Heroism can be redefined for our age as the ability to tolerate paradox, to embrace seemingly opposing forces without rejecting one or the other just for the sheer relief of it; and to understand that life is the game played between two paradoxical goalposts…
~ Gregg Levoy, from Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life
As you probably know from the articles I have published, or from being in my Birthday Club, the numerology of birthdays, or a particular year corresponds to the Tarot’s Major Arcana (the trumps).
Using this system, we can learn about some of general traits and patterns that can be anticipated in a given year. In 2013, we experienced the challenges and joys of a year ruled by The Lovers card.
While romantic love is the obvious indication in The Lovers, its deeper meanings have to do with making choices, and whether our choices are rooted in what we love, or what we fear.
For better or worse, we have seen political, environmental, economic, and spiritual choices made that will certainly change the face of the world in the coming years.
For a long time, analysts will continue to debate to what extent those choices were motivated by what is best in us, or what is worst.
But the Wheel of Time has moved on.
The Year of The Chariot.
The Waite-Smith Tarot’s Chariot image is a fascinating one. The Chariot is drawn by the two Sphinxes of duality (black and white). The warrior in the center has learned to harness the friction between these opposites, which then move him forward as he wills.
He represents success, triumph, rigor, and the discipline needed to reach our goals.
The charioteer has answered the riddle of the Sphinx, and now is granted the ability to proceed. Thus, he has passed the first degree of initiation by solving a vital, difficult question, or perhaps making a challenging choice, for example as a result of last year’s Lovers lessons.
But the Chariot is more than just a response to the Lovers year. In fact, it is the culmination of the entire first tier of the twenty two Major Arcana cards, which are commonly divided into 3 groups, from 1-7, 8-14, and 15-21, with The Fool being zero — the beginning and the end.
Thus, as Tarot expert Rachel Pollack has discussed in her book Tarot Wisdom, the Waite-Smith Chariot contains a reference to all of the preceding Trumps.
Look closely and you will see that the charioteer holds one of The Magician’s wands; the two sphinxes are reminiscent of the black and white pillars of The High Priestess; The Empress’s star crown appears as the canopy above the charioteer, and The Emperor is recalled by the stone-like cube of the chariot.
The position of the sphinxes echoes the acolytes in The Hierophant, and lastly, the symbol of the wings, hovering over the joined lingam and yoni is a reference to the image of The Lovers.
Similarly, many astrologers have predicted that the year 2014 will be an historic watershed moment. It promises to bear the fruit of the many powerful influences we have recently be undergoing.
We have reached the climax of the profound, four-year long Uranus-Pluto square cycle, which Eric Francis and others have described as the defining aspect of our generation. There is also a Grand Cross that is now interacting with it, thanks to squaring aspects with Mars and Jupiter.
Eric writes, “Every now and then during one of these eras, there is a planetary alignment grouped around the generational aspect that brings it to the forefront. Suddenly it’s really obvious what is happening. It’s like you wake up one day and figure out who you are, where you are, and what is happening around you…
“…You have to make a decision; you figure out that it’s time for a change; you’re confronted with a situation; your own restlessness catches up with you…”
Whether we like it or not, the “snooze bar” of our lives is not going to cut it anymore.
Time to Get Going!
Even if pulled in different directions, the charioteer is a master who can use raw, opposing energies to fulfill his goal. The Chariot can even turn confusion into progress. The only option not available is passive inaction.
Yes, difficulties may arise, but our conflicts can be reigned in, and used. Self-discipline and self-control will be key factors for success.
Chariot years are very goal-oriented. This is a time for setting priorities, mastering the skills needed to achieve them, and sticking to the plan.
In a Chariot Year, tempers can be edgy, especially if there are setbacks. You may have to prove your authority by handling difficult situations and frustrations. If you let your emotions take over, you could have trouble. Endurance will make all the difference this year, and spotlight you as a true adept.
It is important to give yourself regular breaks. Because The Chariot is ruled by the astrological sign of Cancer, being near water can be therapeutic.
Be patient with paradox. Trust that friction can give you the traction needed for forward progress. As long as you stay on an even keel, opposing forces can work in your favor.
Keep your eye on the prize and remain focused.
We are heroes on the ride of our lives. Let us move swiftly towards what we truly desire. Happy New Year!