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The Wheel of Fortune

Genevieve Barbee-Turner

wheel of fortune

In a town of “all or nothing” like Pittsburgh, there is little time to appreciate nuance in most matters. The court of public opinion is mixed with passion from all possible perspectives.  It feels at times that picking sides is the objective rather than navigating difficult discussions in order to discover beneficial solutions. This is no better reflected than in the extremely sensitive topic of housing costs. And of course it’s a sensitive topic. Shelter is one of our basic needs and maintaining a safe place to live is not afforded to all Pittsburghers equally. 


This city is not alone in this struggle—so while this deck is not about other cities there is much that people from across the United States can likely relate to.
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The Wheel of Fortune is traditionally about hitting it big with Lady Luck—whether that be monetarily or karmically. The card maintains however that all positives must have a negative. Such is the case with finding, maintaining, and/or sustaining a place in “The Most Liveable City.”  The stress imposed by housing costs has left little to cover basic needs for a large population.  Conflict between these groups and those making profits, such as the landlords and sellers, has created problems that have a devastating and rippling effect in communities. 

For some, it is much less expensive to rent or buy a home in Pittsburgh in comparison to other cities.  But, when wages are stagnant, people are forced to save less.  Affordability now becomes nuanced.  Renters in Pittsburgh that are not prepared for rising rental costs suffer.  Homeowners not prepared for higher taxes suffer.  Opportunities to live and remain in these neighborhoods shrink.  

All of this is to say that a rising tide does not lift all boats. Our Wheel of Fortune is the  house that can be someones needed nest egg. Simultaneously, create barriers for many to live or remain in that neighborhood. Getting what you want and at a cost. 

The woman standing there is left ambiguous as to where she lands in this equation. Is the money flowing in or out? 

Bridge Witches’ goal is to get you thinking about people and place. Whether using tarot to put your own concerns into perspective or seeing things represent Pittsburgh in a way you hadn’t though of previously—we want to push people to take a moment to observe, listen, and learn instead of building barriers between each other because we are different.
Our city is more than pierogis and football and our neighborhoods are borderless when it comes to the bigger issues our region faces. Here’s to hoping that we all land on Lady Luck’s good side.

Positive aspects of this card: Good luck, positive energy, positive change, a good turn of events, good coincidence
Negative aspects: Lack of control, bad luck, sense of doom, negative coincidence
Key features: Pittsburgh row houses that have skyrocketed in value (+500% in less than 10 years), fire that cleanses but harms, “luck” in the wind, a women either losing it all or getting as much as she’s able.”


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