display | more...

In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the Major Arcanum numbered 7. Signifies victory, will, assertiveness, discipline.

E2 Tarot Cards

Aleister Crowley's description:

Your description/thoughts/experiences:

This card worries me when I see it, because in most of the decks that I'm familiar with, the chariot driver is either barely in control of the horses, or not in control at all (like the Barbara Walker deck, which depicts the chariot as having no reins and the horses heading in opposite directions). To me, this represents overconfidence, or an illusion of control -- you think you know what you're doing, but your grip on things isn't as firm as you'd like to think.

In Tarot, the seventh card of The Major Arcana. In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck and other similar decks, the image is of a man in a chariot drawn by two horses or sphinxes, one white and one black.

If the Major Arcana are divided into three groups of seven cards each, excluding The Fool, The Chariot is the end of the first sequence, beginning with The Magician, that symbolizes one's dealings with society and the external world. As such, The Chariot represents a victory or mastery over these external elements. The man in the chariot commands the opposing forces symbolized by the black and white steeds; duality serves him. The will has triumphed, and the man rides proudly in the manner of an ancient Greek or Roman hero. He is the picture of a successful man.

However, The Chariot ends only one-third of the Major Arcana, and thus does not symbolize a complete victory over Life, the Universe, and Everything. In fact, in the Journey of the Fool, the man has not even begun to explore his inner self. He has forced opposites to submit and work together, but he does not understand them. The work of exploring the self and finding spirituality is left to the remainder of the Major Arcana.

Rachel Pollack compares the man in The Chariot to Oedipus when he first arrives in Thebes as a hero who has saved the land by overcoming the Sphinx. He is at his peak, celebrated and victorious. But he does not know himself and refuses the will of the gods, and falls into tragedy, a warning to those who would think The Chariot is the end to the lessons of life.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.