member of the Muses