I’ve written interpretations for every card in the Wild Unknown Tarot. As the box of the deck states, there are no rights or wrongs. These are simply my perspectives on the tarot card meanings. I hope you find them useful!
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Deck Creator’s Keywords: strong will, achievement, triumph
Carrie’s Keywords: autonomy, control, willpower
The Chariot Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
A horse looks out from the card, her mane blowing freely in the wind. She faces us head on, as though unafraid to deal with anything – problems, joy and conflict – directly. She doesn’t shy away from life! She shows up fully and completely for all that life has to offer, and trusts her ability to take charge in any situation.
The Chariot shows the importance of mastering the way you present yourself to the world. This card is sometimes associated with ego, and while the term ‘ego’ has a bad reputation, the truth is that having a healthy ego is really important. Having a strong idea of who we are as an individual is essential to our ability to be authentic, to set goals, and to live our lives the way that is right for us. This is a card of autonomy, of your ability to choose how to show up in your life.
The card is black and white, with the exception of the red corners. The red here is bolder, unlike some of the more watered down colors we’ve seen in earlier cards. The use of color here is more commanding. Red is a color of confidence and assurance. Four is a number of stability, and the positioning of the color in the four corners shows the self-control associated with the Chariot.
The body of the horse becomes less and less detailed towards the bottom of the card. This shows that The Chariot can channel external as well as internal energy and direct it through her own determination. For better or for worse, the Chariot is so focused on the task at hand that nothing else seems to matter. There is a singular determination at work in this card.
I like to think of the Major Arcana as three sets of seven cards (with the addition of the Fool). In this view, the Chariot is the last card in the first row. In some ways, this card reminds me of a young adult, someone who has certainly matured but may have a narrow view of their overall growth. The Chariot speaks to a dogged determination to go in a certain direction, but on the shadow side Chariot energy can sometimes become TOO pushy and forceful.
This horse wears a chain around her neck, adorned by a single pentacle. To me, this symbolizes the mastery she has gained so far. She is proud of all the ways she has developed so far. The challenge of the Chariot from here is to remain open to all that she still has to learn, instead of succumbing to an overly inflated ego! On her forehead is a black crescent moon, which suggests to me that in her soul is still open to receiving new wisdom. But another challenge for the Chariot is reconciling the knowledge of her soul with the insistence of her ego.
Above the horse, we see the now-familiar theme of rays emanating from a singular point. This time the origin of the rays is a round, white orb – possibly the sun. These emanating rays show energy that is expansive, powerful and unstoppable. The Chariot is a card of action. The Chariot is actively doing, going, moving.
The emanating rays here are black and white. The monochrome coloring shows a no-nonsense energy. Sometimes, we need to quit screwing around and start taking ourselves seriously. The Chariot asks you to set goals, believe in your ability to overcome adversity. When you maximize your willpower it is possible for you to succeed against all odds.
The Chariot Tarot Card Meanings in General
The Chariot is often illustrated as a person driving a cart. The card is typically pulled by two creatures, one black and one white. The contrasting colors show the necessity of rounding up all the seemingly contradicting elements in our lives and pushing them into one coherent direction.
There are many cards that speak of ease and flow, but the Chariot shows a counterbalance to these concepts. The Chariot is about determination, hard work and grit. In a metaphoric sense, you are a charioteer and the chariot you drive is your life. You have a responsibility to assert your control over that chariot and to take ownership over the direction you are headed.
The Chariot draws your attention to you and your path. This is a common theme in the visual presentation of this card in various decks. This card asks you to stay in your lane, to be aware of what YOU are doing. A shadow side of this can be selfishness and inflexibility. But at its best, Chariot energy brings you in touch with your most powerful autonomy.
In a reading
In a positive sense, when the Chariot shows up in a reading it can remind you to tap into your dogged determination. This card can be the kick in the pants you need to do hard things. Instead of avoiding difficulty, the Chariot challenges you to be like the horse in this card and face challenges head-on. Be willing to start sorting through your whatever obstacles you currently have. This might not always be easy, but if you believe in yourself you CAN do hard things.
The Chariot also asks you to consider the current state of your ego. Do you have a healthy sense of self confidence? Or on the other hand, have you become so set in your ways that you’re missing the bigger picture? Be equally willing to own your strengths AND your opportunities for further growth.