The Chariot is now the full embodiment of all of the alchemized ingredients of the past, moving forward with tremendous motion. It is depicted by a suit of armor who holds a great disk – the accumulation of the power that has built up thus far. The pull of the chariot embodies our pull forward, whether that be an emotional pull, a spiritual ascent, or a physical longing to be somewhere; with excellent control and tremendous determination.
When you draw The Chariot, it stands to represent your forward motion or “conquest” in life, overcoming the challenges you face with determination and applying your wisdom to whatever new tests you may face. It encourages you to be bold and daring, you have now created enough motion in your life that your projects or aspirations now pull you, and if you let them guide you – you will steer your ship right where you want to be.
The Chariot is all about motion! This card represents the accumulative strength, power and forward motion of all the previous Major Arcana cards combined. In a practical sense, you might think of it like this – after you worked so hard to set up and establish your own motion, whether it be setting up a job, learning a new skill, building a relationship, or really doing anything at all: now this motion has been established and now you are pulled forward by its strength. You don’t have to work so hard to establish the beginning; for the beginning has begun, and your journey is well underway.
Now take this concept and apply it to the four elements. The Chariot can stand for any type of motion, whether it’s physically moving, the flow and feeling of emotions, a strong mental focus, or a spiritual journey; or even potentially all four at once!
In this card we see two sphinx’s pulling forth a chariot with a full suit of armour sitting atop. The armor is holding a great disk which shines with metatron’s cube, among other sacred geometric forms. This holds two sacred meanings, the mysterious and supreme power of the holy grail, and the great power that has been established by the alchemical work which preceded this card.
The armour further symbolizes a necessary protection that comes with great forward motion. This can be both protection for ourselves, and from the outside world. When we have built up momentum, we need to be careful of not derailing our focus and falling off our chariot.
Traditionally, a chariot requires skill, focus and control to be able to drive, especially at high speeds. In a practical sense, this could imply the motion of your latest project, desire or whatever you are creating actively in your life.
Remember, it takes great care along every step to ensure your creations come to fruition smoothly, even when moving at high speeds and accomplishing a great deal of work.
If you’ve been scared to take the first step in something new; this card is a big YES! Boldness is key! The Chariot invites you to step outside of your comfort zone and expand into the unknown, trust that what you learned from your previous experiences will have been the training you needed to help you be successful in the endeavors you face today!
You may also draw upon your self-discipline and self-control when focusing on the tasks in your life. You are the master of your own emotions, mind and reality. The more you practice this, the more smooth the ride on your chariot becomes. It requires true strength to keep a chariot stable; so always do your best to keep your focus and determination strong.
The reversal of The Chariot is a great deal of tension applied to the motion, and thus the motion becomes rigid and inflexible. In this the motion of The Chariot is uncontrollable, going in any which direction without care or sensitivity to the original task or purpose. This state may come to be when we exercise the use of power and lose control; without control the only option remaining appears to crash, or cease our actions and pray the motion slows down and becomes manageable, so that control can be regained and purpose can once again be applied.
In another sense, The Chariot reversed might speak to conflicted feelings about what we really want inside, or a lack of focus to act upon what we really want.
To turn this reversed card upright, one of the biggest aspects will be connecting with your life’s purpose and tapping into the love and divine will of your heart. Whether you have to slow down your chariots motion or not, by tuning in with yourself you will create a natural change in direction that will ultimately settle you in a much more harmonious position in life. It may also indicate the need to change our perspective, if we are running wild or without control, we might need to soften our approach to life and gain some control first before we resume our ascent towards our hearts desires.
The Book of Thoth
The Golden Dawn
The Tarot Handbook