Charioteer

The chariot is one of those repeated symbols of language for me. It appears and reappears in various forms, inviting me to take notice of it and, perhaps, to make sense of it in my own life.

 

1. The Messenger

At a bus stop, after a night out, in the glare of morning, unsure how to get home, I meet a woman. We start talking. I have a message for her, about her grandmother I think, and she for me – “you are the Chariot” she said. “It may not make sense to you for years to come but this will become central to your life purpose.”

No worries. I’ve had messages profound before. People oft have strong visions and instructions to carry out in my presence. Mostly without really knowing what they’re doing or what it is I’m meant to do with what they’re telling me. Which is the point, I guess, of being a deva avatar i.e, without definition: surrender and the mystery and all that.

A deva avatar is ill-defined for a reason. Perhaps to grant us the freedom to be present unencumbered by language, I cannot say, but symbols and sentiment seem to brand me with their significance in a way that words of wisdom do not. As if the universe is a conceptual thing or a living concept, if you will, and the chariot is one such symbol-sentiment.

2. The Tarot Card

The Chariot is traditionally a symbol of challenge and victory. It represents the warrior of hard work and the spoils of certitude. There is a sense of balance and self-made direction required in order to achieve one’s aims in life (see below for a full description according to Rider Waite). But for me, the Chariot feels elsewise.

According to Oneness

For me, the card is about oneness: that indivisible, inherent balance of what appears to be opposite and contradictory, obstinate and contrary. It represents the will of one and the dance of purposeful place.

My sense of it is connected with the Empress and Strength, both cards of sovereignty-servitude in my eyes. All of which translates in oneness to ways of looking at this moment.

Rider Waite Tarot Card: the Chariot

the-Chariot-tarot-cardSuccour, providence; also war, triumph, presumption, vengeance, trouble.

~ The Rider Tarot Deck Instructions, p.14 (1971)

An erect and princely figure carrying a drawn sword and corresponding, broadly speaking, to the traditional description which I have given in the first part.

{The first part} 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. {end}

…On the shoulders of the victorious hero are supposed to be the Urim and Thummim. He has led captivity captive; he is conquest on all planes–in the mind, in science, in progress, in certain trials of initiation. He has thus replied to the Sphinx, and it is on this account that I have accepted the variation of Éliphas Lévi; two sphinxes thus draw his chariot. He is above all things triumph in the mind.

It is to be understood for this reason (a) that the question of the sphinx is concerned with a Mystery of Nature and not of the world of Grace, to which the charioteer could offer no answer; (b) that the planes of his conquest are manifest or external and not within himself; (c) that the liberation which he effects may leave himself in the bondage of the logical understanding; (d) that the tests of initiation through which he has passed in triumph are to be understood physically or rationally; and (e) that if he came to the pillars of that Temple between which the High Priestess is seated, he could not open the scroll called Tora, nor if she questioned him could he answer. He is not hereditary royalty and he is not priesthood.

~ The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A. E. Waite (1911)

3. The Chariot of Shekinah

(i) Kabbalah

(ii) H. P. Blavatsky

(iii)

According to Oneness

The chariot of Shekinah is said to have the will of god as their own. Which sounds awfully holy and on high, but my understanding of being a chariot exists in oneness where no-one is above anyone else.

We all are, what we are, according to the re-arrangement of all-that-is, which cannot be judged. I mean, it can, obviously, because people do – judge – but, in oneness, that’s part of the way it’s been arranged and not something outside of this arrangement.

4. Hermes Chariot

p1

p2