The Chariot Tarot Card Meanings (Upright & Reversed)
Last Updated: December 4, 2022
The Chariot card shows us a figure driving a chariot led by two sphinxes – or other creatures depending on the deck. But the dynamic of one driver holding the reins to two creatures is present in every interpretation of The Chariot. This illustration represents the idea of being in charge of the direction of the vehicle, of being the driver, the person holding the reins. The two sphinxes or creatures are black and white, showing the duality between the conscious and unconscious that they represent; the masculine and the feminine, the sun and the moon, the light and the shadow. It is the drivers’ responsibility to manage the power balance between the two so that their chariot does not veer too strongly on one side or the other.
4 Quick takeaways about this tarot card
- The Chariot represents victory, triumph, and movement.
- The Chariot signifies the need to take action and move forward.
- The Chariot can also represent a need to overcome obstacles and challenges.
- Finally, the Chariot can represent a need to control your own destiny.
The Chariot tarot card key correspondences
Direction, Willpower, Intention, Control
Lack of direction, Lack of control, Lack of intention
|Yes or No|
Light aspect: The Athlete, The Hunter / Shadow aspect: The Servant, The Gambler
June 22nd to July 22nd
Le Charior (Tarot de Marseille), and The Chariot of Osiris (Egyptian Tarot).
What does the upright Chariot (tarot card VII) mean?
In Latin, major arcana translates to “big secrets” and each of the 22 cards in this section of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck represents an important life lesson we must all face at some point. The Chariot, arcanum 7, is no different.
The Chariot means you must use strength, willpower and intentional action to overcome the challenges that lie on your personal path. These challenges won’t always be easy to navigate, but with some structured, methodological planning you can achieve your end goal.
As well as control over your actions, The Chariot being associated with Cancer and the Moon, this card reminds us to remain intentional about our emotions ; you’ll achieve more by choosing to believe that you can, as well as implementing actionable steps.
If pulled in the upright position, The Chariot is associated with direction, willpower, intention, and control.
What does the upright Chariot mean in a love reading?
Now is the time to take hold of where your relationships are going, with who and how! Have a long hard look at them, and recognise how aligned or unaligned they’re feeling to you presently. It’s not easy, and requires bravery, but will ultimately help you feel more stable and balanced.
Are all your relationships leading you in the same direction? Which ones feel balanced? Which ones feel unbalanced? The lesson here is that check-ins are an important part of healthy relationships.
What does the upright Chariot mean in a career reading?
In regards to your work environment, The Chariot advises you to stay focused. If you’ve been wondering about a career move or trying to gain more responsibilities, now’s the time to strategically “full steam ahead”.
Let’s not forget that Cancer is a Cardinal sign, meaning that it deals well with levelheaded, direct action. In terms of your finances, The Chariot can be advice to exert some self-discipline in order to overcome the blockages on your way to more material stability.
What does the upright Chariot mean in a health reading?
In a reading about your mental, physical or spiritual health, drawing The Chariot indicates that a new surge of energy is appearing to help you tackle the long road ahead. It will take determination and willpower to implement the changes in routine you need to help support your health in the long term, but by taking a conscious and balanced approach to this you can steer your chariot a long way!
The Chariot as health advice, in its relation to Cancer, may also indicate exercises involving the chest muscles, breasts and stomach are beneficial to you.
The Chariot tarot card as feelings/emotions
If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the Chariot card would indicate they have a strong determination to move forward. It would indicate that they feel very deeply, and it is important to navigate a conversation with them sensitively.
The Chariot tarot card as a person
As a personality archetype, the Chariot represents someone who is naturally charismatic, who you can trust to work hard to get things done, and who makes things happen. They may be surrounded by emotional turmoil but always seem to know what to do.
They are naturally very caring towards others, and they love to ensure others are included when it comes to a group setting. However, this shadow aspect could indicate that it is someone who puts others’ needs before their own, who potentially puts their protective boundaries at risk, and sometimes maybe overcome with emotion to the viewpoint of others labelling them “dramatic”.
The Chariot tarot card as advice
The Chariot is the 7th card in the major arcana – after The Lovers and before Strength. The Lovers represent choices to be made, and Strength represents bravery in following through with their implementation.
The Chariot, in the middle of these two phases, represents that phase of strong mental and emotional power – after all, Cancer and the Moon rule over our emotions – where our desires (The Lovers) can become reality (Strength).
For many tarotists, The Chariot is the ultimate manifestor! It is the determined action to reach your goals, it is the working hard for the promotion, and it’s leaving the airport when you’ve decided to travel the world.
What zodiac sign is associated with the Chariot tarot card?
Cancer rules the card of the Chariot, and the diplomatic emotional zodiac sign has many other traits aligned with the Chariot but my favourite is that of looking at things with rosy-coloured glasses in the past, and remembering the journey not being a difficult one (or acknowledging with nostalgia that it’s not always been easy).
Is the Chariot a yes or no card?
If you’re looking for a yes or no answer, the Chariot is a positive omen even in its reversed position (which would mean “yes but expect delays”). For career, material acquisitions and health readings I would always sway with this card being the manifesting success and bringing in a victory theme.
Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of questions:
Question: Will I get the job?”
Card interpretation: Yes, it’s looking promising! If you’re asking about a job or promotion and the Chariot shows up – your hard work and your passion are carrying you forward, but don’t let things get out of balance when you start.
Question: “Is this new person in my life good for me?”
Card interpretation: If this card comes up during readings about new people, I’d say that they are the type of people to bring out new opportunities, new drive and a new passion for you.
Question: “Will I achieve my current goals?”
Card interpretation: The Chariot would make me feel assured and give me the drive to continue on my path, as its positive correspondences make me believe that these goals are going to be met!
Question: “Should I make that investment?”
Card interpretation: If the Chariot came up for this question, even in a reversed position, I would personally go for the investment. I would ensure that I still covered my bases and went in from a practical point of view but I’d go in optimistic.
Question: “Should I start my own business?”
Card interpretation: The Chariot as a response to a question like this has positive energy, a supportive light and an encouraging optimism you shouldn’t ignore! The Chariot’s themes of success, victory, and the benefit of hard work – starting a new business would almost seem like an obvious choice with this card.
The Chariot reversal meanings
When The Chariot appears reversed in a tarot spread, you’re either too focused on your goals or not focused enough. Either you’re lacking direction and concentration on your goals, and need to turn that chariot the right way around again to get yourself back on track, or it’s a gentle reminder that you can’t always control everything.
By clinging on so tightly to the reins, you’re actually creating more problems for yourself. On a very practical literal level, I’d say get your car checked out – there may be some issues with your transport!
If pulled in the reversed position, The Chariot is associated lack of direction, lack of control, and lack of intention
What does the reverse Chariot mean in a love reading?
In a relationship tarot spread, drawing The Chariot reversed signals this same sense of unbalanced energy; either you’re too desperately seeking love, and thus your energy is actually repelling it, or you’re clinging on to something that is no longer in harmony if it ever was.
Or perhaps you’re overextending yourself so much in other areas of your life, that your relationships are suffering. What can you do to regain some balance?
What does the inverted Chariot mean in a career reading?
When The Chariot is reversed in regards to your career, you’re either being under or over-ambitious! Are you so focused on achieving your goals that you’re not noticing what or who you’re neglecting? Or are you so stuck in a passive mode that the idea of being able to seize the reins to steer your career where you want it to feels impossible?
Similarly, with money, are you spending with no regard for long-term consequences or are you working through scarcity fears that are blocking you from investing in what you should be?
What does the upside-down Chariot mean in a health reading?
In a reading regarding your mental, physical or spiritual health, The Chariot reversed gives you pretty much the same information as the “right” way around, but with added empathise. There is a strong need to bring more balance and conscious direction to your health – how can you create a daily life that supports that? What changes can you implement?
How to use the Chariot card in your Spellwork
The Chariot is a great card to use for spell work around the desired outcome, in your professional or personal life. Because The Chariot is associated with Cancer / the Moon, we’ll be using these correspondences for a quick and easy spell to help you get that win!
This spell is best performed during the waxing moon (anytime between the new and full moon), before your bedtime. Chamomile is one of the herbs associated with Cancer and the Moon as it promotes restorative sleep and relaxation, so we’ll be using it for making enchanted tea.
Have your chamomile tea ready and while it’s cooling down to a drinkable temperature, take your Chariot card from your deck of choice, and spend some centring your energy and connecting with the card.
Place it in front of you, under your cup of tea. Sit with your hands on both knees, and feel the alternating left and right energy on both sides of you. Take deep breaths, moving from side to side, feeling the two opposites. Visualize your desired outcome.
With the tea in front of you, bring the energy from the separate sides into the centre with your hands, into the tea, supported by The Chariot card. Affirm your desired outcome out loud. Repeat this seven times. Then drink the tea, while continuing to deeply connect with what your desired outcome will feel like.
When you go to bed, place The Chariot card under your pillow. When you wake up, try and be attentive to your dreams and take a minute to reconnect to the energy of the card before getting up.
Using the Chariot card in Dreamwork
The Chariot can appear to you in different forms in dreams; are you the driver, the passenger or the spectator? As the driver, you are the person bearing the responsibility of holding the reins, balancing the energy equally on both sides, of steering in the desired direction. Do you feel up to this? Are you a confident chariot driver or does your vehicle feel on the verge of being out of control?
As the passenger, you don’t have the control of the driver over the direction of the vehicle, but you are equally affected by the driver’s decisions. To dream that you are the passenger is to receive the message that you are letting someone, or something else “take the wheel”; why is that? Have you been feeling overwhelmed by active decision-making? Are you feeling like you’re no longer in control, or that you’re being taken along for the ride whether you like it or not? Your intuition should be able to tell you which area of your life is activating these feelings.
You may also dream of seeing the Chariot pass you, from a spectator’s viewpoint. Do you feel like you’ve missed your opportunity in some area of life? Are you worried about timing, and about being able to “catch the train”?
A Poem to remember the upright meanings
Poems can be a good way to remember information because they often use rhyme and rhythm, which can make them easier to memorize.
Additionally, poems often use vivid imagery and figurative language, which can help to make the information more interesting and engaging.
A chariot is a card that symbolizes control and strength,
It’s a sign of progress, victory and great length.
The will to fight and push forward is this card’s true virtue,
A spiritual journey to overcome every obstacle.
The chariot is a sign of will and self-determination,
A belief that all things are possible with dedication.
It speaks of being mindful of goals and ambitions,
That are achieved with hard work and personal convictions.
The chariot is a card of pride and victory,
A sign of personal growth and strength to be.
It speaks of the power of the will to succeed,
And the courage to persist, no matter the need.
The chariot is a sign of power and force,
A reminder of the limits that can be pushed and crossed.
It’s a card of courage and strength of character,
Leading the way towards success and a better future.
A Poem to remember the reversal meanings
The Chariot in reverse, what could it mean?
A warning that life’s not always so serene
For when ambition’s unchecked, and pride’s unbound
It’s time to stop and look around
The journey may be full of strife
And the way ahead may bring more strife,
Reversed, the Chariot wants us to look
At the power of our own will and book.
So be mindful of your goals and dreams
And use caution when in control it seems.
The Chariot reversed can bring insight,
To the paths we choose and the battles we fight.
It’s a warning to be mindful of our way
Against our own will, we may not stay.
If the Chariot’s reversed, the message is clear
Take control of our journey, and steer.
In conclusion, The Chariot tarot card is a powerful symbol of direction, willpower, and intention. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that it is time for you to take control and be more methodical in order to overcome the challenges you may be facing.
Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot readers, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.
The 22 major arcana cards each correspond to different aspects of the human experience that are universal. They represent the different stages of the “hero’s journey”: our biggest challenges and life lessons, as well as our highest aspirations and greatest potential.
Have you ever had a reading where The Chariot card appeared? What was the outcome? What does The Chariot mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice? Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.
If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out our complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.
Written By Daisy Forrest
Daisy Forrest is a queer, neurodivergant witch, astrologer and writer based in France. She is a qualified workshop organizer and space holder, who’s currently merging her passion for IFS therapy and astrology into her signature coaching offering called Selves. She’s on a journey to heal generational trauma through astrology, tarot, witchcraft, therapy and manifestation. You can find her writing about these themes on Instagram @Daisy Forrest, or on her website daisyforrest.com
Learn more about the major arcana tarot cards
This card represents authority like that of the High Priestess, but an authority that comes from external sources rather than her internal wisdom.
Discover the meanings behind The Lovers tarot card: it represents the card of balance, harmony, unity, choices, and partnerships.