The Chariot Tarot Card Meanings Made Easy

Today we’ll cover the meaning of The Chariot tarot card. This is a part of a deep dive series on the tarot.

The Chariot tarot card: two sphinxes pulling a man. The whole card has a bit of a celestial influence; the figure sits underneath a blue canopy adorned by white stars.

The Cancer zodiac sign is associated with the Chariot.

Let’s explore the various meanings and interpretations of The Chariot tarot card.


Upright MeaningControl, willpower, determination, victory, progress, and self-discipline
Reversed MeaningLack of control, lack of direction, self-doubt, and obstacles
LoveA strong-willed and determined partner who knows what they want. In a relationship, it signifies a need for control and direction, and may indicate a time of self-improvement for both partners.
CareerA career that requires determination, willpower, and the ability to overcome obstacles. It also suggests a career in transportation or travel-related fields.
FinancesFinancial success and victory through hard work and self-discipline. It suggests that you may need to take control of your finances and make a plan to achieve your financial goals.
PastA time of determination and victory over obstacles. It may indicate a time of personal growth and self-improvement in your past.
PresentYou are currently facing obstacles and need to exercise self-discipline and determination to overcome them. It may indicate a time of personal growth and self-improvement in your present.
FutureA time of progress and victory over obstacles. It may indicate that you will need to exercise self-discipline and determination to achieve your goals. It also suggests that success and victory are on the horizon.

Classical The Chariot Tarot Interpretation

The classical meaning of The Chariot can be seen in the Rider-Waite deck.

The Chariot tarot meanings

The Chariot Tarot card depicts a valiant warrior standing within a chariot. He is dressed in armor with crescent moons (indicating what is entering into existence), a shirt with a square (indicating willpower), and other mystical symbols.

The sphinxes are black and white in hue, representing conflicting powers that the charioteer will learn to manage. They are quiet here, although they regularly get into scuffles because they appear to want to migrate in opposite directions. His mission is to lead these sphinxes to a location indicated by the cosmic powers he represents.

A crown sits on his head, indicating that he is enlightened. A square is emblazoned on his breast, representing the essence of earth, of the tangible world, which anchors him and his deeds.

A large river rushes behind the chariot, symbolizing the need to be in the flow of life while simultaneously rushing forth toward your objectives and ambitions.

Upright The Chariot Meaning

The upright Chariot card has a straightforward meaning:

The upright Chariot represents travel, especially driving or taking a road trip. It depicts overcoming difficulties with perseverance, attention, and willpower. The Chariot also implies that you are acting defensively or forcefully to conceal your emotional vulnerability.

Now is not the time to sit back and hope that everything will work out in your favor. Take concentrated action and stay the course, no matter what hurdles arise. You may find yourself being tugged in different ways, putting your resolve to the test.

The Chariot says that to have a good relationship, you must master your emotions. If both you and your lover have been having difficulties, you have to come together, talk, and work hard. The difficulties you confront are not insurmountable. They require serious effort and attention in order to be resolved.

When you get the Chariot in a business tarot reading, your desire will lead you far. You know your destination and may be highly focused on getting there if you have a clear grasp of where you want to go for your work.

You’re likely to be very driven at work, which will provide you with the discipline, drive, and self-control required to succeed. If you want to change jobs or advance in your existing position, this card indicates that you must go for it.

When it relates to your workplace setting, avoid distractions such as office politics or rivalry; instead, concentrate on what you need to perform.

The meaning is easy to remember by just reading some of the upright card keywords off of the symbols:

  • Chariot = journey or forward motion
  • Sphinxes = Opposites, black and white
  • Crown = Leadership
  • River = Go with the flow

When you use The Chariot at work, you should feel incredibly ambitious and driven. If you have been experiencing problems with coworkers who you believe are attempting to undermine you, put your anxieties aside and keep on working while maintaining your self-control.

Alternatively, if you are looking for work or feel trapped in your profession, now is a fantastic moment to pursue the job you’ve always desired. You will outperform the competition and attain your objectives! The Chariot can also signify business travel.

The Chariot encourages you to be assertive and fearless. Be proactive in stating your demands and setting limits, or else you may not get your goal. You must believe in yourself and understand what you really are and what you represent.

Reversed The Chariot Meaning

Reversed, The Chariot has the opposite meaning:

The Chariot card reversed indicates a caution that you are allowing obstacles and problems to get in your way, stopping you from accomplishing your goals. It represents a feeling of helplessness and a lack of direction. You need to come to terms with the fact that you cannot always be in control.

The Chariot Reversed may be a sign that you are spending your effort and focus on inside processes like as self-discipline, inner resolve, and personal dedication before taking action.

You can focus on the goals that are in alignment with your inner self. These inwardly focused acts are necessary so that you will be likely to respond when the moment arrives.

Take one step at a time toward your goals. Be cautious not to be overly pushy in your approach; it might be counterproductive and set you up for failure. You must pause for a moment and assess the hurdles in your path.

Consider using a gentler approach to reaching your objectives. Financially, you must be cautious not to rush into investments or financial transactions without first thoroughly evaluating them. Before committing to anything, be sure you have all the facts and sound financial counsel.

Be mindful of making rash purchases without first considering things. You might not have all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

Alternatively, if this does not characterize you, you may be too cautious with your money. You are able to invest your earnings in anything, but you have been hesitant to do so.

Similarly, The Chariot Reversed means that you are attempting to handle every minute element of your life. But in doing so, you are feeling even more out of control. Let go of the reins and let nature take its course. Be receptive to offers of assistance and then express gratitude, even when it doesn’t quite match your expectations. 

Modern Interpretations

I always like to examine other, modern decks to see what can be read into their symbolism.

The reason for this is that every person will have different decks, and so it’s good to learn how to go with your gut on what you see. This is the best way to have a good interpretation for the moment.

Too many people stick to a learned reading instead of going with the flow. Remember, each reading, deck, person, position, and the question is different. Reading the cards is an art, not a science.

We’ll use a different deck for every one of these. Today’s is Sun and Moon Tarot by Vanessa Decort.

Sun and Moon chariot tarot card meanings

This card makes some interesting changes. Instead of sphinxes, we get black and white cows or oxen. They are heading in different directions, which reinforces the idea that you, as the Chariot, must control and show the direction to go.

You can’t let these opposing forces in your life overtake you or you won’t get anywhere.

Instead of a river and city in the background, we have nothing but a starry sky. This means our journey has already begun and we’ve made it quite far. There is nothing to do but keep going or you will get lost in the vastness.

In this, we don’t have a crown, but we are standing. In fact, we tower over everything. Our leadership comes from within us and is not granted to us by external concepts.

chariot tarot card meanings

The Chariot Tarot in Context

Context matters a lot when reading the cards. Here are some particularly strong things to look out for when the Chariot appears in these contexts.

  • Past: You’ve overcome some difficulties and are ready to move on.
  • Present: You should embark on a real or metaphorical trip, and persevere even if it gets tough.
  • Future: Start planning for significant change that will take some time.

For other types of readings:

  • Hobbies: Are you aimlessly doing what you’ve always done? Figure out your goals and intent for your hobbies.
  • Love: Journey through this rough patch. This will take a lot of open communication.
  • Work: Focus and motivation will bring you to your goals.
  • Finance: It’s a good time to get finances in order and follow through on a financial plan.

Back to the Major Arcana list.

The previous card was the Lovers tarot card and the next card is the Strength card.