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2023 is the Year of the Chariot

If you’ve calculated your Birth/Personality Card, or your personal Card of the Year, you’ll be familiar with the process used to calculate the overall Tarot Card of the Year.

It’s really very simple.

All you do is add up the individual numbers of the year and find the corresponding Major Arcana card(s) that equals the sum (as long as it’s equal to 21 or under).

So, for this year, we would add 2 + 0 + 2 + 3 = 7.

The seventh major arcana card is The Chariot, therefore, 2023 is the year of The Chariot.

Just like your birth or personality card, the Card of the Year is the overarching influencing tarot energy of the year.

So, what can we do with this information?

The work that lies ahead is understanding how this card, The Chariot, will influence and impact each of us throughout the year.

First, let’s get a basic understanding of The Chariot.

The Chariot represents journeying forward, success and mastery over the physical world, building your path and driving towards a goal, determination to complete a task, taking control and also, it represents the beginning of your spiritual journey. Now let’s take a deeper look at the card. Remember, most artists ascribe meaning to everything included in it. For this discussion, we’ll focus on Pamela Colman Smith’s deck (Smith-Rider-Waite deck) and her version of The Chariot.

Some things that stand out:

1. The sky is yellow, nothing is obscured

2. The chariot is in the foreground, with two seated sphinxes before it

3. The sphinxes do not have reins for the charioteer to hold but they are ready to move, working together, at the direction of charioteer

4. Note the colors, balance, and the resemblance to the pillars of The High Priestess

5. On the charioteer’s breastplate is a square cube, the Indian tattva symbol of earth

6. The chariot itself is a square cube, and the charioteer appears to be cemented inside it, or coming up from the center of the square

7. The apron and belt of the charioteer is full of astrological glyphs

8. The waxing and waning moons are on each of the charioteer’s shoulders, “Urim” and “Thummim”.

9. There is a shield with the yoni and lingam on the front of the chariot, the union of masculine and feminine, yin and yang (remember, the card right before this one is The Lovers)

10. Above the shield is a yellow, winged disk representing Helios, the charioteer who pulls the sun across the sky each day

11. The charioteer wears a laurel star crown, with an 8-pointed star at its center, representing the octagram, the double, overlapping square often representing the balance of male and female, yin and yang

The Chariot card tells the story of having championed the physical world. It’s a card of victory, accomplishment and success in all the material realms.

In this image you, as the charioteer, have left the city (the material world) behind. You’ve crossed the watery boundary, just like Julius Caesar crossing the river Rubicon. It’s estimated Julius Caesar crossed the river and entered into Italy proper on January 10th or 11th, 49 BCE with his army, which was an act of insurrection and signaled a point of no return.

In this card, the charioteer crosses the river signaling leaving the conquered physical world behind, canopied with the heavens above and imbedded in the square cube of earth and rides between both worlds.

He is of the heavens and of the earth. He’s conquered the earthly realm and now understands he is of both worlds and has the expanse of discovery ahead of him.

Where will he/you journey?

What will he/you learn?

The theme of balance is throughout this card. At this point, the charioteer understands that balance between the physical and spiritual is necessary.

He’s conquered the material world and now must venture out to learn and understand his spiritual world.

This is the beginning of his/your spiritual journey. The terrain is uncharted, open and new.

The wand in his hand suggests that there is a way to influence what comes ahead. The charioteer/you are in the driver’s seat.

So what does all of this mean for you?

2023 is the year to chart your course. It is the year to forge ahead and leave the safety of your known world behind.

2023 is a year of discovery, in both your physical and spiritual worlds. So, ask yourself, where would you like to go and, how are you going to get there?

~ Rhonda Alin 🖤