Upright: Control, will power, victory, assertion, determination
Reversed: Lack of control and direction, aggression
The Chariot is associated with the astrological sign of Cancer. He sits within a canopy of six-pointed stars, representing the celestial influences at work in this Tarot card. The crescent moons on the man’s shoulders are outward facing to refer to the formative world. The symbols on his tunic are alchemical symbols, representing the spiritual transformation of man. The square signifies earth, a sign of strength of will. The laurel and star crown indicate the highest attainment of man in spiritual evolution.
The wings on the Chariot represent inspiration and the Hindu sign of the union of positive and negative. The black and white sphinxes have the same meaning. The Charioteer holds no reins, just the wand from the Magician card. He controls through strength of will in the same way the Magician does. The city is behind him, indicating he has turned his back on civilisation and materialism in order to seek spiritual matters.
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The Chariot represents conquest, victory and overcoming opposition through your confidence and control. Any success will be a result of applying these factors to the situation. You will need to use the strength of your willpower to overcome any obstacles or challenges in your way. You may even find that by leveraging any opposing forces surrounding you at this time you can use them to your advantage. You must be determined, self-disciplined, and hard working. If you are, you will triumph over any difficulties or anyone who is trying to limit you. This struggle will ultimately make you stronger.
You will be successful at pursuing your goals, so long as you maintain focus, determination and confidence in your abilities. You need to focus completely on the task at hand, get in the race and win it. You have to dominate and beat the competition. You must cultivate the ability to withstand the rigours of what is required. In fact, striving towards your goal can be as satisfying as attaining it. This is a time to be strong and in control. You must also draw upon your willpower and self-discipline.
You may be wondering if you should pursue a plan or continue a project but you will be driven to do so, and your perplexing dilemma will be resolved for the time being.
The Chariot requires you to assert yourself and be bold. You may need to look after yourself at this time and be confident in expressing your needs and wants, 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).
Sometimes, the Chariot asks you to come to terms with your own aggressive impulses. Aggression is part of human nature, part of your innate survival mechanism. Aggression cannot be simply suppressed; to do so will only turn it inward on yourself, leaving it to manifest itself in the form of physical illness. Aggression can be very destructive but it is also a powerful energy that can be channelled creatively. This is a time when you need to be the master of your emotions and curb any impulses or anger. You need to show who is the boss and achieve control of the situation but this will also require you to be in control of yourself.
The Chariot can also represent a lot of driving and even a road trip. You may even be considering buying an RV and heading off across the country!
Reversed, the Chariot suggests that you are feeling as if you have very little control over your life. You may have lost steering power over the opposing forces and you are now at their mercy. You may feel dragged through time, in whatever direction fate takes you. 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 be worried 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. At this stage, you need to be able to feel as if you have at least some direction, because currently you feel pushed and pulled around in the sea of fate.
The Chariot reversed also suggests that you are collapsing under pressure and losing your self-control. Your aggression is being channelled in the wrong direction, wildly at other people, at fate, at external circumstances. This is a complete waste of your energy and resources. Redefine your aggression as determination and willpower, stop clinging weakly to unrewarding ideas, habits, people, and objects and move forward.
You may be feeling that up until this point, you have been at the beck and call of others and have been forced to deal with other people’s issues. You may have felt a loss of personal control, as if life was just being ‘done’ to you. As a result, you have lost some of your confidence and personal power, and you may be feeling directionless. You seek greater control over your life and you are determined not to let others influence you as significantly as they have in the past. You want a mind of your own and you want to steer your life in the direction YOU wish to, not what someone else wants.
The Chariot reversed may also suggest that you need to be more comfortable with not always being in control. There are going to be moments in the future where you feel as though aspects of your life are out of your hands. Be open to spontaneity and new experiences, even if it is not aligned to your original plan. Do not be afraid to let someone else steer for a period of time and take you on new adventures. You do not always have to be in the driver’s seat!