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The Chariot tarot meaning is one of trust, willpower and acceptance that we may not be able to do everything by ourselves. When we’re younger, we can’t wait to be an adult so we can take full control over our own lives, but once we reach adulthood, we realise that support from others is crucial.

Even for some seasoned professionals, reaching out for help and knowing when they’ve hit the ceiling, is something that is hard to accept. The Chariot then swoops in to remind you that we can all only get so far on our own and at some point, we will need to reach out and get help in order to reach the next stage in our growth.


In the upright position, The Chariot is a card of ambition and focus. It represents your drive to succeed and achieve your biggest hopes and dreams. However, it is also a lesson in humility and knowing when to celebrate your successes and when to be humble. The main upright meanings of The Chariot are:

  • Success

  • Focus

  • Ambition

  • Goals

  • Willpower

In the upright position, The Chariot is our chance to test our willpower and flex our control over a certain situation. It’s about understanding what drives us and why we do what we do. In life, we will have many different challenges and goals, but it’s only by pushing ourselves that we gain strength, wisdom and power.


In the reversed position, The Chariot can symbolise a lack of control or feeling like you are not in charge of your own life. It can often show that you have a desire to take back the power to your own life or situation, but currently feel unable to do so.

  • Lack of direction

  • Instability

  • Egotistical

  • Lack of willpower

  • Opposition

When thinking about the reversed meaning of the Chariot, think about the upright meanings and their negative counterparts. In the upright position you have ambition, but reversed you have a lack of ambition or even laziness.


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Reading The Chariot in a spread

When The Chariot makes an appearance it shows that you’ve worked hard to get to where you are. You have pushed yourself in order to develop and grow and now you’ve reached a point where you need a leg up to reach that next level in life. Although it all sounds great, this is often a tough card to fully embrace, as a lot of us tend to feel like we shouldn’t need help to get to where we want to be or that we have the skills to do it all ourselves.

Re-framing The Chariot can help to reveal some really deep insight into our current mindset and feelings around our situation. Let’s have a look at some ways we can start to do this.

As an invitation

The Chariot marks the final chapter of the first cycle of life. It’s a great place to pause and take a breather to see how you should progress. This means that if we read it as an invitation, we can be confident that we’re being invited to take that pause, whatever that may mean for you in the context of your situation.

For The Chariot, this invitation could be the following:

  • An invitation to look at the bigger picture and see what you need to embrace in order to take that next step in your journey

  • An invitation to check in with your ego and make sure that you’re not giving it full control over your current trajectory

  • An invitation to see how external help and support could benefit you

  • An invitation to see if you’re being too overbearing or overpowering in certain areas of your life and where you could loosen your grip a little

As sage advice

As advice, The Chariot can help you take a look at the bigger picture, rather than focusing on the gritty details. Its guidance centres on trust and self-assessment, it asks us to take our ambition and ego out of the equation for a second so that we can gain clarity and decide on the best way to move forward.

Some advice The Chariot may offer is:

  • Assess your decision making progress and decide if you’re trusting your intuition enough in order to make harmonious and balanced choices

  • Accept support when it is offered to you

  • Don’t allow your ego to take control of your direction in life, check yourself when arrogance starts to creep in and taint your hard work

  • Refocus on your priorities and don’t be distracted by temporary whims and desires

As a lesson

At this stage of the Major Arcana, the main lessons we are working through are the ones we need to learn to become a wiser and more focused human. We’ve done a lot of internal work up to this point and now The Chariot is here to carry us to the next level of consciousness. We need to shed the last of our naive childishness and start to step into adulthood fully.

Some lessons that The Chariot may offer you are:

  • To learn to balance our desires and our commitments, so that we can take responsibility for our actions and move in the right direction

  • To trust others and know that support is all around us if we need it

  • To understand that we are not able to move through life on our own steam alone

  • The lesson of willpower and self-control

As a redirection

The Chariot has strong adventurous energy and it is a card of journeys, both internal and external. As a redirection, The Chariot can hint that we’ve been led astray by our vices and it’s time to get back on track. It can be a symbol that we need support in our next venture and that we are trying to do far too much on our own.

As a redirection, The Chariot could symbolise a need to:

  • Seek out help from your external world

  • Find a more efficient way of achieving our goals

  • Celebrate how far you’ve come instead of how far you have left to go

  • Think about whether the direction you are currently moving in, is the right one for you and what you’re trying to achieve

In summary…

The Chariot is one that I see a lot with business and career-minded clients. It is often independence gone wild and symbolises that we need to take a moment to think about why we are so determined to do things on our own terms. This can be a great place to pause and delve back into previous cards like The High Priestess and The Hierophant, to see if there’s anything we need to re-align before we continue on our path.