The Chariot Tarot Card Meaning and Art Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck
About the Deck
Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck
These cards are featured in my book, "A Concise Guide to the Tarot" by Loren Lundgren. I took the information for the meanings on these tarot cards from "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition Under the Veil of Divination", by A. E. Waite, 1911, now in the public domain. I edited the tarot card descriptions and meanings for clarity and brevity, modernizing the text. I scanned in the original black and white illustrations of the cards drawn by Pamela Colman Smith, from the 1911 book. I digitally retouched and painted those illustrations in detailed color.
Loren Lundgren, © 2021
DescriptionAn upright and princely figure carrying a wand. On the shoulders of the victorious hero are the Urim and Thummim, symbols of divination—here shown as faces within crescent moons. He has led captivity captive (see Psalm 68:18); he represents conquest on all planes—in the mind, in science, in progress, and in certain trials of initiation. He has replied to the sphinx's riddle; therefore, two sphinxes draw his chariot. He is above all things triumph in the mind.
Meaning of The Chariot from the Vivid Waite Smith Tarot Deck
Aid, providence, war, triumph, presumption, vengeance, trouble.
Riot, quarrel, dispute, litigation, defeat.
According to Many Schools of Thought
A. E. Waite's Secondary Meanings
The Chariot. This is represented in some extant codices as being drawn by two sphinxes, and the device is in consonance with the symbolism, but it must not be supposed that such was its original form; the variation was invented to support a particular historical hypothesis. In the eighteenth century white horses were yoked to the car. As regards its usual name, the lesser stands for the greater; it is really the King in his triumph, typifying, however, the victory which creates kingship as its natural consequence and not the vested royalty of the fourth card. M. Court de Gebelin said that it was Osiris Triumphing, the conquering sun in spring-time having vanquished the obstacles of winter. We know now that Osiris rising from the dead is not represented by such obvious symbolism. Other animals than horses have also been used to draw the currus triumphalis, as, for example, a lion and a leopard.
S. L. MacGregor Mathers's Divinatory Meanings
Triumph, Victory, Overcoming obstacles
Overthrown, Conquered by Obstacles at the last moment.
Papus's Divinatory Meanings
Triumph. Providential Protection