The Chariot (Tarot card)

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Chariot

The Chariot (VII) is the seventh trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.

Description[edit]

A powerful, princely figure sits in a swift chariot, pulled usually by two sphinxes or horses. There is often a black and white motif, for example one of the steeds may be black and the other white. These symbolise balance or as some say positive and negative working in tandem. The figure may be crowned or helmeted, and is winged in some representations. The figure may hold a sword or wand, or other masculine symbol. The Thoth Tarot deck has the figure controlling four animals.

As the seventh card of the Major Arcana the symbolic association of its number in numerology would suggest that the Chariot should be at rest. This holds true in the traditional tarot decks, such as the Rider Waite Tarot deck the Tarot of Marseilles and the Thoth tarot deck, but has been largely ignored in many modern interpretations which depict the Chariot in motion or charging, e.g. Tarot of the Old Path, Tarot of Dreams and Tarot Grand Luxe. In the minor arcana the theme of rest can be seen in the Seven of Coins from the Rider Waite Tarot deck. It would therefore be reasonable to assume that the Charioteer represents defense and not aggression. An example of another defensive card from the same deck with the same number is the Seven of Wands.[1]

In this article's example Rider Waite Tarot deck image the mallet, or gavel, on the chariot's coat of arms is a masonic symbol representing self control.[2]

It has been suggested the square on the charioteer's chest is a representation of the Kabbalistic view of the four worlds.

Although the sky is bright, there is a canopy of stars above the charioteer's head. This shows how "celestial influences" from above guide him to a victory.[3]

Interpretation[edit]

Signals decision making, focus and determination. A willingness to take the reins. Depicted by Freyja, the Nordic goddess in Doreen Virtues' Goddess cards and is often called "The Centurion" or "Victory". Lesson imparted is that of balance in the way in which the Querent uses this new found energy. If already at this stage, that is the card falls in the present, the Chariot calls upon the Querent to tread cautiously and utilise his or her newly asserted power with discipline and care. Paying attention to detail and refusing the temptation to be aggressive in achieving his or her aims. In a way it leads nicely into the message imparted by the following card, Strength.

Alternative decks[edit]

  • Other names for the card are The Centurion or Victory.
  • In the Vikings Tarot this card depicts Thor on his chariot ride across the sky.
  • In the Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan, this card is called "The Archer".
  • In the Greenwood Tarot by Mark Ryan, this card is called "The Archer".
  • In the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot by Louis Martinie, this card is called "Dance".
  • In the New York Tarot by Giani Siri, this card is called "Transport".
  • In the X/1999 Tarot version made by CLAMP, the Chariot is Sorata Arisugawa.
  • In the Osho Zen Tarot deck, the Chariot is represented by the Awareness major arcana card.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Chariot Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation | Articles at Phuture.me". phuture.me.
  2. ^ "The Masonic Mallet | Articles at Masonic Dictionary". masonicdictionary.com.
  3. ^ Gray, Eden. "Complete Guide to the Tarot." 1970. Crown Publishers, New York, NY.

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