On this Mother’s Day, I first thought of doing a deep dive into the Empress, the nurturing archetype who is driven by the preservation of life. But instead I think its better to give a gift in this week’s reading to whomever needs it.
For this week’s reading I picked the Chariot which often signifies the journey for me. It’s the path, in all its forms. Here are some explorations of what it means to walk your path, and how you might see yourself on your current journey. I hope it nurtures you!
The Chariot is typically the seventh card in the Major Arcana, and before we get to some versions of this card with more literal chariots and journeys I’d like to start with this one from the Osho Zen Tarot.
This card is titled awareness, the journey to truly know oneself is often the most difficult journey of all. But what does that mean?
In many ways it’s the anti-chariot. Inaction or no-action is the only way to get there. Having no-mind, meaning dropping the memories of our past and burden of constantly trying to project our future is a difficult path indeed. It requires complete stillness in the present moment. And in order to achieve this clarity and achieving this no-mind requires awareness of what memories or projections we are carrying in the first place, and how they are affecting our lives today.
Once we take this most challenging journey we may eventually arrive closer to the present moment. Is this part of your current journey? If it is what tools are you using to create this awareness in your own life?
In this version of the Chariot from the Tarot of the Divine we see the protagonist from the Norwegian fairytale of the Three Princesses of Whiteland. Here he is shown on the last leg of his journey after many years and cycles of trials and tribulations. He has persevered and harnessed his emotions to finally follow a straight and clear path.
Some of our journeys are long and require perseverance to continue on them. We learn many things through all of the tests of this type of journey, so its a worthwhile endeavor even though it takes a lot of energy to continue on. Sometimes we may even need to take a rest and come back to continue the journey later.
Is this your journey? If so what have you learned so far, can you do a journaling exercise about that? Try writing down all of the tests and what you have learned, and also consider how you are practicing self-care to make sure you are maintaining the energy to persevere. The victory at the end of this journey is vast and I am excited for you to experience it!
Here is the Chariot from the Brady Tarot. Quite a journey indeed! Most paths for those seeing themselves in the card of the Chariot are on tough roads with tough choices. But its probably also true that this person loves the challenge of building this Chariot or team.
This chariot has an innovative design even if it appears precarious. There are intertwined horns representing emotions which are supported by roots representing the physical self and world. The “wheels” are birds in flight, a crane and a falcon bound together by the sashes of fire (sprit) and air (mind) to have a vessel for the journey. They are working together but potentially under duress. And then we have a magpie steering this most unusual chariot.
This might be the journey of a team just starting out, inventing a new way of travelling to get them on their journey. Everyone is contributing something to the chariot, and they have all taken on certain roles. At some point they will need to invent a more permanent and stable vessel if they want to make it to the end of the road.
How are you using ingenuity in your current path, do you have help from others? Have you thanked them lately? Is there a plan to build a stronger vessel?
And lastly here is the Chariot from the Voyager tarot. Some of the imagery here is that of a traditional chariot and Greek Charioteer. There are a lot of different types of roads here in many different environments air (the balloon), space ( the astronaut), water (the surfer) to name a few.
The Crab represents someone who is at home where ever they go because they have found security within themselves. One way to maintain a long journey is to first prepare yourself by knowing this security within.
There is also a lot of motion on this card – all of it either out or up, none of it slowing down or stopping, or in a downward direction. This kind of path is either exhilarating or exhausting depending on who you are. The person who is exhilarated by this journey has often found a stillness within to counteract the constant motion.
Is this your type of journey? Are you maintaining stillness within, or are you getting carried away? If you are on this journey and you find it exhausting, you can always pull the reigns on the chariot and find a different path. There is no wrong path as long as we are learning about ourselves and/or helping others learn about themselves.
I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of our different paths and Chariots, and that you have found something of yourself helpful in it.
If you cannot find your path then for you I give you this vision of fireflies, which inspire us by illuminating all of the many paths to choose from, and providing light in what might seem like darkness. One of them will lead you to a path that’s meant for you.