The Chariot


“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be.”

- Luke 12:34

The Chariot - Waite Smith
The Chariot - Thoth

Associations / Attributions

Hermetic Title
Child of the Power of the Waters, Lord of the Triumph of Light
Hebrew Letter
Cheth (Fence)
Sephirotic Path
Binah (Understanding) to Gevurah (Strength/Power/Severity)
Potential Uses
Invite success; point toward a treasure

Card Meanings / Keywords

Golden Dawn

Triumph, Victory, Health. Sometimes unstable success.


Providence, war, triumph, trouble. Reversed: Riot, litigation, dispute, defeat.


Triumph, hope, violence in maintaining ideas, ruthlessness, faithfulness, obedience.


Embarking on a quest, success, travel.


The Chariot radiates the qualities of a successful return from a quest. It is celebratory and empowered by the transformative powers of undertaking a search for something greater than oneself. In the Arthurian mythos, it the successful return from the Grail quest that will heal the dying kingdom. In the ancient worlds of Rome, Greece, and Egypt, it is the chariot of a divinely-inspired leader at the center of a procession celebrating a successful military campaign (triumph). Its appearance is generally positive or, at the very least, signals the completion of a goal.

Despite the traditionally masculine quality that one might connect with celebration through competition or war, the character of the card is quite feminine. The true power of the card comes not from the success itself and its laurels (honor, fame, etc.), but the presence of the treasure and how it may help the kingdom. Humility is necessary to hold the Grail. This is reflected in its association with the feminine and watery Cancer. Among the associations with Cancer, too, is the revelation that even though the chariot is designed to move in a straight line, the walk of the crab will rarely be in a straight-forward direction; the horses/sphinxes sometimes seem to draw the Chariot in differing directions. Indeed, the quest presented by the Chariot may draw one back and forth several times and take a less-obvious route to the destination.

Look for an activity seeking a resolution. Note that any success through that activity may be a stepping stone along the path to a larger quest, and may be a temporary achievement. Completing the full quest may not be straightforward, and the quest may take time and humility. It may also indicate something or someone assuming an attitude of “victory” or arrogance as if their quest were complete, and putting oneself before the greater good, or as an embodiment of the greater good itself.

The Chariot may be used to invite success (if tempered with humility), or to point the way toward a treasure (literally or metaphorically).


Emerging from the mists
Hooves drum a triumphant return
A prince of the waters
Carries the cauldron of life
A seed of red stone
Falls into the green fire
Blood of the ancestors churns within
Elixir to heal the land

What is the treasure I seek and what regenerative powers can it bring? What is the quest I am now on or am completing? How may I help to heal the land?