IT IS STILL
THE CHARIOT is not racing, nor flying, nor is it moving at all. It is very still. It is a stark reminder that the paths on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life are not places nor times: they are states of existence. And so it is in the chariot: while it continues to move through times and planes – it just is. The front of THE CHARIOT is a sphere upheld by two outstretched wings, sign of the limitless exaltation of human power in the infinity of space and time.
THE CHARIOT is pulled by two sphinxes with female faces – one dark one light. Both are harnessed to the chariot. Yet, there are no reigns – the Charioteers directs them by the will of his mind. The Sphinxes are pulling in different direction. They signify Good and Evil. Just like the previous trump, THE LOVERS, we are faced with options that are ours and ours alone. It is THE MAGICIAN (Magus) who is at the reign of the Chariot. It is he, after all, who was the first manifested number – trump number one. In the Chariot, the Magician signifies triumph over his ordeals.
SWORD AND SCEPTER
In his hands, the Magician holds a scepter and a sword. The Sword is lifted as a sign of victory. The scepter is crowned by the alchemical symbol ‘the squaring of the circle’. The symbol contains a triangle, which is the symbol of the Spirit, square (symbol of Matter) and Circle (symbol of Eternity). Together, they signifies the perpetual domination of the mind (and will) over the forces of nature.
The Chariot is coming out of the splashes of water – its ruling sign is Cancer, which is very much a water sign (water, of course, representing our subconscious).
OEDIPUS DIDN’T KNOW
The Sphinxes also remind us of the sphynx in the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus. While Oedipus can overcome the sphinx with his intellectual abilities, he falls victim to the circumstances because he does not realize his origins. And THAT is the very core (or paradox) of the Chariot card. You can be successful and accomplished admired and revered. However, none of it matters nor will help your spiritual journey until you understand the ultimate truth of your being: your existence in the Universe.
FROM SEVERITY TO UNDERSTANDING
On the tree of life, the Path of THE CHARIOT ascends from Gevurah (severity) into Binah (understanding). It comes out of chaos, and adversity to understand what is needed to reach the higher planes of existence. Thus, it further focuses on our will to forge ahead while keeping our inner peace and balance. But most importantly, it is about understanding where we are going. This card is all about clearly seeing our end goal (direction) and moving steadily toward it.
In a Tarot Reading, THE CHARIOT can represent one of the following:
- Setting goals
- Rule of will
- Ambition and drive
- Driving energy and force
- Overcoming obstacles