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What the Cards Mean: The Chariot


The Chariot: It’s graduation day. The Fool has learned his classroom lessons, made friends and even dated a few classmates, but what next? The Fool has bloomed from adolescence into adulthood, and now, finally, he is ready to see what this “real world” is all about. Filled with drive and determination, all he needs are the keys to the car, but not just any car, he needs the keys to the Chariot! The Fool is about to test his mettle against the “real world” and embark onto a whole new series of adventures using the Chariot to get him there.


The Chariot represents our strength of will. It fills us with zeal, confidence and excitement to charge our batteries and point us towards our goals. The Chariot inspires competition, assertiveness, and confidence. Without it, we cannot evolve, move forward, mature and grow. Our dreams will never gain traction without grit under our Chariot tires. This card implies setting your sights on what you want and then chasing it like a bat out of hell! It can also indicate a possible promotion, a new car, a new home or travel. If the card indicates a young person, it could suggest their ready to go to college, enter the job market, join the military or play competitive sports.


The Chariot indicates the dual influence of our amazing, passion-filled dreams vs. our dark, self-sabotaging impulses. These two conflicting impulses are constantly at war with each other and can cause us to become stuck in our choices. The black and white sphinxes (or horses depending on which deck you are looking at) that sit at the base of the chariot’s seat symbolize these impulses. It is up to us to keep both impulses under our control so we do not lose our shot at what we want. The Chariot reminds us that the line between the two is quite thin, so make sure to not overindulge in your play time more than your work and vice versa. Both could inspire a derailing of your Chariot.


If the Chariot is found reversed or in an otherwise compromised position, it can indicate a lack of focus, control, willpower or drive. This can result an in overturned chariot, so much so that you can’t go anywhere; you just lie in the street, defeated, crying and sad. It can also suggest you demonstrate reckless behavior and your energy is scattered. If the forward moving momentum of the Chariot’s energy is suppressed it can end up manifesting itself as illness or causing one to project negatively onto others. Additional negative aspects indicate a fear of commitment, falling short of your goal, missing an opportunity, a delayed or canceled trip or car trouble. Or it can mean you overdo it and defeat yourself by trying too hard, or by cheating to get what you want. The means do not justify the end, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself. It could also suggest you have no direction or you are uncertain of a direction and thus you are ill prepared for your life plan.


Keywords: Drive, ambition, competition, goals. Stay focused. Reversed: Lack of focus, fear of commitment, delayed trip, trying too hard, cheating, be weary of accidents.


Illustrations from the Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck were reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. (March 7, 2018) by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

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