The next step on The Fool’s Journey bring us to The Chariot — moving us from the work we’ve done connecting with personal power, authority, and institutional power, and from connecting head and heart, to the potential to work our Will. Associated with the sign of Cancer, The Chariot represents forward movement towards our goals, as long as we take the reins and use our Will and Power to direct The Chariot forward. In the classic Rider-Waite Tarot, The Chariot is drawn by two regal Sphinxes and looks like this:
The Charioteer appears ready to move forward, to command the Sphinxes — those mysterious holders of secrets — to rise and and draw the vehicle into the future. I always see this card as representing the pause before the rush forward — the brief moment to decide where we want our Will to take us.
Who is The Chariot?
Though it is associated with the astrological sign of Cancer, which we often think of as an emotional, watery, and sometimes passive energy, The Chariot is about pure Will and pure potential. The Chariot is full of determination — He has chosen a direction, has a destination in sight, and is ready to move towards it will all His energy and Will. He holds The Magician’s wand rather than a conventional set of reins. The Chariot is drawn by two Sphinxes — black and white, representing the positive-negative polarity.
Some people see The Chariot as about the pursuit of spiritual matters, including exploration of the occult or magickal realm. The laurel leaves represent high spiritual attainment. I tend to see this more as a reflection of the fact that The Chariot represents an individual who has become very clear on what their Will is, on what their values are, and on what they truly desire in life.
When The Chariot shows up in a reading, He indicates that things are about to move forward. They may move forward with a quickness, or they may take some time to ramp up — all that depends on the surrounding cards — but they will be moving. The Chariot is also a message to be sure that the querent is putting their energy towards a direction they really want — because The Chariot goes where the energy is directed by The Charioteer’s wand! The Chariot can especially indicate forward, positive movement in the realm of career, the culmination of long-term plans, and advancement toward long-term goals. There may be obstacles, but the querent has the Will, the resources, and the savvy to overcome or surmount them. The Chariot can also be a message to focus on the task at hand and go full-tilt at the goal rather than being distracted by trivial matters or outside influences.
When she designed The Chariot card for The Goddess Tarot, Kris Waldherr took the theme of “The Chariot as Movement” and (forgiving the pun) ran with it. Rechristened “Movement,” this rendition of The Chariot embodies the swift energy of this card. Come back tomorrow to explore Rhiannon and the ways She spurs us forward!