VII - The Chariot
The Chariot shows us what happens when we embrace the merging of opposites depicted in The Lovers. Integration with our higher values in mind brings us an increased feeling of control. With this, we are able to “get a reign” on our life and direct it where we’d like to go.
The figure is making a victory procession – his accomplishments and competence are visible for all to see and celebrated. Nonetheless, he looks determined like his work is not done. This card indicates a place in the cycle where one’s grit and determination has been proven, yet there is more to do. The Charioteer is just getting started.
In fact, we see him facing away from the castles that symbolize civilization. With the current accomplishment under his belt The Chariot is setting off into the unknown on another adventure. This card shows both a moment of success and the consequent restlessness that follows. When you know you have the stamina and willpower to achieve something you are motivated to achieve some more. A moment to celebrate is necessary, but is not the end point.
As a Major Arcana card, The Chariot is not simply about mundane victories. While the outward successes are noteworthy, it’s the inner accomplishments that are the most important. In his struggles, The Charioteer has proven to himself that he has what it takes. He has earned self-confidence and skill as well as praise. These are what will enable him to find the next step on his path.
Additionally, there’s a spiritual motivation to The Chariot. The actions he takes are not solely based on getting tangible payoffs. The Chariot must have a higher goal that feels true to his higher self. You can’t stand confidently in victory without truly knowing who you are and what you value. Because of this, this card is a good stopping point to reassess how far you’ve come and where you’d like to go. Are your plans reflecting the world you’d like to see and how you’d like to be seen in the world?
There’s a sense of adventurousness in The Chariot that speaks to our ambition and drive. This card is a go-getter, and it’s important for him to harness his abilities and feel in control. The shadow side to The Chariot is that he can get hung up on wanting to maintain this position forever. He may expect that all subsequent actions follow the same blueprint – effort + confidence = recognition & obvious growth. Of course, life gets in the way, and in these moments the impatient confidence of The Chariot can suffer a major blow to the ego.
Victory, accomplishment, strength in adversity, recognition, accolades, completion, control, arrival, willpower, self-assuredness, motivation
Emerging from a struggle stronger and more confident, a publicly recognized success, completing a difficult task, actualizing your values, feeling a sense of control over your life, putting your thoughts into action, realizing your potential, leading by example, seeing results, time in the spotlight
Ambitious, successful, skilled, confident, goal-oriented, hardworking, strong sense of self
Aggressive, dominant, controlling, vain, competitive, restless