The Chariot Tarot Card
The Chariot Meaning
Governed by number seven (Uranus), the Chariot is a card of pure connection of opposites, masculine and feminine, the Sun and the Moon, our father and our mother and in its manifestation Leo and Aquarius. It is widely connected to the myth of Helios who rode his fiery carriage across the sky until falling in his rising dominance and too much speed. In addition, it typically gives contact with the sign of Cancer, the feminine and motherly, and the Holy Grail found on the degree of Jupiter's exaltation where all knowledge is found. This is a complicated symbol to interpret, mostly showing guidance towards higher knowledge and spheres we typically aren’t aware of, and shows that things we wish to learn about are of the essence for our spiritual growth. Although driven by a man, the Chariot itself is neither masculine nor feminine but asexual, referring to the pure contact of souls that has little to do with physical touch and instincts, and much more to do with the higher purpose, shared paths, ideals and directions meant to widen our horizons and perspectives. The core of faith's calling, this isn’t an easy place to reach for, but it gets us in touch with knowledge of life itself and the essence of connections we make through pure act of creativity where there's no stagnation, only natural human movement and the flow of awareness.
Rising towards the essence of each individual's emotional path, the card of the Chariot is not necessarily a symbol of contact with another person in a way we typically seek manifestation. It speaks of tender but platonic bonds, of shared missions and lessons we are to learn through contacts we wish to clarify. If the relationship already began and has its roots in the physical world, it is a wonderful card to show up, for it shows that the purpose of the bond won’t soon be lost and beliefs and motivation in life are shared to reach similar points of awareness and understanding. On the other hand, it requires alone time and enough room for clear and solid boundaries to keep us safe from any unhealthy or toxic connections that distance us from our personal path of light.
Innovative solutions down the road, large collective efforts and teamwork made purposeful with the right guidance, the Chariot is an excellent friend and colleague that might be around then fade, only to return again in the time of crisis. A positive influence when risky matters are to attend to, and in fields of expertise that require risk in general, it supports pilots, those in flight control, the stock market, astrologers, shamans, and everyone on the path of helping others through their own personal growth. Still, it is important to keep in mind that it seeks absolute commitment to the greater purpose, and us to act in accordance to our true talents and strengths, shedding self-doubt somewhere along the way as skin that no longer protects us.
Depending on our readiness for certain responsibilities we are carrying on our shoulders, in a health layout this card might show that we are pushing ourselves over our physical limits. It asks for a healthy routine and our body strong so our ideas and our mind can be free to manifest what they come up with. Typically, it will show our stamina and strength, but might point out to high fevers and immunity drops that come out of lack of balance with the sensitive side to our physiology that needs rest and nurturing. In a negative setting it might point to headaches, neural problems and chronic conditions that immobilize us when we wish to move the most, reminding us of the pace we are to hold on to because we are limited by our understanding of the importance of our own physical existence. To break the barriers of the body, we must listen to our own physiology, make it our ally.
The Chariot Reversed
When the Chariot is reversed, its connection to the fall of Helios in great flames is a risk to think of. Apart from pointing out that ego prevailed over heart and that balance has been disturbed deeply by our seemingly rational choices, it shows that we have turned our back on our sensitivity or cast it aside to reach for positions of power, status, or success. This position won’t allow vanity or shallow waters, threatening our creation to burn in flames because we are trying to fit other people's expectations, social norms, or be a grown up when we simply need to be honest with our heart. It requires rest, meditation and getting in touch with our deepest core of emotion before making any new moves.
The Chariot Time Line
Past - A card of triumph, the Chariot speaks of the position we have been given with trust and reached by hard work in the past. It is the point of our dominance, personal power and lack of self-doubt, and shows that some of our decisions have been made out of pure willpower and risen awareness when we were spontaneous and in the flow with life. It is proof that we did well and shows that things we might question today weren’t really to be questioned in the first place, pointing us to look into the future for resolutions instead of seeking guilt, shame and mistakes we once made. It is a good friend that sets us free from negative views on Self, and points out the importance of the inner child that brought us where we are today in its fiery, active, healthy spontaneous glow.
Present - Showing the power of will and our ability to rise from our obstacles, the Chariot carries us in the right direction quickly and without hesitation. It speaks of the state of mind that is clear and uninhibited, of positions we might acquire, and the knowledge we are currently gathering even if we aren’t fully aware of it every step of the way. It might point to ego troubles that hold us back, as well as show the frailty of our situation if we don’t have a strong stamina and initiative to rise high for the right cause. The only thing to ask ourselves on this path is if we are doing what we are for the greater cause we deeply believe in.
Future - The healthy rising of Self, of confidence and strength, creative powers of the mind, as well as loads of movement needed to make great achievements on our path towards fulfillment, the Chariot is best situated in the reading for our future. In a way, it gives us freedom for hasty, childlike moves, and while it might be a warning sign for our chosen steps, it reassures us that no matter how many hasty mistakes we make, we will be on the right path towards the Holy Grail of knowledge. Giving us wings to enjoy life whatever it might bring, it sets us free from the burden of daily restrictions and opens doors for new adventures.
The Chariot History
In its first depictions, this card has been represented with horses and sphynxes in contrast with one another, pulling on an authority figure that is calm and in control. A lot of movement has been added over time, and even the animals that guide the leading figure have started running and charging forwards, although they have been still in the past. In Thoth Tarot, the leader controls four animals, all pointing out the importance of Saturn, structure, and self-control needed to reach the point of stability to carry out Uranus as the light of idea and our own higher consciousness. It was emphasized over time that it is the force of protection rather than aggression, and in final observation, speaks of the primal opposition of movement and rest that needs to be in balance for personal growth.