I am not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions but there is power in the energy of a New Year. While many people are simply looking for a good party, others are engaging in fun rituals like eating lentils for prosperity, eating 12 grapes at midnight - one for bringing luck to each month of the coming year, or wearing red undergarments for attracting romance.
Whether it's the New Year, or another auspicious time, we not only find comfort in our rituals and goal setting, when approached mindfully, they can be more than fun and can be used for transformation.
The Chariot Card to Inspire the Journey Ahead
The Chariot Tarot card is one of the strongest cards for transformation, as it signifies a journey, even the journey of life. This is the card with all the movement, but there is paradox here as well.
Where do you want to go in 2024? Who do you want to be? What do you want your journey to look like?
The Chariot implies victory through perseverance and movement, but that victory is largely dependent on purposeful movement. The Chariot card typically shows two animals drawing the carriage, sphinxes in the Rider Waite Smith Tarot, horses in Light Seers Tarot, one black and one white in each case. The colors represent the opposing forces that the charioteer must learn to master.
Rarely, when we are pursuing purpose is the movement straightforward. It is often a push and pull, a zig and a zag of these opposing forces.
I especially like the energy of the Chariot in Chris Anne's Light Seer's Deck. Instead of sitting under a canopy, like the charioteer in Rider Waite Smith, this young man is crouched atop the carriage, comfortable but ready to pivot or perhaps jump off at any moment, although I suspect he's not going to abandon his ride. The horses are moving at a clip, connected to reins of pure energy.
Can you guide these wild animals toward the destination you desire? Are you able to face opposing forces without becoming overly negative or overly positive?
Speaking of opposing forces, it is important to bring up the paradox of the chariot and that is the one represented by the astrological correspondence with the sign of Cancer.
Interestingly, the sign of Cancer is generally associated with "home" and nurturing. When we think of home, we might think of home as something stable and unmoving, and yet here we have a carriage that is meant to be in motion. It could be helpful to remember that nothing is static. Everything changes. Also, Cancer's crab carries its home on its back. A mobile home. Perhaps it's not for nothing that we say "home is where the heart is."
Additionally, the cancer's shell is hard, providing protection and a place to rest. Also, Cancer being associated with the Moon, we can think of a dreamy retreat where we can plan the journey ahead. We return to the image of the charioteer in the Rider Waite Smith who seems cemented to his carriage, perhaps finding a very solid foundation in this "mobile home." Here would be his place of rest, his refuge, on the journey. Maybe we need to imagine the young man in the Light Seer's deck taking shelter in his chariot and allowing his horses to rest.
We can probably all think of times when we were forced to rest through injury or illness when we haven't allowed time for relaxation in our daily lives.
Here are some questions for reflection as you plan for the coming year.
Where are you making your home in the world? What nurtures you in your work life, your home life, your many roles? Where is your heart? Where do you want your heart to be in the coming year?
Do you practice meditation or some other form of relaxation? Do you take care of your body, your physical carriage, with exercise, massage, or other self-care?
You can find a post about the Chariot card, along with an imagery exercise on my blog if you are interested!
Runa Heilung is the founder of Old Soul Alchemy. She uses imagery and the imagination in meditative formats for healing, illumination, and transformation.