Learn the Hidden Secrets of this Important Tarot Character! One of the most interesting things about the tarot deck is that each card has a history and an evolution from the original tarot decks of long ago to today. The Chariot card, the seventh card in the Major Arcana, is no exception. Read more...
Learn the Hidden Secrets of this Important Tarot Character! One of the most interesting things about the tarot deck is that each card has a history and an evolution from the original tarot decks of long ago to today. The Chariot card, the seventh card in the Major Arcana, is no exception.
It is thought that with the first Tarot decks, the pictures and characters on the card werenít the main focus. Instead, the cards stood more for ideas and principles than the literal picture on the card. Over time, most tarot decks have become far more literal. In the case of The Chariot card, most tarot experts believe that the original meaning attached to the card was that of victory.
Ironically, the original Chariot card had very little to do with the chariot, itself. The focus of the card was usually the warrior or soldier who was in the chariot. Most ancient decks show the passenger decked out in royal or tribal garb, almost always armed, and with the look of having just returned from a grueling battle, victorious and ready to bask in the spoils of war.
Another interesting evolution of the Chariot card has been the placement of the card in the tarot deck. Modern tarot users know the Chariot card as the seventh card of the major arcana, but throughout history, the placement of the chariot card has been as low as fourth and as high as ninth!
Other experts link the origins of the Chariot card not to victory at war, but over victory of carnal pleasures. Since the modern tarot can be traced back to Italy, most experts are in agreement that the chariot depicted on the card was taken from the many parades that featured chariots in 14th-centry Italy.
But instead of celebrating a victory at war, some believe that the chariot card has more to do with the temperance card and a victory over chastity. It was commonly believed, and still is in parts of the world, that if a soldier is forbidden from engaging in sexual activity before battle, he will fight harder, stronger and longer.
So it is possible that there is a connection between a war and a purity origin for the Chariot card. The idea of abstaining from sexual contact is still in common use today, but in a much gentler context in the world of professional and amateur sports.
While the exact origins of each card, and each character will always be a subject of debate, it is safe to say that as different tarot decks evolved in different spots around the world, the meaning of each character differed. In places like Italy that had a strong church presence,
The Chariot card had a closer tie to keeping your spiritual purity and physical purity while you are committing the unspeakable acts of war, while in other parts of the world, the cardís historical meaning points more to control over the uncertainties of life, much like the Wheel of Fortune card.
Of course, as is the case with all modern tarot, the exact interpretation of The Chariot will depend largely on the question asked and the tone set by the rest of the cards during your reading.
Modern interpretations of The Chariot range from positives like power, victory, honor and pride, to negatives such as egocentrism, inflexibility, impulsivity and anxiety. Of course, if the card appears reversed in any readings, those associations would be reversed as well in the context of the original question asked.
One theme that has been associated with The Chariot from day one has been hard work. If The Chariot should appear during your next reading, know that the goal you are asking about is attainable, but it will not be easy and that your quest will require focus and commitment over a long period of time.
When The Chariot appears reversed during readings, the most common principle attached to the card is a loss of control. The theme of control and the anxiety that is associated with it, is a common theme that runs throughout the modern tarot and can be associated, at least in some degree, with dozens of cards.
The Chariot card is a wonderful and interesting card with a history that is like a colorful tapestry. While each card has its own interesting history, by knowing the origins and the evolution of The Chariot, it will make your understanding and appreciation of the tarot that much more meaningful.
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