The Chariot (7)
“Self-discipline is crucial to a simpler, more contented life.” ~Tenzin Gyatso
The Rider-Waite deck portrays a man in a decorated chariot being drawn by majestic black and white sphinxes. In his right hand he holds a wand. His body is covered in protective armor, and his chariot is graced with a prominent winged shield of symbolic design. Behind him the motifs of a medieval city rise in the distance.
Armor: Readiness and preparation
Sphinxes: Triumph of the mind
Wand: Inspiration and action
Black & White: Positive and negative energies
Wheels: Cycles, motion
Triumph, Ambition, Assertiveness, Firm Control, Motivation
Having mastered the lessons of lovers, the Fool continues his journey with a greater understanding of the world around him. As he walks onward, pondering his experiences, he sees a proud and commanding charioteer riding triumphantly toward him. Ambitious to learn, the Fool spends time with the charioteer studying his qualities of assertiveness and self-confidence. The Fool soon discovers that in order to achieve true mastery over himself he must exert firm control over his base instincts. Feeling motivated by this new knowledge, he resumes his travels in an earnest search of his own victories.
To learn how to master our own chaotic forces so we may triumph in our goals.
The Charioteer fights alone, seeking to gain the advantage by striking from the side. His steeds keep the wheels of his chariot turning, however, it is his control and direction that brings him triumph. Whether our challenges be obstacles, circumstances, emotions, or human desires, there are times when we must firmly grasp the reigns of our own chariot and do battle for our personal victories.
In readings, the Chariot can personify the positive strength, confidence, and assertiveness required to move forward to obtain the goals we desire. However, the Chariot can also signal a ruthless, diehard desire to win despite the cost. Success and triumph can be glorious under the right circumstances, but only when we are certain the sacrifices of the battle are truly worth the prize. After all, the victory is only the beginning.
The Chariot can sometimes appear when a situation or environment harbors the energies of hard control. At its best, hard control is not brutal; it is firm and direct, backed by a strong will and great self-confidence. Its powerful influences are sometimes required when we wish to draw separate paths into a single direction of our own choosing.
Likewise, the Chariot can portray the influential winds of ambition and motivation — potent energies that can provide the movement necessary to set our aspirations to sail.