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Free Weekly Astrology Class: All About Fortuna in Astrology

Fortuna is an asteroid. Jupiter is her father. In fact, she was his first-born daughter. She is always shown blindfolded, holding a rudder and a gigantic wheel. It is the Wheel of Fortune.

Last week you learned about Diana, one of Jupiter’s daughters. In modern astrology, we use the whole family tree that began with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and the rest. In fact, the Romans would have thought we were stupid not to do so. Astrologers now have software like Solar Fire to help them calculate zodiac sign and house positions for asteroids like Fortuna, so we are free to enrich the vocabulary of meaning we use, rather than being stuck in the 20th century.

Fortuna - Kuntze-KoniczFortuna is an ancient symbol for modern times, known in Shakespeare. This painting by Kuntze-Konicz shows her blindfolded and spinning the world – turning the world.

She is always unable to see what she is doing. This is a symbol for ‘blind control’ in your horoscope. It is a unique asteroid and image, because Fortuna ‘knows not what she does.’ This can either be quite providential and fortunate, or it can take you down, depending on the chart, the sign, the aspects and the transits.

Minerva is seen on the far left of this painting with her head in her hands. All her brilliance, wisdom and strategy is for nothing because her sister has taken charge in her usual random way.

Their father Jupiter is a symbol of optimism, though. Tremendous and constant hope for something bigger and better. So, no matter if Fortuna spins the Wheel of Fortune down, she always brings it up again.

These are very old ideas. Our concept of ‘fortunate’ comes from Fortuna and of course her father Jupiter was known as the greater benefic.

Yet, ill fortune also comes from her. In the Tarot she is the Wheel of Fortune. By sign and house, find her in your chart. This is where you unwittingly and sometimes quite unconsciously control events for other people.

Fortuna was thought to whip up everything from the storm that could ground a ship, to other natural phenomena that spun or turned events. In your chart by transit or natal placement she has a spinning, whirling, random quality. Ups and downs sums it up.

Extract From 2020 Vision

My book  2020 Vision: Your Five-Year Horoscope Guide was published in 2016, four years before COVID-19 took its first life in January 2020. Read down to the final paragraph to see a prediction about Fortuna that month. Remember, she is about ‘fate and fortune’ and has a spinning, random quality.

Fortuna is an asteroid. Jupiter is her father. In fact, she was his first-born daughter. She is always shown blindfolded, holding a rudder and a gigantic wheel. It is the Wheel of Fortune. Tarot readers know it well.

The word fortuna is from the Latin fors, or “luck” and Boethius wrote of the goddess, “I turn about my wheele with speed, and take a pleasure to turne things upside downe. Ascend if thou wilt…”

When Fortuna travels through your horoscope (my website can tell you when) she spins your life around, so that every low is a high in the making, and every high is a low in the making.

Natally, she shows where you unwittingly send other people up and down. You spin them round. You have no idea what you’re doing, although if you know your birth chart Fortuna placement by sign and house, it will help you live more consciously.

One translation for Boethius reads, “It’s my belief that history is a wheel. “Inconsistency is my very essence,” says the wheel. “Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don’t complain when you are cast back down in the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away.”

Fortuna makes philosophers of us. It can also show us how absurd life is. Boethius was the author of a book called Consolations of Philosophy. Fortuna can make comedians of us too. This old goddess teaches us not to take anything too seriously, as life is so ridiculous, that everything moves on, anyway. Life puts you up where you belong, and then drops you from a great height. How ridiculous to be so attached to anything!

Dr. Clayton G. MacKenzie analysed Fortuna in Shakespeare’s plays. A manuscript in the British Library shows Lady Fortuna standing by her wheel. Around her humanity pleads for help but she doesn’t seem to notice them. Four figures sit on the wheel holding scrolls.

At the top is a king with a scroll saying “I reign.” At the bottom is a beggar with a scroll saying “I am without rule.” On the downward slope of the wheel is an outcast courtier, with a scroll saying “I have ruled.” On the upward slope, an ambitious, climbing courtier with a scroll that reads “I shall rule.”

A little rain comes into every life. Fortuna by sign and house shows you where you are blindly in control of the process of Regno, Regnavi, Sum sine Regno, Regnabo (“I rein, I reigned, I am without reign, I shall rein.”) This house of your chart is cyclical. If you have other horoscope factors apart from Fortuna they will tell you the whole story.

Fortuna does not know what she does. She cannot see. By transit, it can feel as if some random, powerful ‘thing’ is spinning our wheel.

As with many asteroids in Mod Astrology, the best source for Fortuna is not an astrology book, at all, but an academic text. The Folger Shakespeare Library published a volume called Fortune to accompany an exhibition on the goddess, which is a great source for astrologers.

Fortuna was traditionally associated with the sea. She is often seen with a steering oar or rudder in one hand and a cornucopia in the other, symbolising success. You see it all over Renaissance art.

Fortuna used to rule the ground floor of the Victoria and Albert museum. I went back to see her recently and the staff had moved her. Fortuna had reigned, but reigned no more. I am sure the next time I meet Lily or Harriet there for tea, Fortuna will be back!

That lovely phrase “kiss the joy as it flies” suits Fortuna in your chart. If she is transiting with a stellium of other heavenly bodies in your horoscope there will be a massive story, full of twists and turns, highs and lows.

If you are going through something absolutely rotten in your life, caused by some outer planet square or opposition (Neptune square Neptune will do it) then Fortuna should cheer you up. You may be all at sea now but soon she will send your boat in the direction of rich rewards, steering you towards abundance. None of it would have happened, had you not been heading for the bottom.

In his massive bestseller (I’m joking) the Dictionarie of the French and English Tongves (1611) a writer named Randall Cotgrave described Fortune as “hap, chaunce, luck, lot, hazard, aduenture; also destinie, fatall necessitie.” She’s fickle.

Astrology itself is a great illustration of Fortuna. The horoscope is your wheel of destiny; fate and fortune are written in the circle. Along come the transits, shown by the spinning wheel of time – and you are thrown up or down.

As Shakespeare wrote, “This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune – often the surfeits of our own behaviour – we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon and the stars, as if we were villains on necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc’d obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on.”

The 1987 Wall Street Crash on October 19th, 1987 saw Fortuna at 17 Virgo, the sign ruling employment, exactly square serious Saturn at 17 Sagittarius, the sign we associate with foreign places and people.

timelapse photography of blue and brown lightWhat happened in New York saw Fortuna spinning her wheel around the world. It affected our jobs everywhere. All you can predict with Fortuna is that life will be unpredictable! As always with the symbols in your horoscope, the best way to understand Fortuna is to gaze at the art. You can pick up a lot of of these pictures at my website.

The “slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune” in Hamlet were terrifying to people centuries ago, who could find a downward spiral did not end in help from a charity, or government assistance. No wonder Shakespeare and his fans were obsessed with Fortuna.

Christians believed the best way to avoid those slings and arrows, was to live a life of poverty, with no ambition, power or pride to tempt you. That way you could escape from the gigantic wheel. Moderation in everything! No social climbing!

This is a long way to peer into the future, as we publish this book in 2016, but I wondered what part Fortuna might play in the big Capricorn stellium of 2020. You find her in your software, by looking for a tiny wheel symbol, even though Fortuna can have big impact.

She is there on the 1st of January 2020 at 8 Capricorn, exactly alongside the True South Node of karma at 8 Capricorn. Read more in the chapter, Here Comes 2020.

 

Feature Image Credit: Xuan Nguyen

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Free Weekly Astrology Class: All About Fortuna in Astrology

  1. Hi Jessica, thank you again for your insights. I have 4 factors in Capricorn with Fortuna at 22 in Capricorn, Minerva at 11 in Capricorn and Diana at 21 in Aquarius. How do you see these placements affect my life personally and how does it affect others based on my chart. In my profession, I am in a role that is involved with business transformations which could impact people based on changes that need to be made. Is this the type of area that Fortuna in Capricorn can affect others based on your views/actions – which of course is not done blindly but could be done subconsciously without a level of awareness of how lives are affected. Personally, I would like to see how this affects my career/life chart. I experienced a high in 2017 and a sudden end to my career as I retired. I have been consulting since 2019 and have embarked on my second career path for the next decade. Appreciate your insights during this phase.

    • You will be working sporadically, temporarily and in tune with the times in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and will never be bored. I’ve answered some of your other questions in other comments, from memory…

  2. This is an interesting post thank you Jessica. I am learning that life is much more random and less under our control than we think, and our Fortuna has a part in all of that.

    In my own chart, I am curious, because there are other plants of the same degree as Fortuna.

    Fortuna in Taurus – 9 degrees
    Mercury in Cap – 9 degrees
    Mars in Aquarius – 9 degrees
    Uranus in Virgo – 9 degrees

    I believe the Fortuna in Taurus and Uranus in Virgo makes a trine – but beyond that how do the other factors play into this? Thanks for your guidance!

    • You are living Fortuna, actually, and the trine to Uranus lends your life a random, spinning quality on a regular basis. Uranus is about the world turning upside-down and Fortuna is about the known world spinning us around. Friends and groups will often be at the heart of it as you have Mars in Aquarius in the Eleventh House. Money, charity, houses, business, apartments or possessions are also tied in, because Fortuna herself is in your Second House, and with Virgo and Capricorn both featuring, you would find that work is also part of the story. It would not be there all the time, but sporadically, but as Uranus is circling 9 Taurus for the first time in your adult life, and Jupiter will go to 9 Aquarius after Saturn goes to 9 Aquarius, there is a big story here about how unpredictable life can be, and how much a part of other people’s random destiny you actually are. This has Rona written all over it, as the situation is so hard to judge or control and it is bigger than all of us. There is a lot of freedom and independence here, though. In fact you could say that for all the uncertainty and the radical change, you will set yourself and others quite free.

  3. I love these weekly lessons because I learn so much more about astrology and In particular I understand your other articles better. I always test what you write – I try to see how the asteroids show up in mine and my children’s charts. And you’re correct, the people’s fortunes And fates whom I have undoubtedly blindly Impacted have been Capricorn’s. And funnily enough Fortuna is in my tenth house I believe and Fortuna has impacted areas of career and health. Jessica would you say Fortuna is more about balance or karma? I always associated her more with luck but I don’t think this is correct anymore.

    • Thank you, I am glad you like the weekly classes. I began them when COVID-19 first began keeping us all at home in March and as there is so much to learn (and as hibernation is a way of life) I will continue them. I’m glad you test the astrology too. Fortuna is a benefic like her father (who was The Greater Benefic, Jupiter) and she was always shown with a rudder, steering the ship of fate, blindfolded. She is about good fortune as a given! We always end up helping others go higher, and get back/get up where they belong. Yet we never know what we do. In your Tenth House, this happens for you professionally. You sometimes see teachers with Fortuna in Capricorn and years later they run into their former pupils who tell them, they changed their lives. And they never knew.

  4. Dear Jessica,
    Thank you for offering another insightful article. I was just wondering if it may be at all possible to ask, I am applying for a pension but have been asked to confirm the process today which had been submitted in April. I’m not sure what to do as I feel quite foggy in my mind. Would there be anything in the charts to be of concern at all?
    Thank you very much for your consideration of this message it is much appreciated and I look forward to hearing from you with any information of support or guidance you may wish to offer.
    Take care
    Kindest regards
    Bea

    • You are applying for a pension and should just read the fine print, Bea, as Mercury Retrograde is with us and it helps to be sure of what is actually on paper. Mercury is of course the planet of paperwork, technology, computers, telephones and planning so as he is at a standstill and also reversing and repeating until the end of July you may want to double check more than usual. For example, check the spam filter on your email if you are puzzled by any delays.

  5. Hi Jessica,
    I have Fortuna in Sagittarius at 6 degrees in my chart, could you let me know the significance of this please? Thank you so much.

    • You are often a teacher, mentor, guide or guru for other people, either because of a formal role, or a casual role, where you find yourself being the source of knowledge. There is a cultural, regional or foreign language gap a lot of the time and you pass on what you know. It’s not there constantly but it’s triggered often enough that you are shaped by it. You have no idea how much you spin the wheel of fate and fortune for those you educate, though. You’re probably quite unaware of what impact you have had. There will be one of those moments again when the South Node goes to 6 Sagittarius, for the first time in about 19 years.

  6. Thanks Jessica. I have Jupiter (22 Aries) sextile Fortuna (22 Gemini) – any insight on how this might play out? (Jupiter also squares Saturn at this point).

  7. Hi Jessica

    Thank you for the astrology lessons! I am wondering about Fortuna retrograde in the natal chart. I have Fortuna exact 29 Leo with my NN and retrograde. Is it my destiny to spin the wheel lol I also love gambling. Thanks in advance for your insight.

    • It’s a pleasure. You love gambling? That is interesting. Leo rules children, teenagers and younger people (old enough to be your children) so I wonder if they are connected. If not, it has nothing to do with Fortuna at all but is an expression of your Chiron in Taurus in the Second House of money as Chiron reveals what you can get away with, and where you like to take risks and experiment. Fortuna is much more to do with the world of pregnancies, infants, schoolchildren, adolescents and Generation Y and Millennials. Fortuna here with your Node can be intensely personal, so having a baby (or not having a baby) can alter other people’s entire lives without you realising the impact you have actually had on them. Any paid or unpaid efforts involving younger people are also a good example of how you can be quite unaware of the massive influence you have. This is karmic in nature and aged around 18-19 you created the first columns in your ife accounts.


 

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