Control, Willpower, Victory, Assertive determination
Aggression, Lack of control and direction
Description of Rider-Waite-Smith
A chariot thunder away from a great city. Its noble occupant looks at ease with his situation, deftly controlling the apparently divergent beasts by their sheer presence rather than by rein or rod. He is in control of his journey, master of all the forces in play.
In some ways, the Chariot card is the sum of all the cards that preceded it as it contains elements found within each card in a form of balance. He wilds the baton/wand of the Magician, wears the moon on the High Priestess and his chariot is propelled by the balanced black and white sphinxes, reminiscent of the pillars of her temple. He is crowned as Empress is and the presence of a stone in the form of a throne and twin pillars represents the Emperor and the Hierophant respectively. The chariot travels through the lush landscape of the Garden and his chariot bears the wings of Michael to represent that divine oversight and landscape of the Lovers.
Because of this the Chariot refers to themes of mastery, discipline and control and show the Fool at a stage in his journey where he is feeling accomplished and in charge of his own destiny as he moves on to the next state of his journey.
Most of the symbolism has already been mentioned however there is one key element which remains to be discussed. The twin Sphinx of the Chariot card are coloured black and white, reminicient of the pilars Jachin and Boaz from the High Priestess card. They are the balanced forces of the Chariot card, so tuned to the rider that they do not require his guidance. Usually they are placed within the image at a slight angle to each other, as if they are about to pull on opposite diections, which is the risk of allowing such great powers to conduct themselves unchecked.
The Chariot of the Arcana
As with the rest of the deck, the elements of the Rider-Waite-Smith are implied but present in their entirety. The awning of the Chariot is represented by the hanging fabric and posts whilst the half circle before the central figure is reminiscent of the guard plate of the Chariot.
At first glance the energy and speed of the twin Sphinx are missing from the depiction but when we consider the cheeter that stands to wield the baton we realise that it is here the energy is incorporated. The cheeter, famous for its amazing bursts of speed and ability to change direction with ease and precision, contains all the elements central to the Chariot card. In itself, the Cheeter represents speed and power whilst the baton implies that they are in control of the forces that draw the chariot forward. The baton is not raised but rather held in a hand which is both relaxed and confident. The control of the rider is so great that they do not need to raise their hand to control their progress. Other elements which have been retained include the crescent moons on the shoulders of the rider and the star diamond on their brow.
In the game, the Arcana to Chariot is representing of Morga, the mother of main protagonist Count Lucio. So far she has appeared in a short storyline about Lucio’s history and in the latest books in Murial’s route and it is clear that she is a powerful and forceful character. Morga is the wife of a tribal leader and is portrayed as the power behind the throne so to speak. Even when weakened by the plague Morga is a formidable figure which a young Lucio fears to confront dirctly. Dressed in cheeter skins she embodies the barely contained forces of the chariot card.