Tarot - the Fool's Circle of Life
by Danielle Astrid Ricard
For ease in writing, I will use the gender pronoun that best matches the illustration below - no sexism intended. To listen to Musical accompaniment, look for a small link in the text!
This Archetype is number 7 of 22 Trump or Major Arcana cards in the Tarot. While the remaining pip and court cards portray more mundane realities, these cards represent higher energies, karmic forces, powers beyond our control, and superhuman strengths. In the Thoth Tarot deck, the Chariot is ruled by Cancer
~ Control ~
Look at him go! He's rounding the corner with ease! Has he won the race? Or is he just beginning, or maybe in the middle of it? This card often signifies a triumph - but no contest is ever completely won. We are constantly moving forward - there is always another goal up ahead.
The horses pulling the Chariot, one black and one white, are wild, instinctive animals. Harnessed by the skillful hand of a charioteer, their accuracy is dependent upon his poise, confidence, intelligence and strength.
As you go through the motions of life, you may sometimes ask yourself - who's driving this vessel? Is it the conscious me, is it these crazy feelings coursing through me, or could it be the untamed forces of my subconscious? Am I leading the way, or am I being led? Do I have the ultimate say in my destiny? Where the heck am I headed, anyway??!!!
It follows that this card is all about Control - over the extremes of dark and light within your soul, over base emotional reactions, and over others who might entice you away from your true path.
The symbolism in the Chariot is deceptively simple - the Charioteer is the mind and the higher self, the horses are the instincts and emotions, and the Chariot itself is the body - your vessel. Are you truly in charge of where you're going?
There is a delicate balance going on here. Obviously, the driver needs his horses to get him where he wants to go - but if he lets go of the reins or loses concentration, they could take him someplace unfamiliar, or even unpleasant.
On another level, sometimes this card means that things are moving along, or someone or something is coming your way. If such is the case, enjoy the moment - and don't forget to give those wild horses a reward!
You may sometimes experience the fantastic feeling that you have won - and the Chariot may indeed be an indication of some triumph in your life - but until the horses rest completely or the chariot breaks down, some measure of control over your life will always be required.
MEDITATION: Contemplate the Charioteer within you. Think about your ability to control your emotions, and travel through a situation with a feeling of triumph and confidence.
PERSONAL DISCUSSIONS: When have you felt the energy of the Chariot? Have you seen it in other people? Have you had happy/sad experiences with this energy? When have you felt out of control? When have you had complete control, and a feeling of triumph?
TAROT EXPERIENCE: Recalling a time when you may have you drawn this card, what were the circumstances surrounding it, and what did it mean to you? How do you feel this archetype affects the cards that come before or after?
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