The Chariot Card VII
"Expressing The Greatness Within"
(c)1999 by Maggie Calder
Understanding the meanings of The Chariot
card VII in the Tarot deck.
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The Chariot - Major Arcana Card VII
An Interpretation by Maggie Calder (c)1999
Expressing The Greatness Within
Just as Spring renews the planet with budding leaves, flowers, and the first shoots of grass, it can also mark a time of personal renewal. We might just dust off those New Year's resolutions and begin to actualize one or two. There's something about Spring that motivates us to clean out our house ("Spring cleaning"), organize our time better, and maybe, just maybe, lose those annoying pounds that have accumulated over the winter.
No, this is not a diet article. You've read plenty of them. This is an article on strutting your stuff, being the best you can be. This is the essence of what the Major Arcana card VII, The Chariot, is all about.
When most people think of the Tarot, they think of fatalism or Fate. The reader or psychic is simply going to tell them what their future is going to be, plain and simple. That theory is missing the big picture. The Tarot is filled with lessons or secrets. That's what the word Arcana means. So the Major Arcana means major secrets of life.
Dr. Carl Jung theorized that each Major Arcana card represented a stepping stone on the evolution of the soul, filled with archetypal imagery that transcended cultures and boundaries, much like the imagery of our dreams. But unlike dream images, which are difficult to interpret, these cards have tangible meanings that have been passed on by scholars and seekers throughout the ages. Lady Frieda Harris, who painted the Thoth deck for the famous occultist, Aleister Crowley, said it this way:"The Tarot represents, in symbolic form, an inheritance which is universal. It is the knowledge which man has inherited concerning the world in which he lives and the forces at work in it."
A Major Arcana card doesn't just speak of what will happen to you; but gives you solid advice on how to make the thing you want to happen, happen.
For example, The Chariot card VII denotes success, reaching for the brass ring and holding it firmly in your ambitious little hand. It can also mean that you are at a point in your life where success is important to you and you are working hard, perhaps trying to do many things at once and still achieve mastery over each and every thing you are attempting. It is not a card about dreaming about a goal, it's about achieving that goal, or many goals, one step at a time. The imagery contained in the card can give you a sense of how that success can be obtained.
In the card, the Charioteer is controlling the white and dark horses with no reins, using only the power of his will. In some decks, such as the Thoth deck, he is controlling four different animals, symbolizing the four basic forces of nature: fire, earth, air and water.
The lion symbolizes the fire, like the sun sign Leo; speaking of the importance of accessing our creativity that we have not reached before. The earthy bull represents translating our creativity into tangible results, like the sun sign Taurus. Like the air sign Aquarius, the human hands and feet symbolize a need to take risks to initiate the change that facilitates success. And the water bird represents the Scorpio trait of following what has heart and meaning, in order to have lasting and meaningful success that nurtures our hearts and minds.
The charioteer is calm and centered; yet his chariot is charging ahead. This represents the importance of staying calm and centered in the midst of these divergent elements and emotions. When The Chariot card is turned upside down, it means that our conflicting emotions are riding roughshod all over us. One Tarot reader put it to me this way, and it has always stuck with me as a way to envision the card of The Chariot:"When someone is experiencing The Chariot in their lives, it's as if they have ten Clydesdale horses in their back yard. If they don't discipline, control, or nurture those horses, they will tear up their back yard and maybe their house. But with discipline, control, and patience, they can move mountains."
In this card the horses, or the animals pulling the chariot, also represent the instinctive side of our nature, such as aggression; which need not be suppressed, but channelled into a worthy cause: our own self development.
When The Chariot is reversed, our ambition is getting out of control and we are trying to move too fast, yet getting nowhere. Our frustration is eating us alive, and we're losing all our power. But if we remember the message of The Chariot, we can turn this around. We need to find our balance, and remember that within positive change there is a delicate balance of stillness and activity. The Chariot is a reminder that within all activity, no matter how frantic or important, there must be a stillness within - a peace, a balance - to be truly successful.
In the Thoth deck, the charioteer holds the Wheel of Fortune in his hands, representing how we, through the power of our will and choice, have the power to design our own fate. This is quite the opposite of the widely held belief that the Tarot cards speak of Fate and an uncontrollable destiny.
The sign of Cancer sits upon the charioteer's head, symbolizing that we should look to make choices that nurture and protect us. This card, by the way, is ruled by the Cardinal sign of Cancer; and reminds us that a very important part of achieving our goals is diligence and patience. So if you are looking to make some positive changes in your life, think upon the charioteer and take full command of your life, one step at a time.
- Maggie Calder (c)1999
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First Published on www MAR 30 1999. Updated July 21 2001 21:00 EST.
(c)1999 by Maggie Calder, Author
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