Welcome to Full Moon Tarot, a blog dedicated to the beauty and mystery of Tarot.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Card of the Week ~ The Chariot

The Chariot ~ Rider-Waite/Smith

The Chariot, like many Major Arcana cards, appears simple yet has many layers of meaning attached to it. On it's base level, it is about success, getting what you want, an eventual hard won victory over enemies, obstacles, nature, the uncertainties inside yourself.

It also means a union of opposites. In the Rider-Waite Smith deck, the Charioteer wears an emblem of the Sun but the sign behind this card is Cancer, the Moon. Interestingly, in many RWS decks the card, which is about movement in almost all decks, shows a stationary chariot. More literally, this concept is seen in the black and white horses seen in so many interpretations of the card. The horses pull in different directions but must be made to go together in the same direction. Separate the driver from the chariot, the chariot from the horses, the horses from each other and from the driver, and nothing gets done. They all do their own thing. Put them all together, with the same goal in mind, and there will be no stopping them.

The Chariot represents the principle that the human Will functions only when the whole being is behind it. This card is about the struggles we have with ourselves and with life. It promises that with diligence, honesty and perseverance we can overcome the most insurmountable of obstacles.

The Chariot ~ Druidcraft Tarot

The Chariot usually appears when confidence, unity of purpose and control is needed. It could also even indicate renewed or new motivation or inspiration. Like Cancer, the crab, it is about being armored, self-reliant and in command of one's own destiny. Have faith that nothing can stand in your way. Like Cancer, the crab, it is about being armored, self-reliant and in command of one's own destiny. The Chariot symbolically represents the need to harness your instinctual drives and appropriately redirect their energy. This is, in fact, one way of putting intentions to work. In tarot readings, the Chariot reminds you to focus your energy and use it to their advantage. In order to manifest your goal, you must have and use energy or momentum behind those ideas and create something from that.

The Chariot is also a card about contradictions and movement, interestingly also represented by black and white steeds. The movement is not necessarily physical. It may mean overcoming the obstacles in life that are holding you back and stopping from achieving your goals. The crab moves from one plane to the next (water to land and back again) and the Chariot is viewed as moving likewise, from conscious and unconscious, Earthly to spiritual. Also, like chariots, crabs come upon each other from the side rather than straight on. So there is a tricky element to The Chariot for all that it seems to travel in a straight line. Perhaps the situation you are having to deal with needs to be tackled from a “side on” view, that is, from a different perspective. I would think this would be particularly pertinent a message should The Hanged Man also be present in the reading.

The Chariot is a card of contradictions. It's about sideways battles, yet also about full-speed ahead. It's about the hard exterior and the soft interior, the light and dark, the water and the shore, moon and sun. It is the Sphinx, which is also often a symbol of Cancer, the lion and the man united, a mystery. Yet the Chariot says all these can be united. And indeed, they would need to be united, for the Chariot also speaks of conquest and battles won but only if you have the willpower and the focus. Success, victory through hard work, a well balanced life, triumph over ill health and money difficulties and an ability to resist temptation are all aspects of the Chariot.

The Chariot ~ Legacy of the Divine

For me, this card is also about taking a stand and defining your actions, your path. Often in life, we can't or won't do so unless an obstacle or challenge has been set in our way. This is the only way we grow, spiritually and emotionally; being challenged, rising up and conquering that challenge, or fear, or adversary or whatever it is that you are being called to face. When I see the chariot come up, that is one of the first things that come to mind; standing in your own power, defining your own path, learning to control the many factors that we all live with and that compete for our attention. Remember, the Chariot is a Major Arcana card so when this comes up in a reading it is of karmic and spiritual significance, as are all Majors.

Should you draw the Chariot in a past position in a spread, you have had a triumph that directly relates to where you are now in life. Should the Chariot appear in the present position, a lot of what has just been spoken about is happening for you. The future position is where the Chariot has the strongest energy, as it tells you your reading will be filled with confidence, that the goal you seek is attainable.

Unless you're doing a one card reading, no single card stands alone in a reading. All the cards, while having their own energy and messages to impart, work together in a reading. I know that for me, certain cards will just belong with certain cards, they go together to tell the story. They don't have to be physically next to each other, I just get a feeling which card belongs with which. It all depends on the reading.

The Chariot ~ Morgan Greer Tarot

Cards with the number 7 in them accompanying The Chariot in your reading add to the potency of this card. The Seven of Wands emphasizes the battle you are fighting and its importance in enjoying the fruits of your victory. The Seven of Pentacles slows down a coming victory but only ensures it will be that much more impressive. The Seven of Cups makes the victory of The Chariot one that you have dreamed about, but be careful here, as this reading may be delivering the proverbial too much of a good thing. When the Seven of Swords card appears in a reading with The Chariot, your quick wits will bring an unlikely victory.

There are some cards in the deck that have a core misery to them. When they appear in a reading with The Chariot, their edge is removed somewhat. The Nine of Swords and Death are two cards that have little redemption to them. The Chariot delivers some much needed light and hope to an otherwise gloomy reading.

When any of the kings of the Tarot deck are in a reading that includes The Chariot, you are about to get more control over some aspect of your life than you may need. The King of Swords delivers you control over how people talk about you and gives a consistency to how everyone perceives you. The King of Wands pairing up with The Chariot assures that a creative effort or a project at work or school will garner attention and acclaim for you. The King of Pentacles is an assurance that the coming Chariot victory will be a financial gain, if not a windfall, for you. The King of Cups is a card that signals a mastery of one's emotions; paired with The Chariot and they pave the way for a love conquest of soulmate magnitude.

The Chariot ~ Mythic Tarot

The Chariot reversed, or in it's shadow state, is a different energy. Looking at the card literally, when it is in the upright position, the charioteer is standing on top of the animals pulling the chariot, thus demonstrating his force of will and control and assuring him/her success of getting to his/her planned destination. Reversed, however, the horses are the ones on top, controlling the charioteer. Thus reversed, the Chariot is all about loss of control, lack of will, imbalance, chaos. The shadow aspect of this card could also be the darker side of the upright meaning ~ the will and control and focus could be narrowed to resemble single mindedness at the expense of others, exclusive competitiveness, high expectations that can not be reached, overwhelming ambition that sees you exclude people in your life. It can also represent your lack of control over your emotions, intentions or instincts. You have lost sight of your goals or you may feel feel torn in two different directions and are unable to distinguish one way from another. Your behavior could be undisciplined and be stunting your spiritual growth. A very powerful and sometimes dangerous shadow energy is revealed in the Chariot reversed.

Below is a great spread I found online by the A-musing Grace gallery that is based on the Chariot card. Why not see what cards are cast and how on track you are to achieving your goals and harnessing your energy into what is spiritually best for you?
Chariot Spread

Card 1: This card represents you and your personality, which dictates what kinds of risks you usually take, whether you are cautious or careless, and affects how high you usually set your goals. You are perfectly capable of achieving more, if you so desire, but be aware that the effort may be greater, or that some changes in your current mode of thinking may be required.

Card 2: This card represents your goal, what you are focusing on, or an aspect of that goal you hadn't considered. Is this really what you want?

Cards 3, 4 and 5: These cards are the things you have, resources upon which to draw, things or people that can help. Also things that you will need to achieve your goal.

Cards 6 and 7: These represent a tempered version of the goal, a reality check. They represent what is possible, and a concrete way to make it happen, a step to the goal. Can be problems that will be met and need to be overcome, or things to watch out for and prepare for.

When you have read all the cards, look at them all together. Are the steps to your goal in order? Lay them out so that they are, from you to your goal. Maybe you find the goal itself is not in the right place. Rearrange them so they make sense to you, not necessarily in a straight line, but however it takes to get you there

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Asking the right question

Quite often, the exchange between the querant and the cards is underestimated in a tarot reading. Typically, when someone comes in for a reading, or even if you are reading for yourself, it is expected that any question can be posed and the Tarot, in it's infinite wisdom, will automatically know what you're asking and give you the answer you're wishing to see.


Posing the right question plays a big role in tarot reading, as it means that you will be halfway to getting the right answer. The Tarot has so much wisdom and learning to offer, but this can be wasted if you don't ask the right question. Before going to a reading or casting a spread for yourself, think about what you really need and what you are ready to know. You need to form a clear intent in your mind of the issue you are asking about, and what you want or need to know about it. The question you are asking should be important to you; I personally discourage readings for a third party, especially without their consent or knowledge of the reading. To me, that is almost like an invasion of privacy. Should you require a reading that has another person as the focus, you should frame your question so that you are still the main subject. Here are some examples:

What am I getting and what am I missing in this relationship?

How can I heal and harmonize my relationship with…?

What are my needs in this relationship and how are they being met?

What is the basis of our relationship, what connects us?

What is preventing me from finding love?

How can I change to create a long term happy love relationship/ friendship?

We all consult the cards about something ~ if we had nothing we were curious about, nothing to ask, there would be no point in having a reading! The best way to get the most out of your reading, and to have that reading give you some meaning, you should have one question in mind when you have your reading done or cast the cards for yourself. The best way to frame a question is to keep your options open, focus on yourself, stay neutral (which can be sooooo hard!) and be focused.

If you are seeking a general overview of your life, with nothing specific in mind, ask a general question. Some of the best readings I have done have been done with people who asked for nothing more then what the universe had in store for them, and were open to whatever came through. They literally say to themselves while shuffling “I am open to whatever messages the universe/Divine/God/ess has to tell me”.

On the other hand, if you are seeking answers for a specific situation, common sense dictates that you frame your question to your specific needs. The trick is in the wording of the question. Rather then being too vague and asking “Will I get that job?” or “When will I find someone?” (two of the most asked questions) you need to ask a question that is more specific and targeted to the issue you are consulting about ~ we all fall in love and get a job at some point in our lives! Below are some examples of well framed questions:

What do I need to know about . . . ?

What internal and external influences are affecting my goal to…?

What is the next step I need to take to achieve . . . ?

What is standing in the way of my . . . ?

How can I best overcome the obstacle of . . . ?

How can I be a better . . . ?

Which is the best choice between . . . ?

See how these questions are posed so as to give specific, helpful and guiding answers? A good reading starts with a good question. Here are a couple of tips that may help you:

Try to keep a middle ground between being too general and too specific, as both types of questions can be very limiting, e.g, asking if something very specific will happen in a specific amount of time can really limit the answers and solutions the tarot will give you, as will asking “Will I ever find anyone?” will be too broad for the tarot to answer concisely

Don't have pre-determined options when you are shuffling (then casting if you are reading for yourself); allow the cards the freedom to come up with creative solutions by phrasing your question open endedly

Be positive, make the question about a solution rather then the issue or problem if you are not in a good space

Focus ~ don't pose a “runaway” question, such as “When will I get this job and will I get good care for the kids and will I meet my soulmate at this job...” focus focus! Your question should only concern one topic. If you have several questions, by all means ask them, just not at once! There is nothing wrong with doing several little spreads over the course of a reading to get specific answers about a situation. If you don't focus, the cards aren't going to help you. Think of the tarot like a mirror ~ the cards will reflect your state of mind. If you are not focused in your question, the cards will not be focused in their answer

There are three basic ways of phrasing a question:

1. What do I need to know regarding...?

2. What do I need to embrace regarding...?

3. What do I need to do regarding...?

These three questions involve the three levels that you will be asking a question on and can address any issue: head (mind), heart (emotions) and hands (actions).

A reading using the "need to know" question will provide you with information about the situation from various angles. It will seldom give a direct advice. You should use this type of question when you feel that you are overlooking something important or when you need an outside perspective. Readings of this kind will widen your horizon and deepen your understanding of the situation.

A reading based on the "need to embrace" question will address your emotional responses to a problem. To embrace doesn´t only mean to accept something, but to let it into your heart, to be passionate about it, to be filled with spirit (enthusiasm). These readings will show you where your heart is in the matter, where you are limiting yourself by self-destructive or inept coping strategies and where you can gain a greater sense of magic and passion in your life. Readings of this kind tend to be very psychological or spiritual, but not very practical.

A reading based on the "need to do" question will come closest to the "yes/no" answer that most people want to receive. Still, it won´t explicitly tell you what to do. Rather, it will give you two or more strategies and their possible consequences. You still decide which way you go. While these readings touch on the "why´s", they don´t go too deeply into intellectual or psychological analysis, but tend to be mostly action-oriented.

If your question has a lot of sub-questions, something you may want to do is write down your main question, then list the sub-questions, for example, you may have a question about the future of your relationship. Here is an example of some sub-questions that would help you gain some clarity:

Past events that have led to the present state of the relationship

The present state of the relationship

The future state of the relationship

How your partner feels in the relationship

What they want from the relationship

What you want from the relationship

How you feel in the relationship

External circumstances affecting the relationship

What you need to do to make it better/keep it good

Each of these questions can be represented by a card in your reading; the answer being gleaned from the card that came up in the position you have allocated that question to. It is just like a normal tarot spread, the only difference is that you have tailored it to your specific questions needs.

The common thread in all of these questions is the notion of accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions. Abandon the “Should I”, Will I” or “Can I” type of phrasing as these questions show you are giving up responsibility for yourself and asking the cards to make a decision for you. The Tarot doesn't make decisions; it informs you, guides you, advises you, but it certainly doesn't tell you what to do. It is tempting to give up responsibility for ourselves and our choices, because then if the situation doesn't work out the way we wished we can blame an external factor and avoid looking within. Instead of asking “When will such and such happen?” or “How long will such and such take?” or the “Should I do this, will I do that?” type of questions, you will get good results from your reading if you try using phrases such as:

Can you give me insight into ...

What do I need to understand about ...

What is the meaning of ...

What is the lesson or purpose of ...

What are the circumstances underlying ...

How can I improve my chances of ...

How might I …

It may seem almost ridiculous to go into so much detail over a question; in reality, it should only take you a few minutes to formulate the question you are going to ask. And the benefits you reap from that small investment of time make the effort so worthwhile. Asking the right question will ensure you receive the guidance and knowledge you are seeking when you perform/receive a reading.