Tarot Templates: A Card A Day Creates Magic

Tarot can be used for many things including futurecasting. This blog will focus on Tarot as a tool for introspection including spreads, readings, individual card explorations and investigating themes of Tarot. You can expect discussions of magical uses of Tarot as well. If you have a question, please send it for possible inclusion in a blog topic.

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Chasing The Chariot

How often have you thrown yourself into something only to find out you should have done more research... you should have waited a bit longer? What were the consequences of your hasty decision? Would you have chosen differently if you had taken a few more moments to think? These are what I see as the moments when our personal Chariots took over. We were not in control. Or we may have thought we were in control. I know I've had more than one moment where what I thought was a controlled action was controlled by my own needs or wants. I think of the sphinxes of the Rider Waite Smith Tarot as Yin and Yang. They are often shown as one dark and one light. Like the High Priestess who sits between the two pillars, Jachin and Boaz, the theme carries over here but with a lot more action in my opinion.


Not all Chariots use the theme of black and white, divided attentions. One of my favorites is from the Fradella Adventure Tarot (U.S. Games (c) 2002). Instead of the typical, we have a motorcycle roaring at us straight off the card. There is a bit of muck in the foreground, but the front wheel is slicing through it with minimal problems. The charioteer is a huge black man with a determined look on his face. His trench coat flies out behind him as he grips the bike firmly between his legs. Both of his hands hold blazing weapons. This is a man who is large and in charge and going somewhere. Getting in his way is not an option. He is on a mission and will mow down anyone in the way. In this Chariot portrayal, I get the sense that the viewer holds the place of the sphinxes. The decision that must be made is "move or be mowed down."


Not all Chariots have that in-your-face energy. A gentler version exists in the Tarot Of The Old Path. Here our chariot is a white man in a stylized chariot holding a four-in-hand. That refers to the fact that the driver controls all four horses by himself. This was (and still is) considered to be quite the accomplishment in driving skills. He doesn't need the second driver that often went with four horses. His will masters the animals under his control. The horses themselves are representatives of the four elements, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. So in effect, this Charioteer represents the ability to master the elements themselves. Note also the name change here. Mastery is the name of this card.




Moving to the World Spirit Tarot, our Charioteer is a cocoa-colored man. He holds a spear as he leans forward. There is a soft smile on his face as he looks at the two zebra hippogriffs pulling him. The white-and-black dichotomy here exists in both animals. This chariot is moving from land to water which can be seen as moving from the physical realm to the emotional one. Our Charioteer trusts the beasts that pull him. Trusting the journey is another aspect of the Chariot. 


The Fifth Tarot, arguably not a traditional deck due to the fifth suit, reveals the Chariot is pulled by the horses and dolphins of the waves. The Charioteer appears to be white with a purple flowing headpiece. He holds an ankh up to the sky. He has no fear of where he is going and rises to the highest possible place. An ominous skulls floats in the water with its skeletal hand reaching for the waves of horses and dolphins. His chariot bears an emblem on the front.


From the Wild Unknown Tarot, the horse represents the card. Instead of a man, we see just the horse herself (per Kim Krans) bursting forth. Her mane is waving wildly. For me, this is not an intuitive Chariot. Some who were knew to Tarot might find it a harder deck to work with. Still many beginners have taken to this unusual deck quite easily. YMMV, I'm sure. 


Male is the go-to for most Chariots but there are some notable exceptions. One is the Mystical Faieries Tarot which features a beautiful faery dressed in blue. Her chariot is pulled by two griffins--one black and one gold. The Druidcaft Tarot uses a black horse and a white horse with a curvy warrior woman behind them. She always reminds me of Boudica who had some very hard choices to make. In the whimsical Vanessa Tarot, the charioteer drives her pink car down the road. There is a black and white cow in the background but you would be hard-pressed to associate this with any traditional Chariot.


But as a reader, I often see the Chariot as the physical vehicle we drive. It is our car--our bike--our scooter--our skateboard. But it is also our physical self that we hurtle through life. Sometimes we are like that biker of the Frank Fradella Adventure Tarot. We rush headlong knowing we are in the right. Other times we are the charioteer of the World Spirit Tarot--content to let the journey carry us to the next spot.


Astrologically the Chariot is associated with Cancer and mastery of self. I am always fascinated by that link. When I first began my study of Tarot, the Chariot seemed so far afield from what I associate with Cancer. Cancer is a home-loving sign for me but then you have the fierce determination to choose where and how our Crab lives. That ties the Chariot into Cancer for me For me the lesson of the Chariot is not so much to charge headlong into things as it is to go for it whole-heartedly once you have made the decision. But make the decision first. Don't let the Chariot decision drag you into a unsafe place. Hold on to the reins and guide your own life.


If you have a difficult decision, you might employ the Chariot as your focal piece on your altar. Or do a reading with the Chariot as the first card (or significator) and lay three to five cards out on either side to see which way you should turn.


What's one of your favorite Chariot cards? I'd love to know.

Images used with permission.

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Professional Tarot conversationalist, Arwen Lynch has worked with Tarot as a vehicle for personal transformation since 1980. Her personal philosophy is that Tarot is best used to correct your life course. She is a published author (in romance, as Marilu Mann) as well as past president of the American Tarot Association (4/1/2007-4/1/2014). She specializes in helping people who are determined find their joy and writers who want to finish their book. She's an initiate of Wicca.


  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 03 August 2016

    Arwen, thank you so much. I've been stuck regarding a major life decision for a couple of years now, not knowing what to do. Your article give me solid ideas on how to meditate/act toward the solution. The Chariot is my life card, which made the article relevant to me on a deep gut level, too. Thanks again, you beautiful woman!

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