The triumphant seventh trump in the Rider-Waite deck is packed with symbolism representing a personality actively engaged in pursuit of the Great Work. The attributes of the previous six major arcana have been integrated, and the seeker has gained awareness of the personality as a sort of fenced-in area where Universal forces are in motion. Terrestrial and celestial energies are working together to bring about the manifestation of ideas from the subconscious mind. The power of Synergy, defined as the cooperation of two agents to produce a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their separate efforts, resonates in The Chariot.
|Tarot de Marseilles|
The powers of Speech and Language are also closely associated with this card. The buildings and fence in the background represent human adaptation of the natural world, and the fence is a specific reference to language and speech. These constructions suggest accomplishment through a high level of communication. The correct choice of words can be a matter of consideration when The Chariot appears, as can matters of control, safety and refuge.
A person represented by The Chariot in a reading is a caring individual, sensitive to feelings and understanding of all types of human conditions. Psychic ability may also be suggested. This is a dynamic personality with the ability to hold a family or group together.
|Tarot of the Siddhe|
Often The Chariot will refer to a situation in a reading, rather than to a personality. At times this card will mark an accomplishment, refer to a possibility for advancement, or cast a favorable light on moving ahead with a project or idea. The astrological sign associated with The Chariot is Cancer, ruled by the Moon. Accordingly, it is the Warrior Goddesses Athena, Artemis, Diana and Dike who accompany The Chariot, indicating, if well-dignified, a time for great confidence!
But what if the cards surrounding The Chariot are troubled or reversed? A struggle or conflict might be suggested, possibly involving personal safety. There are almost certainly power and control issues in play. There may be momentum working against you. The worst possible scenario is a Chariot careening out of balance and out of control, a life held hostage to movement lacking in direction and devoid of meaning.
Although I didn’t realize it until recently, The Chariot has been my personal card for almost a year. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. This has been a year of motion for forces both around me and within. My job environment, health, finances, happiness, creativity and relationships have all gone through changes and gained momentum in this past year. Some of that has been wonderful and some difficult, but when I look back, it all adds up to one of the most profound years of my life. Tarot has been an anchor of positive energy throughout, a navigational tool of sorts, helping me to remain calm and maintain perspective along the way.
The words of Holly Near, singer/songwriter and political activist, succinctly sum up the spirit of The Chariot, no matter what your age. Addressing a crowd of Baby Boomers earlier this year, referring to a police action on an Occupy! movement encampment, Near issued this stirring challenge to her aging audience: “Get out your canes and your walkers. Get your wheelchairs rolling! Get yourselves out there and put yourselves in between our young people and harms way!” It turned out, as Near tells it, that the police cancelled the 11 p.m. raid that night for fear of inciting a riot, but as one young Occupy! organizer put it, “At 10:45 all these old people showed up. It was awesome!” Apparently some of those folks haven’t been the same since. The Chariot, whether it be about the strength of your personality or a metaphor for a placard-wielding wheelchair warrior, is a card about forces in motion and a sense of purpose. It heralds energetic movement in an enlightened direction, and celebrates the triumph of civilization over savagery.
It’s easy to figure out your card for the year, by the way, you simply add up all the numbers in your birthday plus the year. The sum of 01-01-2012, in my case, is seven, hence The Chariot. You can figure out your life card the same way, using your year of birth instead of the current year. If your birth number is double-digit, reduce it again. 21, for example, becomes 3. A birth number that corresponds to two major arcana like that means you have an inner and an outer life. You show one face to the world but wear another at home.
Meditate on The Chariot to summon the idea of Success.