Magic is a way of living. If one has done one’s best to steer the chariot, and one then notices that a greater other is actually steering it, then magical operation takes place.
Carl Jung, The Red Book
As you probably know from the articles I have published, or from being in my Birthday Club (2012-2017), the numerology of the calendar can correspond to the Major Arcana in the Tarot.
Using this system, we can learn about some of the general traits and patterns that can be anticipated in a given year. Last year, by adding up 2+0+2+2=6, everyone experienced the challenges and joys of a year ruled by The Lovers card.
While romantic love is often the obvious indication for The Lovers, its deeper meanings have to do with making choices, and whether those decisions are rooted in what we love, or what we fear.
For better or worse, the fork in the road has now passed, and as we now welcome 2023, we are moving on. Thus, the 7th triumph card of the Tarot is The Chariot. This means we will begin to see the political, environmental, economic, and spiritual outcomes of last year’s selections.
This is not to imply that there are no more decisions or changes in direction to be made. But a climactic moment regarding many urgent matters has now come and gone, both globally and personally.
We can expect that for years to come, there may be debates whether what is best in us, or what is worst has ultimately set us on the path that now lies before us.
But the fact is, the Wheel of Time has now turned. There is nowhere to go but forward.
The Year of The Chariot
The Waite-Smith Tarot’s Chariot image is a fascinating one. The Chariot is drawn by two Sphinxes, representing the duality of 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, again pointing to the results 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.
And the Chariot contains a reference to all 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’ 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.
Up Close and Personal
Even when pulled in different directions, the charioteer is a master who can use raw, divergent energies to fulfill his goal. The Chariot can even turn confusion into progress. The only option not available is passive inaction.
So whenever you encounter difficulties this year, take note of which directions you are being pulled in. Know that your conflicts can be reigned in, and even used to your ultimate advantage. 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. (Tomorrow, I’ll be discussing how this harmonizes with the year’s astrology).
It’s good to be aware that 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.
Because of this, though, it is important to give yourself regular breaks. And since The Chariot is ruled by the astrological sign of Cancer, being near water can be especially 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, even opposing forces can work in your favor.
Keep your eye on whatever outcome was settled last year, move forward, and remain focused.
The Chariot Ruled by Cancer
Speaking of The Chariot being connected to the sign of Cancer, please be aware that the so-called “moon children” are not really the wimpy, hypersensitive nurturers moodily clinging to their mothers that pop astrology often depicts.
As a cardinal sign, Cancer is a powerful leader who initiates new beginnings, and can launch you into a higher evolutionary phase, namely that of intuitive maturity and your heart-centered powers.
Thus, as the world hops onto The Chariot, we are on a mission of innovation and finely attuned insight, much of which was triggered by events last year. We are ready to be propelled into a far deeper understanding and awareness, which is so needed at this critical moment in human history.
But keep in mind that in a chariot, forward momentum is not always easy. With every important step forward, we may have to overcome resistance, fears, misgivings, and second thoughts. Sometimes we might be slogging through muddy setbacks, failures, and even a big messy tip-over or two.
The Chariot does not promise simplicity or ease. The Cancerian, crab-like forward, backward, and sideways progress of moving towards realization is ultimately a divine and necessary dance. The traction we need is created by the will of the driver holding the reins of contrary forces.
It could be bumpy at times, with plenty of seeming detours and even disappointments. To get where you want to go, have a plan, gather up your grit and determination, and have a few alternatives ready in your back pocket.
And speaking of the astrological connection with The Chariot, tomorrow I’ll share some inspiring insights from some of my favorite astrologers. Check back then (or look for it in your inbox first thing).