side-by-side: the chariot

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I spent some time in December building a Google doc that used Mary K. Greer’s formulas for calculating personal Major Arcana cards and constellations; it was a good little stretch for my spreadsheet skills, and also a fun thing to share with people as we wrapped up 2018 and could look into what card would be your personal 2019 card. My 2019 card happens to be the Chariot.

From Mary K. Greer’s “Who are You in the Tarot”:

The Chariot year focuses on your goals, so you harness your energy to move forward and adventure forth. As 7 is a number of initiation, a 7 year is one in which to take your abilities to the next level. You have to prove your expertise by handling difficult situations, often with conflicting aspects. True mastery requires that you work on self-control and self-discipline.

To which I said, with a sigh and an eyeroll, oh boy, great. Another busy year of action, movement, and Shit Getting Done. Combined with the 2019 month-by-month reading from yesterday, which was heavily Swords and Wands (the two active minor arcana suits), it’s going to be a lot of things happening, and I have to grab on.

Thus, my first side-by-side! On top is the standard Rider-Waite-Smith, the “base” card. From left to right, Ophidia Rosa, Mucha Tarot, Wild Unknown, and Wanderer’s Tarot.

Ophidia Rosa: This deck in general is super-interesting because of its complete lack of both people and suits — there’s no one plant that carries over as “the pentacle” flower or what have you. They’re all different based on the feeling and message of the card. As such, this card doesn’t have the same vehicle or motion feeling from RWS (or the other cards here). Instead, it focuses on the shielding armor aspect — preparing and guarding oneself.

Mucha Tarot: Mucha Tarot follows RWS pretty closely — you can see it in the starry drape of the chariot itself and in the black and white sphinxes. What’s interesting to me in this card is the weariness and almost reluctance of the driver — instead of looking head-on to the reader, he’s shifted to almost a three-quarter turn, as if he’s still looking back at the city he’s driving away from. His face isn’t excited or even all that neutral; it’s skeptical. He’s seen some things and is concerned about what’s ahead.

Wild Unknown: Here we have that forward motion again — the big message I carry from the Chariot is “it’s coming right for you, whether you’re ready for it or not”. With the horse coming for you, I’m getting a message of acceptance — there’s a peace in the face and the motion. This is a horse that, while it’s probably wild-ish (it does have a collar), wouldn’t mind you wrapping your hands in its mane and jumping on for a ride.

Wanderer’s Tarot: This card also has the forward motion/perspective — without the chill sphinxes, it’s hard to tell if this is a chariot at rest or in motion. What’s particularly neat about this card — which I hadn’t thought about until this exercise — is that instead of a person, it’s a heart — your heart is what’s in journey. You have to control it, protect it, and determine if it’s driving you or dragging you (my other big Chariot message — “are you driving or are you being dragged?”).

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