“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Often depicted as someone holding the reins of two powerful beasts, the Chariot represents strength and clear direction. The beasts, or mythical creatures, represent opposing views; we can see this by one being black and the other white. A lot of the major arcana cards speak to duality as you may have noticed. Each creature wants to pull you in its own direction, which can result in you being metaphorically split in half. The charioteer, however, is so strong-willed that he pulls these beasts in the direction that he chooses. The Chariot card represents one’s drive and will to get what they want or need.
Although the card embodies Cancerian energy, I think it also speaks to Libran energy as well. Libra is a sign about balance and scales. When the Chariot comes out, you need to be working on balance in your life. Help people without sacrificing yourself. Guide people without dictating their every move. Listen to people without sacrificing your own intuition.
The Chariot is an overall good card to pull as it symbolizes intentional change and forward movement.
Past: You recently overcame a stressful situation and should be feeling proud of yourself. This is a situation where you almost gave up hope because you felt things were not going your way. However, you regained control of the reins and began moving in the direction you wanted. This is the energy of using your past experiences to reach a goal. Because this card comes after the Lovers, you could have recently taken action on a love interest. For example, maybe you asked them on a date, asked for their hand in marriage, or started a family. Whatever the case may be, you are beginning to act on your love and not just talk about it.
Present: The Chariot in the present position speaks to making a decision and choosing a direction. Where are you right now and how have your own actions led you here? Are you happy here? You are showing up completely in your life right now and there is nothing that you can not accomplish.
You could also be in savior energy and want to assist someone with something. Make sure you are being objective and not taking on the energy of the beasts—conflicting and controlling. Use your chariot to help get someone where they want to be — not where you think is best. Continue to balance out the yin and yang energy within yourself as that is what is keeping this chariot running smoothly.
Future: You have better control of yourself and your chariot (drive and will). Expect to be able to make decisions quickly and more effectively in the future. This could also mean you have assistance coming in to help you with whatever situation you are inquiring about or just your spiritual journey. The Chariot can also represent literal transportation so you could be getting a car, traveling, or moving in the future. It will seem like things are speeding up quite a bit but that’s only because you are ready. Do not doubt yourself now; you have shown you can handle yourself in the midst of chaos.
*Disclaimer: Reading tarot cards in reverse is totally up to the reader. There are many who choose not to. There is no right way to do it; go with your intuition. For some readers, a reverse means that the energy of that card cannot manifest into reality due to a block. So if you are someone who chooses to not read reversed cards you may skip this part, however if you are that reader, keep reading!
Remember to always be authentic with your spiritual practices.*
With the Chariot card reversed, you could feel extremely stressed and out of control in your life right now. It seems that everything is moving away from you at a rapid speed. Naturally, we would want to keep up with this fast pace in hopes of not being left behind. However, you are being called to calm yourself internally: meditate, talk to your guides, get some rest, and journal to help gain perspective. All of these things can help you choose the direction best aligned with you.
You might not be able to change outside circumstances but you can control how you react to them.
You are being advised to take more control of your life during this time. You could be embodying “Jesus take the wheel” energy a little too much. Not everything in your life should be left up to chance. You need to step into your magician energy and get to work. If you don’t like how your life is going then pull back the reins and change direction. When the Chariot card comes out, you are in control of where you go next. However, remember that you are only in control of yourself and how you show up in your life — not the outside factors. Now is the time to change your attitude and keep the faith. Things might not be going the way you planned but trust that the divine plan is always grander and more fitting than our own.
Alexander, Skye, and Mary Shannon. The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need. 1st ed., vol. 1, Avon, Adams Media, 2019. 1 vols.
Symone Smith, @aquacunt