Studying Tarot can be like gazing into a fractal: the deeper you peer into it, the more it just goes right on opening up new facets of itself like an infinite flower…
Case in point: the Chariot card. I’ve generally thought of this card as signifying things like willpower, struggle, combat, travel, armor, and whole things that are greater than the sums of their parts.
Recently, though, while prepping for parts of the Tarot Toolkit course section on the Majors, it occurred to me that The Chariot has a far more spiritual overlay than I’d ever really given it credit for in the past. Multiple bodies of Mythology tell of the Sun and the Moon (and sometimes the Dawn) being ferried daily across the sky in Chariots, and a great many Deities travel across existence in Chariots pulled by various creatures.
Also, Chariots seem to serve as vessels through which Deities can interface with us mere mortals. When Chariots are utilized in this fashion – almost like the spiritual equivalents of airlocks – we see encounters such as Ezekiel’s meeting with Divinity in the Bible, or Arjuna’s face-time with Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. But when no Chariot is present, and a direct interface occurs, we see results such as Semele being incinerated when glimpsing Zeus in all his unfiltered Glory.
It’s probably not coincidence that the RWS version of this card shows a charioteer who wears the Stars on his cloak and his brow, and a pair of crescent Moons on his shoulders: The Chariot is a safe space where the earthly and the Celestial can safely mix and mingle.