The Chariot Tarot Card Meaning, Explained

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chariot tarot card

Tarot is a collection of cards whose meaning helps to bring clarity to questions about our current or future life circumstances. On each card is an image, a number, and a corresponding name.

The Chariot is a Major Arcana card and represents overcoming obstacles through determination, signifying a long awaited success on the horizon.

The Chariot Tarot Card Meanings

Upright meaning keywords: Overcoming obstacles, success, persistence, strength, control, ambition, intelligent effort

Reverse meaning keywords: Lack of direction or willpower, manipulation, obstacles, being out of control

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To receive the Chariot card means a reward will soon be yours, but it is also a reminder that it is not by chance to receive the fortune you have hoped for.

In reverse, the Chariot tarot card meaning is more challenging, asking us to instead focus on the direction we are heading in, and regroup if necessary.

The Chariot card represents the mentality that what we put into something is what we receive. While it signifies that good things are on their way to us, it also means we have put in the work and diligence for it to occur.

Many believe this card is closely related to the zodiac sign Cancer; however, with more modern astrologers, the connection is likened to Sagittarius.

The reason many connected this card to Cancer was because of the divine symbols depicted on the card. But Cancer is not known for determination or ambition; instead, they are closely related to home and, in many ways, it is the opposite of the traveling-oriented nature of this card.

There is more of a relationship with Sagittarius because of their spiritual nature, and strong sense of ambition and drive. Sagittarius is the sign of the warrior, a symbol of determination, strength, and the ability to focus on the divine meaning in life.

The Chariot Card Description

The symbology of this card is powerful and strong, signifying that the Chariot card carries with it divine energy.

In the image, we first notice a strong and confident warrior inside of a chariot, where there are numerous divine symbols (crown, laurel, square) and crescent moons, representing strength and success; in order to achieve this, there was a spiritual transformation.

Photo: volkovslava / Shutterstock

If you look closely, you will notice that while it appears this charioteer stands in the chariot and is driving it, he actually holds no reins, only a wand. This is to signify that he moves not by physical force, but by sheer determination and will.

At the front of the chariot, there are black and white sphinxes, which represents the duality in life. But regardless of the obstacles, we still see the chariot moving ahead, signifying the power this card holds to make dreams a reality and achieve your goals while overcoming obstacles.

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The Chariot Upright Meaning

To receive the Chariot upright in a tarot reading is to instantly breathe a sigh of relief, because we know that good things are on the way.

More than anything, the Chariot card really represents the confirmation that the work and effort we have been putting into something is working.

Results of any kind are rarely seen immediately, so we often quit or give up because of the time it takes to make things happen; however, the Chariot comes out to further encourage us to keep moving, because what we desire is almost ours.

The Chariot is not just about achieving our desires, but also about the physicality of the movement this card represents. This card signifies that travel is on the horizon, especially road trips. It can also mean that we will be physically moving, and represents we will win at any sort of competition.

But there is a deeper, more spiritual meaning: the Chariot represents a balance between our head and our heart.

When we have balance between our head and our heart, it means we are not holding ourselves back. We are at war with our inner self, or even the perceived limitations of what we can or cannot do in our physical life.

The Chariot signifies success in all areas of our lives, including our emotional one.

The Chariot Reversed Meaning

As is common in Tarot, the meaning of the Chariot reversed is opposite to what is true for the card in the upright position.

Where upright the Chariot means success in the natural flow and balance of life, in the reversed position it is overall lacking in multiple areas of our lives, along with physical and mental blocks that prevent us from correcting our actions.

Signifying that we feel a lack of control or power, the Chariot appears when we lack the faith to believe we have autonomy over our lives.

This can also come across as playing the victim in different life situations, especially if it feels like things are always happening to us instead of for us.

While much of this is our own internal struggle and path to wage within ourselves, the Chariot asks us to look at the direction we are heading in, and who we have along on our journey may be why we feel so defeated and hopeless.

To correct the energy the Chariot card represents, we have to create boundaries with those who want to keep us down for their own selfish reasons. We must work hard to change our mindset, eliminating all opposing forces that make us feel bad just for being ourselves.

Over time, we will feel stronger and make better choices in life if we heed the warning of reversed Chariot.

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The Chariot Meaning in Love & Relationships

In a love reading, it's not quite a good thing to receive the Chariot card. The Chariot suggests that relationships may suffer from arguments, jealousy, or communication problems.

Love and Relationships: Upright Chariot Meaning

In a love reading, the Chariot appears upright to show us that it is time to communicate with our partner, finding balance so we do not let insignificant issues get in the way of the love we feel.

Many times, this card can represent that we have recently been through a difficult or challenging time, and we need to work together to bring peace and closure to emotionally difficult situations.

Depending on the other cards present, an upright Chariot can also signify that a long-distance separation will soon be over, that you will be traveling with your partner, or that a more peaceful, rewarding time in your relationship is in the future.

Love and Relationships: Reversed Chariot Meaning

Reversed, the Chariot card asks us to slow down and take our time.

Perhaps we have been so enthralled with someone that we have rushed into something, or we are just excited to have reunited with an old flame. But this tarot card serves as a warning that we are moving too fast.

In reverse, the Chariot reminds us that it is okay to relax and simply go with the flow, trusting the natural order and pace of life.

The Chariot Meaning in Career

With the Chariot card present in a career reading, it signifies there is great ambition. But depending on whether it is reversed or upright, it can hold two different meanings.

Career: Upright Chariot Meaning

In the upright position, the Chariot signifies that the ambition we are feeling is leading us in the direction that we are meant to travel.

This means that the career or job goals we feel strongly about are also those that will benefit us in the long run, instead of being in a situation where we are exhausting ourselves trying to make something work that is not meant to.

The Chariot also signifies that if you have felt attacked by a colleague or are in a competition for a new position, stay the course and keep doing your best, because you will soon be rewarded.

Career: Reversed Chariot Meaning

In reverse, the Chariot still represents ambition, but it means we are asked to slow down and make sure we are completing all the necessary steps.

We may be focused on attaining a new job before figuring out how to transition out of our current one, or maybe we are not meant to switch jobs because we are momentarily unhappy; instead, we must work through it.

The other side of this is that we may be working too hard for something, or using tactics that are harsh. Try to reflect on whether you need to exert the effort, or if there is an easier way to do it.

The Chariot Meaning in Finance

Depending upon whether the Chariot comes out upright or reversed, we can see a dramatic difference in the path we should take — from seizing an opportunity to knowing when to step back.

Finance: Upright Chariot Meaning

If you have had financial difficulties or disorganization, the Chariot card signifies that this is the time to address whatever problems have been going on. It is time to face the music and no longer avoid dealing with your fiances.

The Chariot also indicates that it is a great time for big purchases and investments.

Finance: Reversed Chariot Meaning

Reversed in a career reading, the Chariot signifies that we need to pay closer attention to our finances, but with different purposes.

The Chariot reversed is all about slowing our spending and being more mindful of what we choose to spend money on. It is asking us to recognize the energy associated with money, and to conserve it instead of rushing ahead carelessly.

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Kate Rose is an artist, writer, spiritual astrologist, relationship and life coach, and motivational speaker. For more of her work, visit her website.