The Chariot (VII) is the seventh Major Arcana card of the Tarot of Marseille deck.
The Chariot: in contrast to the other three masculine figures, like the Magician (I), the Lover (VI) and the Emperor (IV), this young prince represents a stable, immutable force.
According to traditional decks, he sits in a swift chariot, generally drawn by two sphinxes or horses. For the occultists, the cube-shaped transport symbolizes the invisible support of the material world. This is the reason why the sublimation of matter is represented by the winged egyptian globe decoration above the chariot.
Similarly to the Greek Eidolon, our phantom prince doesn’t have a direct bond to humanity. The only connection to the ground is via the wheels standing for the cabalistic fire, symbol of vital energy.
The blue baldachin, like the firmament, shelters the prince from the dangers of the way and from any life choices which might prove too ambitious. Without these safeguards, his role as emblem of the triumphant would not be assured.
In his solar fixity, our Triumphant opposes himself to the lunar dimension. It means that what is hidden, volatile and uncertain can be controlled. Paradoxically, this man can withstand the pull of the tide.
It means that the man on the chariot is able to subjugate the dark forces with his strength. From this point of view the man on the chariot plays the same role as Hermes. With his wand, this Greek god separated two serpents entwined in mortal combat. He brought about peace between them, and as a result the wand with two serpents (the Caduceus) came to be seen as a sign of peace and control.
During the Middle Ages, this representation lost its original meaning. The two sphynxes were substituted by two horses and the mysterious man (once related to Osiris or Mars) began to be associated with Alexander the Great thanks to the literary success of the Matière de Rome. This genre treats Alexander the Great as a knight of chivalry.
For tarot readers, is not simple to divine the meaning of this card. We suggest three levels of interpretation: the first one relates to a journey or a trip and the second one focuses on the undertaking of a project. Lastly, we could interpret the Chariot as an act of firmness and a self-consciousness leading to a spiritual evolution.