The Chariot


Waging. Winning.

The Chariot was the tank of the Bronze Age. Unbeatable.

This card is about triumph in war and the power of conflict.

The Chariot is the triumph of the will. He is war incarnate.

Crowned with the Sun at his third eye, our hero knows exactly what he wants, and it’s to fucking win. Is this man Achilles? Is Hector’s body the unseen horror behind this chariot? Canopy of stars above him, crescent moon shoulder gear, he’s bragging that he intimately knows his dreams too, he’s even using their riddles and secrets to power his chariot. (Note, there are no reins on those sphinxes.) There’s a moral to be unearthed in this young man’s fight. This isn’t a pointless war. 

This is a war of fire and ice. 

A space opera. 

The war of the rings. 

Good vs Evil.

Right vs Wrong.

Laius, Oedipus’s dad, stayed at a friend’s house and fell in love with his son, so much so that he abducts the teenage boy. Furious, Hera sends a sphinx, punishes him with prophesy :: Laius can either die childless, or be killed by his son who will then take his wife. Like all cursed dads from the olden days, he thinks he finds a work-around and orders his son to be killed. It doesn’t work like that.

Spinxes are riddling creatures, and riddles are enclosures. Like armor, they’re another layer of protection. Like Aurora’s brambles, the prince must find a way to hack through the maze to his prize. Riddles often imprison daughters in their dad’s verbal labyrinth and “lure her suitors to compete with and lose to the pre-emptive paternal bond.” (Marina Warner.) But our war hero hacks through those thorny woods and sacks the city behind him. His conquests are all external. That daughter is now his.

Think of this card as the harnessed power between the protagonist and antagonist card. Look at those two sphinxes. Think of the laser beams coming from Harry and Voldemort’s wands when they’re in their death lock, that glowing ball of energy in the center. That energy lives between all binaries :: emotion vs intellect, weakness vs strength, love vs hate, etc.

All things are chained and entwined together, all things are in Love.” (Nietzsche)

Be the übermensch. Bottle up your Faustian Temperance and Devil and distill their fusion into a fine perfume you wear on special occasions.

The Emperor is more practical. This Chariot is more mythical, epic. 

The Chariot can be ruthless. Pigheaded, proud.

The Chariot is Ares doing all of the things that Ares does.

Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, 

but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.” (Homer)

This card is what happens to the little prince who runs off with a king’s wife, Troy is annihilated. He is annihilated. Helen marries his other brother, whom she ultimately betrays to crawl back to her king. Paris’s poor father laments: “I have seen my sons slain and my daughters haled away as captives, my bridal chambers pillaged, little children dashed to earth amid the rage of battle, and my sons’ wives dragged away by the cruel hands of the Achaeans; in the end fierce hounds will tear me in pieces at my own gates after some one has beaten the life out of my body with sword or spear – hounds that I myself reared and fed at my own table to guard my gates, but who will yet lap my blood and then lie all distraught at my doors.” Everyone he knows and love is either a prisoner, a slave, or dead. The Chariot can be this level of annihilation.

All is honorable in death,” King Priam says.

So it is with the Chariot.

But it also serves as a warning :: Careful what you court.

The Chariot and his war spoils, such booty is symbolic of his honor and success.

The Chariot never stops. He goes full-throttle. He can be a bit much. Aphrodite liked returning home to Hephaestus from time to time. I’m sure a tussle with Ares was quite a thing, but popcorn and pajamas are nice too. 

This card says that it’s about both. 

It’s about how connected you are to your nemesis. How similar, how related. (Hephaestus and Ares are brothers, after all.)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Luke and Vader.

Harry and Voldemort.

Thor and Loki.

Batman and Joker.

Princess Celestia and Nightmare Moon.

Czernobog and Bielobog. 

This is the plot of M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable.

And Neil Gaiman’s Mirrormask.

Any Hemingway novel :: “‘Fish,’” he said, ‘I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.’

Divine generative energy,” Waite said.

The sphinxes can represent the battle of the sexes. With the white sphinx as a girl, she’s the yoni :: the vagina, womb, and white boobs weeping white milk. She is the High Priestess, all that is unseen. (The black and white recalls her pillars.) While the black sphinx is the lingam :: the Magician :: the mark :: the Signifier, the word, the cock :: all that is seen.

Watch The War of the Roses, or Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, or The Lion In Winter.

Or watch any super hero film, or Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Or a Ken Burns documentary, or Errol Morris’s The Fog of War. 

Think of the Chariot in Ten Commandments. How vile it was, how unstoppable it seemed. How unbeatable.

War fucking sucks. But winning is a necessary lesson for our Fool.


The Book of Symbols; Reflections on Archetypal Images. ✨ From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers. Marina Warner. ✨Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Friedrich Nietzsche. ✨ Mars and Venus United by Love. Paolo Veronese. ✨ Hephaestus’ Net. Nancy Farmer. ✨ The Iliad. Homer. Old Man and the Sea. Ernest Hemingway.

Writing Exercises

Think of an issue, something where there are two clear sides to pick from, Personify each side in a character, so have two different characters represent both abstract concepts. Have the side you agree with win. Write that story.

Draw two character cards, find a third card, something the original two can fight over (this can also be a character), write that story.

Describe someone you don’t like, in as much detail as possible. Watch how your generic descriptions will bend toward insult and disdain.

%d bloggers like this: