Reflections on The Chariot

“Coming home again” for the past few days has been an interesting experience. On the one hand, it’s comforting to sleep in one’s own bed again, and to have regained one’s independence. On the other hand, I realize now that over the past two months I’d grown accustomed to a lifestyle that was largely defined by a series of routines and errands performed daily on behalf of another person. Now that I’ve been freed from that obligation, I’ve found myself in the ensuing days staring at my keyboard and saying to myself, “I know I should be doing something ennobling now, but I don’t know what it is.” Anyway, I was having one of those “Hamlet moments” today when I consulted the Tarot for advice. This was the advice I received:chariotFor someone in my current state of mind, I think this can be interpreted in one of two ways: (1) Get moving, or (2) get a grip.

(1) “Get moving” because The Chariot, when stripped of all its regal fenestrations and its associations with power and conquest, is but a vehicle that carries (the etymological root of the word “chariot”) its owner from one place to another. The purpose of the trip may be trivial or profound, and its intended destination can be transcendent or mundane. The important message to convey, though, when this card appears in a reading is to simply get in motion. Better to make mistakes and take the occasional “wrong turn” in life than to succumb to indecision and endless ennui; otherwise we end up “spinning our spiritual wheels” instead of using them to transport us to a place that will broaden our perspectives and deepen our understanding of the world.

Where to go, and what to do exactly? Well, in this case, perhaps the querent (i.e., me) would be well advised to consider performing some kind of charity or volunteer work—that’s what I did, basically, for the past two months, so why not consider doing it again, only this time on behalf of another cause?

(2) “Get a grip” because the card of The Chariot is all about self-mastery and control. Note that the charioteer uses no reins, yet the sphinxes that draw his carriage are docile and and tame. In a reading (and particularly if reversed), this could indicate that the querent is feeling as though some seminal part of her life is somehow “out of control.” It could be her finances or, possibly, a romance (the card is governed by the astrological sign of Cancer, the most instinctually loving of all the Sun signs). In any event, such an interpretation suggests the need for a protective structure, in much the same way as the charioteer is “protected” by his canopy and carriage. The Hebrew letter assigned to The Chariot is Cheth, meaning “fence” or “enclosure,” again suggesting that the querent consider “building” her own spiritual “support network” that can help give her a renewed sense of purpose and place. Such a network of friends and associates could assume just about any form, ranging from a church congregation to a Meetup group. But whatever form it takes, it is always assuring to know that however dire our lives may seem at any given time, there are others who have already “been there” and who can provide us with the guidance and support we need: Spiritual charioteers, in other words, who can teach us how to “take the reins” and regain control of our lives. Such chariot masters are everywhere—we only need to seek them out.

But again, two of the the strongest signals that The Chariot sends us in a reading are the signals to get up and get moving. Life is not a spectator sport—it’s meant to be engaged to the fullest.

Dante DiMatteo

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