7 The Chariot

Excerpt From the Katha-Upanishad

The individual self and universal Self, living in the heart, like shade and light, though beyond enjoyment, enjoy the result of action. All say this, all who know Spirit, whether householder or ascetic.
Man can kindle Fire, that spirit, a bridge for all who sacrifice, a guide for all who pass beyond fear.

Self rides in the chariot of the body, intellect the firm footed charioteer, discursive reins the mind.

Senses are the horses, objects of desire the roads. When self is joined to body, mind, sense, none but He enjoys.

When man lacks steadiness, unable to control his mind, his senses are unmanageable horses.

But if he control his mind, a steady man, they are manageable horses.

The impure, self -willed, unsteady man misses the goal and is born again and again.

The self-controlled, steady, pure man goes to that goal from which he never returns.

He who call intellect to manage the reins of his mind reaches the end of his journey, finds there all pervading Spirit.

Above the senses are the objects of desire, above the objects of desire mind, above mind the intellect, above the intellect manifest nature.

Above manifest nature the unmanifest seed, above the unmanifest seed, God. God is the goal; beyond Him nothing.

Both excerpts express how the soul uses the body as a vehicle so that it can experience the physical creation.

When the Chariot is seen in a spread it symbolises excellent health. It also shows that the questioner is on the right path in life and working with the natural energies as depicted by The Empress. Through correct action comes a sense of well-being and invigoration for life.

When The Chariot is reversed it quite literally means that one’s life has gone off the road. People often say they have *lost their way*, and it is at such times that the reversed Chariot will highlight their feelings of futility within the world.

Tarot is a living organism and all interpretations will change according to the age in which we live. Therefore the chariot also symbolises the car someone drives. On several occasions I have seen the Chariot symbolising such mundane activities as a Sunday drive for pleasure, a new car; and when reversed a minor accident or breakdown.

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