The Chariot is an optimistic portrait of how it feels to be ready for a new era of your life - but a simultaneous reminder to actively prepare yourself for what's coming.
To give you a bit of context whilst you reflect on your own relationship to the card, here are a few key things to know about the Chariot:
In the Rider Waite Smith version of this tarot card, you see a warrior setting out on a quest. They wear a breastplate with lunar epulets, a crown of stars, and carry a staff that looks similar to the magic wands that we see in the Magician and World cards. Behind the Chariot, a cityscape, and in the foreground two sphinxes - one white, one black.
The sphinxes are commonly interpreted as opposing forces or impulses within us, symbolising the need to balance opposing aspects of one's personality or desires. What's always interesting to me is the fact that the sphinxes aren't yoked to the chariot just yet - suggesting that the charioteer has the potential to master and balance the opposing elements of the self, but still has some work to do before they're ready to move forward.
The Chariot also embodies the idea of overcoming obstacles and challenges. The laurel and star crown on the charioteer's head symbolize victory and success, while the square on the chariot's front often represents practicality and order, reinforcing the idea that success is achieved through a well-thought-out plan and disciplined action.
Like the sphinxes, these visual cues for victory are more symbols of potential rather than promise of success - remember, the chariot is at a standstill until the charioteer makes the final preparations to go, and that's no small task.
Overall, the card is an ode to possibility, but a simultaneous remind of the will and planning it takes to get things going. You can see it as a prompt to reflect on your ambitions, and identify what steps you need to take now - what skills do you need to learn, what resources do you need to acquire? - in order to get on the road to where you want to go.
In your tarot journal, you’re asked to reflect on what this card means to you, now, in this moment, and what actions and thoughts it inspires in you. As you journal, pay attention to what you’re personally picking up in the card, but also consider what the key themes in the card might be telling you. What ambitions do you feel ready and excited to pursue? What potential and possibilities are you excited about at this moment? How can you prepare yourself to head off on a quest to fulfil your vision of the future? What skills do you need to learn, what resources do you need to aquire, what balance do you need to strike so that you are supported and sustained for the journey?
This mini tarot lesson was brought to you by me, Chelsey Pippin Mizzi, founder of Pip Cards Tarot.