An exploration of our collective tarot card for 2023, The Chariot.
As the year begins I find my mind in a dizzying spin of ideas, each one attempting to push itself to the forefront of my awareness, like a bundle of enthusiastic puppies all vying for my attention.
I know why they are so insistent. These 'ideas' know, as I do, that only those I pay attention to will actually come alive in form, or survive to be attended to another day.
And so they all come at once, each one wanting to be the idea or direction that I choose to pursue.
But I have to be decisive, I have to choose calmly and intuitively and over time. If I don't, the pressure or distraction of trying to invest in too many ideas at once ends up bringing me to a spinning standstill with little forward momentum at all.
And so I have had to learn (after years of practice) that it is in the patient listening of all these ideas that I come to know myself a little more, that I find the common theme and that I open to seeing where the muse is hoping to take me.
Image by Jenni Pasanen
And as a long-time tarot reader, at times of indecision or questioning, I find turning to this incredible tool has been one of my favourite means of receiving some additional guidance from the cosmos.
And this cosmic communication is so deeply enriching and supporting. Helping me to reflect on what it is I want, what I would like to bring into form, and of course helping me to live magically.
And, at this time, as the wheel turns and a new year dawns, I have been called to spend more time in contemplation, and in doing so have been drawn to the card of 2023 (which, after now knowing my current experience you may come to see why).
As way of a little explanation, for every calendar year there is an associated tarot card (taken from the Major Arcana in the deck). All following their usual order of succession.
Last years’ card was The Lovers (6) which brought with it those themes of community, new connections, new or deepening relationships, choices, and sacrifice.
For in every choice there is a sacrifice. To choose one path turns us away from another.
And now the card of this year, our collective card, is The Chariot (7).
A short video introduction to The Chariot
The Chariot is a card which encompasses the whole domain of 'drive', readiness, preparedness, direction and, ultimately, forward momentum. It is a card of courage, anticipation, alignment, and a certain amount of self-protection (as we go out into the world/the wild/experience something new).
With any new direction or in preparation of a new journey, we can find ourselves torn by questions, yet impatient with anticipation.
To speak to each of these separately, the questions, if not considered clearly can lead to feelings of confusion and uncertainty. And so be curious about the questions - gather the information you need to help to answer them.
As to anticipation, when not alleviated by any forward movement it can feel immensely frustrating, and we can fall into moments of self-criticism that we’re not making progress, that we're not moving forward.
However The Chariot reminds us that to feel such frustration is to forget or neglect a very important part of any journey. The muse. All those chattering ideas that flow excitedly in. For without these, how would we every ever land on a semblance of a direction? Or fulfil the truth of our desires? We need to pause in order to dream, gather, plan, project... and finally to fulfil.
When the ideas come it is important to spend time a-mus-ing the muse, allowing a welcome space of consideration for all the ideas, options, possibilities, dreams.
Welcome any indecision, welcome any confusion. Simply lay out all the options, all the ideas, all the scenarios and become aware of what is possible.
Don't seek to make a choice, let go of worry... just seek to have the paths (all the options) well-illumined.
This is all a part of us coming into alignment. In order to be able to move forward.
For without alignment we can find ourselves rushing around (in mind or in form) while staying almost completely still for when we continue to be pulled in two, or more directions. We end up going in circles or veering from left to right without a clear direction or the possibility of and ease of momentum.
Once we have everything laid out, we can then actively, consciously and intuitively choose where to pay our attention.
In The Chariot card, with the character poised upon a chariot, two sphinxes sit patiently, awaiting their command to move.
And the sphinxes, unlike horses, are mythical in their powers. This means that when they finally move they are not confined to our conventional understanding of time. They have the power to move you directly to where you need to go, with a pace that can feel almost divinely ordained.
This is to say that when you put your mind, attention, heart and intuition toward what it is you want, and what ideas you want to pursue, the achievement of them can be faster than you could imagine.
Balance (alignment) is so important to this card that we see it articulated many times over; in the duality of the sphinxes, in the two wheels, in featuring the chariot itself (and it's need to have a specific direction), the triangle, and the spinning top on the front of the carriage.
And the need to connect with out intuition is clear also. You will see that the veil of the carriage which sits above the charioteer is dusted with stars - a link to the High Priestess and a reminder of the magic and wisdom of the stars and the greater levels of who we truly are.
Crescent moons rest at the charioteers shoulders as a reference to this cards' relationship to the moon, and once again to the High Priestess and her mystical wisdom.
And a star sits above his head (his north star).
All offer a reminder that the answers and the direction will not simply originate from the mind, from intellectualising or over thinking or excessive consideration, but from listening deeply to your intuition and the wants of your soul, and trusting these.
Our destiny is a path that we can not 'think' through because it is not logical.
Destiny is living from the truth of our hearts and soul, and our soul does not simply express itself through mind, but through feelings and sensitivity and some certain traits (found in our birth charts). And it is opening to those signs and forms of guidance from around us. Not every answer is held within. Who are you meeting, what are you reading... destiny speaks through it all..
And so, we must feel our way.
What feels right, what feels wanted, what feels good?
**If we are out of practice in listening, try to encourage yourself to drop down into your body and to notice what you feel inside (a churning or a tightening or an opening or a sparkling). Our bodies let us know how we feel about the ideas and choices which come our way. Feel what the body (chest, stomach, throat) is warmed by. Feel what the body (chest, stomach, throat) is tightened by. Learn to listen to these signals.
And so, returning to those now articulated ideas or choices. With all the honest information you have gathered about each possibility. Place them in front of you and take as long as you need to ‘feel’ or 'know' your way. Don't let anyone else obstruct your truth. Be completely honest with yourself.
And then ... choose.
If you make all your decisions with clarity, intuition and self trust, then you will always choose and act in accordance (and alignment) with what felt right for you at the time.
By doing this you never leave room for regret. You followed your internal knowing. You based your direction on the best information you had at the time, formed of both practical and intuitive knowledge.
And if you ever make choices when you knew you weren’t listening to yourself, or you deliberately ignored your intuition or you made choices out of fear, then simply allow this to be a wonderful moment of learning to trust ourselves, and we will inevitably receive another opportunity to test ourselves.
This speaks too, to another aspect of the card - its' relationship as I mentioned previously to the moon. There can be a moodiness, over-sensitivity, frustration at ourselves. This is the card of adolescence and so those same insecurities and emotional undulations are all possible when The Chariot is present. And the best way is to see these undulations as turbulence or bumps in the road. To not forget that you will feel them but that the chariot can roll over them without you falling off.
So the advice is to ride the waves, to feel and be with the undulation but to presence and support yourself so you don't fall or stop at every sharp bend or bump.
And going just a little bit deeper into the nature of The Chariot, for the Astrologers amongst you, this card is linked to the astrological sign of Cancer; a sign which is ruled by the moon.
With Cancer we are reminded of the importance of a work/life balance. Of the importance of tending to our home so that it can continue to nourish and support us as we may be pursuing growth in other directions.
And crabs move sideways... so alignment with a particular direction may not always feel like it is taking the the straightest route to what we want, but do not worry - sometimes going sideways can gather the resources we need to reach our goals (and our goals could be as simple as happiness. And the 'sideways' could be a meditation course when you were looking at wanting to teach. And the meditation may just open up an amazing array of supportive practices for your teaching clients.)
As this year is ruled by The Chariot, it is a perfect time to become even more familiar with ourselves, our emotions, our direction and our destiny.
It is a time to play with moving from procrastination to decision, from uncertainty to clarity, from thinking to feeling.
Expect times when you will feel pulled in two or multiple directions, expect times when it feels like you aren’t making progress, and expect the sudden emergence of others’ when you will race ahead at pace.
To support your emotional journey, reach out for support, create a network and try to ensure you maintain a comfortable and safe ‘home’ to rest and restore in.
As the Charioteer, you are the driver. It is your will and determination (combined with soul and heart) that will create the driving force in your life to keep you growing.
The Charioteer, also known as the Lord of the Triumph of Light. Reminds us that we are consciousness in form, spirit in matter, soul in-bodied.
And so it is wise too to tend to our body (to our living vehicle), to our home, to our Earth. An embodied journey relies on the resilience of all these, so wherever illnesses, breaks, or damage arises ask whether there is more tending needed?
Do you want to find to begin your 2023 with clarity and confidence, book in a personal virtual tarot reading with me here:
Tansy is a professional tarot reader, guidance counsellor and intuitive healer.
You can contact her at: email@example.com