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The Chariot - Tarot Card Meaning

Updated: May 8

The Chariot - Tarot Card Meaning

The Chariot is a card of action in the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck. It suggests that now is the time to act on plans. Exert your willpower and discipline to push things forward because nothing will just fall into your lap. The journey ahead won’t be easy, but embrace it, since life is about the journey.

The Chariot Major Arcana Tarot Card - Various Examples

Upright Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

In the upright position, The Chariot indicates that you should use your willpower, self-control, and determination to make things happen. It promises success if you are willing to give what it takes to make something happen.

Reversed Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

When The Chariot is reversed, it suggests that whatever you are pouring yourself into is flawed in some way and is unlikely to work out. You need to change course and reevaluate in order to move forward. Step back and visualize what you truly want and what it will really cost to achieve.

Number - 7

The Chariot card carries the number 7, which is linked with ideas of the esoteric and the spiritual. The appearance of this number usually means that it is time to start looking inside ourselves or to the spiritual plane. The number is also linked with things that are hidden and lies. It may expose something that is not as it appears.

Element - Water

The Chariot is a water element card, which may seem surprising for such a powerful and forceful card. Water is linked with emotions, but we must have our emotions under control in order to exercise control in our lives. It can be a warning not to let our emotions control us! Emotions are what we feel, not who we are, and they pass.

Planet – Moon

The Moon is the ruler of The Chariot card. It rules over the natural cyclical flow of life and our emotions. This can remind us of the importance of working with the natural currents of what is happening against us rather than trying to swim upstream. While you can achieve a lot with willpower, that doesn’t mean that you have to choose the most difficult path.

Read our profile of Khonsu, the Egyptian god of the moon.

The Chariot - Tarot Card Description

While The Chariot Tarot card appears differently in different decks, most pull on the symbology represented in the Rider Waite deck.

This card features a warrior in full armor in a chariot. But while he looks like he is steering the vehicle, he holds no reigns in his hands. Instead, he is holding a wand. This suggests that he is marking his direction with his intention and willpower. But he is not letting himself be “taken for a ride”. He stands tall and authoritative.

His armor bears the image of a waxing moon, which represents things that are coming into being. He wears a crown bearing a laurel and star, which are symbols of victory and success. The canopy of stars above him suggests that while he is working in the mortal world, he is connected with the celestial.

The chariot is pulled by two sphinxes, animals that represent duality and the necessity of the two sides of the coin, positive and negative. As you look closely, the two animals pull in opposite directions, but the result is that the chariot moves forward. There is a river in the background that reminds us how important it is to be aware of the natural flows of life.

The Chariot - Upright Tarot Card Meaning

The Chariot card in the upright position suggests that now is the time for action. Decisions that you were struggling with have already been made, so it is time to start doing. There is little more to be gained from ongoing debate and doubt.

The card suggests that it will require force to push something forward. You will need to apply willpower and dedication and commit your personal resources to get the outcome that you want. Nothing is about to fall into your lap without a lot of hard work.

The card can be a reminder that there are no shortcuts in life because the journey is what matters. Without the journey, you won’t be prepared for what comes next.

You may feel like you are being tested and have been given more than you can handle, but the Chariot reminds you that you are capable of completing the task before you. It is time to believe in yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

What to do?

When The Chariot shows upright in a reading, it is a sign that you need to take action. Decisions have been made and plans are in place, now it is just up to you to find the self-control and motivation to make them happy. Embrace the journey and focus on the tasks ahead rather than how distant the result may feel.

The Chariot - Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

The Chariot card reversed can suggest that you are pouring a lot of energy into something that will not pay off. There is something flawed in your plan, or the results that you want are not possible, so you are draining yourself for nothing. This can often apply to relationships that can’t be fixed because the other person is not ready to change.

When reversed, The Chariot can suggest that you reevaluate. Do you really want what you think you want? Are you truly motivated to do what it takes to achieve something? If not, why? Is it out of sync with your values? Is there something else that you need to do first?

If you are faced with obstacles in front of you, they are a sign that you need to alter your path. See what lessons you can learn to chart a smarter course forward. Remember that it is important to visualize what you want and how you are going to get there before you leap.

What to do?

When The Chariot appears reversed, it is usually a sign to pause and reevaluate. You are putting energy into something that is not working out, and you need to figure out why before you expend any more of your resources. There’s nothing wrong with changing course, that’s how some of the greatest things are discovered.

The Chariot Tarot Reading

When the Chariot card shows up, it is a reminder that while we need to make smart decisions, the only way to make thoughts a reality is through action. Upright, it may suggest that now is the time to act and you should pour your personal resources into your dreams. Reversed, it may suggest that your plan is flawed, and you are wasting resources.

Remember that life is a game of push and pull as the forces of the universe wind through reality. Align with the flow where you can and use its force to drive you forward. But you need to choose your direction and figure out the best course to steer.

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