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Everyday Tarot Deck
Upright: Control, willpower, success, action, determination.
Reversed: Self-discipline, opposition, lack of direction.
The Chariot Tarot card shows a brave warrior standing inside a chariot, with a black and white sphinx at the front. The warrior wears armour decorated with crescent moons (representing what is coming into being), a tunic with a square (representing the strength of will) and other alchemical symbols (representing spiritual transformation). The laurel and star crown indicate victory, success and spiritual evolution. Although he appears to be driving the chariot, he holds no reins – just a wand similar to the Magician’s – symbolising that he controls through the strength of his will and mind.
The charioteer stands inside the chariot – there’s no sitting down for this guy, as he’s all about taking action and moving forward. Above his head is a canopy of six-pointed stars, representing his connection to the celestial world and the Divine will. In front of the vehicle sit a black and white sphinx, representing duality, positive and negative, and at times, opposing forces. Despite the sphinxes pulling in opposite directions, the charioteer uses his will power and sheer determination to steer the chariot forward in the direction he wants.
Behind the chariot flows a wide river, symbolic of the need to be ‘in flow’ with the rhythm of life while also charging ahead with your goals and intentions.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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Everyday Tarot Deck
The Chariot is a card of willpower, determination and strength. When the Chariot appears in a Tarot reading, it is a sign that you have set your goals and intentions, and now you are channeling your inner power with fierce determination to bring your goals to fruition. You have laid out your map and you are now charging forth to reach your destination. When you apply discipline, commitment and willpower to the achievement of your goals, you will be successful.
This isn’t the time to be passive and hope things work out in your favour simply by putting out good vibes into the Universe. This is the time to take focused action and stick to the course, no matter what challenges may come your way. Because, believe me, there will be challenges. You may be pulled in opposite directions and your strength and conviction tested. Others may try to block you, distract you, or get in the way of you being able to achieve your goal. However, the Chariot is an invitation to draw upon your willpower, strength and determination to get very clear about what’s important to you so that you can push past these obstacles or challenges and bring your intentions into action.
If you are curious about whether you have what it takes to achieve a certain goal or complete an important project, the Chariot is a sign that you will be successful, so long as you maintain focus, determination and confidence in your abilities. You need to draw upon your willpower and self-discipline and focus completely on the task at hand. You can’t cut corners or take the easy route, or you will fail. Instead, this is a test of your strength and conviction, and if you truly put your mind to it, you will succeed. Victory is within reach but it’s up to you to follow through.
The Chariot calls in you to assert yourself and be bold. Be confident in expressing your desires and laying down your boundaries; otherwise, you will not get your way. You need to have faith in yourself and know fundamentally who you are and what you stand for (thus building off the personal belief systems and values established through the Lovers card).
In a very literal sense, the Chariot can represent travel, especially driving or taking a road trip. You may even be considering selling the home and buying an RV so you can head off and roam the country!
Upright, the Chariot is a sign of moving forward with a key project and pushing past any obstacles that might get in your way of achieving your desired outcome. Reversed, however, the Chariot tells you to 'back up the truck' or, as we Aussies say, "Chuck a U-y" (AKA "do a U-turn"). You might be banging your head against a brick wall, trying to move a project forward when really, you ought to be backing off or changing direction. Or you might have lost motivation or not feel as committed to the outcome as you did when first started this journey. So, if something is not moving forward as you had planned, re-evaluate the situation and check in to see if it's a sign that you need to change direction. And ask yourself if there is a deeper reason why things have become more challenging – what lesson can you learn here?
At times, the reversed Chariot is a sign that you are letting obstacles and challenges get in the way, preventing you from achieving what you set out to achieve. It’s all getting too hard and you don’t have the will to go on. Stop for a moment and think about what’s really important to you and why you set out to achieve this goal in the first place. Are you going to allow yourself to be swayed by other people’s opinions or give up as soon as the going gets tough? Or are you going to follow through on your commitment?
Before taking action, the reversed Chariot may be a sign that you are focusing your energy and attention on your internal processes, such as self-discipline, inner determination and personal commitment. You may be focused on setting goals and intentions that are aligned with your Higher Self. Or, you may be using visualisation and meditation to ensure your energy is aligned to your goal. These internally-focused actions are important so that when it finally comes time to take action, you feel ready and able to follow it through.
If you are someone who likes to have some control over your destiny and to know where you are heading, this is the time to tighten the reins and become more disciplined and focused on what you are doing. While the feeling of loss of power can be quite demoralising, the key is to look at what you can control and what you cannot control. Do not allow yourself to worry about what is out of your control as there is nothing you can do about it. Instead, focus your energies on what IS in your control. Examine what you can do to change the situation.
Similarly, the Chariot reversed may suggest that you may be trying to control every minute detail in your life – but in doing so, you feel even more out of control as a result. Loosen your grip and let things run their course. Be open to offers of help; and then be grateful for what you receive, even if it’s not perfectly aligned to your expectations. You do not always have to be in the driver’s seat!