Today, I pulled The Chariot card from the Arcus Arcanum Tarot, illustrated by Hansrudi Waescher. We see a decidely Nordic, barbarian charioteer, axe in hand, charging into battle from the protection of his stone keep. His chariot is drawn by rams, and the sun shines behind him. Sunlight also shines from an amulet on his belt, near his solar plexus.
This is the “get up and go” card of the tarot. I associate it with forceful action to advance a cause or attain a goal. Some esoteric interpretations draw attention to the horses, sphinxes, or other beasts that pull the chariot, interpreting the card in terms of the rational mind restraining and controlling the more bestial elements of our nature. I see the chariot in a more down-to-earth way: it’s about charging off to battle (or, in some depictions, returning home victorious).
Chariot energy is extremely potent. That assertive, energetic drive can certainly take us places and accomplish things. If the fellow in this card had sat in his stone keep watching the gray clouds slide by, he would not be much good as a feudal warlord, and no doubt his problems would seek him out and find him anyway. The chariot pulls us out of complacency and encourages us to strike out proactively when something needs doing.
Nevertheless, the card is not entirely a positive one. The Chariot can be a vehicle of anger and dominance, it can represent a desire to conquer, subdue, or destroy. It’s an aggressive card, which is especially obvious in this deck. We bring out the chariot when diplomacy has failed, or perhaps when we just can’t be bothered to try it.
I welcome this card in readings about a creative project or a new idea. I like its strong, enthusiastic energy. I have a tendency to procrastinate and leave things undone, so The Chariot makes a nice antidote to these natural tendencies of mine. However, the card also raises and alarm for me: am I charging blindly ahead? Am I trampling someone? Can my enthusiasm take a competitive, or even aggressive, turn?
Take charge. Full speed ahead. To victory!