The Chariot, from the Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot by Graham Cameron, soars into view and takes our hero, The Fool, by surprise. Unlike traditional versions of The Chariot, this card presents us with a purple flying saucer pulled by golden seahorses. The pilot, a smiling alien, is clearly enjoying the view below as a pig, representative of goals previously thought to be impossible, flies past just out of view.
Behind the saucer floats a patchwork quilt of time and space. Beneath is a carnival performer on stilts, a pyramid, a pagoda, the moon, and three minarets. Is The Chariot casting a shadow on them or is the pilot beaming them aboard? The Chariot is always a somewhat complicated card to interpret – rich in symbolism and imagery – and this rendition is no exception to that rule. The number of The Chariot is Seven, its direction is West, its element is Water, and, like The High Priestess, it is ruled by the Moon. Emblazoned on the hull is the sign of Cancer, the astrological influence for this card. Like all Cancerians, the pilot brings his home with him wherever he goes.
The Fool has made the natural progression from the crossroad presented by The Lovers and is making progress along their chosen path. The key with The Chariot, however, is the understanding that arriving at the correct destination is much more important than speeding along and missing your stop. For this reason, the flying saucer is powered by sea horses, instead of hyperdrive.
I love the music of Aimee Mann and her song, Driving Sideways, which is very much in keeping with the spirit of the Chariot:
“And you will say
that you’re making headway
and put it in overdrive.
But you’re mistaking speed
for getting what you need
and never even noticing
you never do arrive.”
The creator, Graham Cameron, says:
“With the Chariot, there are no limits. A journey is taking place, and a flying saucer pulled by two sea horses appears. The Chariot is an ingenious means of reaching into the future. We are on a voyage, a transformation is taking place; uncertainty and surprises are ahead. The Chariot takes us through the carnival, across the globe through time and space, reaching new realms. We are making progress, mastering our emotions and overcoming our personal limitations. Good health is achieved. The Chariot is a symbol of our intelligence and gives us a sense of direction.”
In the upright position, the Chariot represents focus, achieving goals, progression, accomplishment, travel, sheer will, determination to put yourself on a positive track, and overcoming conflicts. In her book, The Secret Tarot, Jane Lyle says, “When signifying a person, The Chariot often represents a positive driving force in your life – someone who can motivate or inspire you to explore your own talents or abilities to the full. Such a person can act as a catalyst for beneficial changes and developments.”
In the reversed position, the Chariot signifies an inability to complete a task, becoming sidetracked, impulsive behavior, uncontrollable lust, lack of self-confidence, negative influences, stagnation, self-defeating behavior, and a need to think carefully about what you can do to get yourself back on the right track.
About the Author:
Having grown up in a family that appreciated and encouraged psychic abilities, I have read the cards most of my life. My readings are non-judgemental & delivered with compassion & caring. I have 21 years experience as a professional crisis counselor & have offered readings on Keen.com since early 2001.