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Join Date: 26 Sep 2006
Location: WI USA
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MAAT Study Group The Chariot


The Chariot- Full Moon cycle of Leo(Jan.20-Feb.18)

The painting for the Chariot in MAAT Tarot depicts the Sphinx, with the likeness of King Khafre, facing the east. The sphinx by itself faces the rising sun during the Equinoxes of the year. The great sphinx was known in later times as "Horemakhet"meaning Horus on the Horizon. This name alludes to Egypt's ancient sun god Horus which is closely associated with the kings of Egypt.
"It is clearly, in some way, a solar monument. All the year round it looks directly at the sunrise. A priest, or anybody else, who stood on the plateau above and behind it, could look straight along its body and see the sun come up over its head at the spring and autumn equinoxes...”
(Riddle of the Sphinx by Paul Jordon ISBN: 1-84015-017-3 copyright 1998)

The only way for the ancients to know the solar astrology was to mark the nighttime planetary and stellar configurations between certain dates. The star constellation Leo, similarly posed to the sphinx, represents the lunar monument in the heavens. The phrase, "As above, so below" is meaningful in this context. During the day the sphinx monument to the sun acknowledges the sun's path. Between 21 January and 19 February, the full Moon is at its zenith as she crosses the constellation Leo, marking the lunar path in the heavens. The Sphinx, then, mirrors the constellation Leo. At this time of the year the two distinct orbital paths of the sun and moon are most apparent. During this time, the Moon is at its highest point and the winter Sun lies low on the horizon, clearly defining their separateness. At most times of the year it appears that the sun and moon move along a single orbital path.

The symbolism of the lion is also significant because most felines sleep up to 20 hours per day. Lions are known for their power, fierceness, and their killing efficiency and are associated with the sun. In Ancient Egypt one of the sources of the lion symbol is found in Sekemet, goddess of the burning rays of the sun. During the time of the full moon in Leo, the Lion symbol, true to the patterns of the feline,lies down peacefully, possibly asleep. This can be construed as a sign that the burning rays of the sun are in repose. In Northern Europe the fiercest months of winter are during the full moon in Leo. In this case, it is the Earth Mother who lies dormant, fast asleep. Several ancient European Goddess symbols are often flanked by two lions. The ancient Celts were well known for their command of the chariot and may be an indication of the extensive trade between Europe and Egypt. The chariot may also symbolize a means of getting ideas from one place to another.

The Chariot, from traditional Tarot images rides on two wheels and is driven by horses, lions, and sometimes sphinxes. These beasts are often shown with one being black, and one being white. In Maat Tarot one wheel of the chariot represents the Lunar cycle and the other the Solar wheel of the year. The traditional Chariot is driven by a warrior (child of the God and Goddess), who is adorned with the symbols of sun and moon. In Greek mythology, for instance, chariots were known as two-wheeled vehicles, thought to drive the sun and moon across the sky. In Maat Tarot the Earth is the chariot and the orbits of sun and moon become the two wheels. The observer, then, becomes the chariot rider.

Western culture is certainly driven by two wheels symbolized in the way we define ourselves psychologically. For example, we may call ourselves “Right-brained” or “Left-brained”, Feminine or Masculine. Solar/masculine symbolizes being conscious, precise, linear, sequential- logical, and rational. The Lunar/feminine being cyclical, intuitive, nonlinear, subconscious, and emotional. This polarization shows up in all areas of our world including our politics. The lesson is clearly that one side should never take control over the other as this creates imbalance. The key to a successful ride would be keeping these two powers in balance.
Other names: Apollo; Helios; Hyperion; Lugh; Ra (sun); Artemis; Nimue (newmoon); Diana; Mari; Isis (full); Hecate; Anna (waning); Semele; Selene; Phoebe; Hathor; Ceridwen (moon); Sphinx; Lion of the double lions (another name for Osiris-the sun at midnight); Charioteers-Greek; Selene and Artemis; Egyptian Isis; Phrygian Cybele; Semitic Ashtart (lunar); Greek Apollo and Helios (solar); other charioteers-Norse Freya, Thor; Celtic Morgan; Mywnawr

Symbols: Chariot; two wheels; chariot drivers; lions; Orbits of the sun and the moon; the ewe lying down with the lion; Goddess of the Mountain with two lions (Gate of Mycenae, Knossos, Crete); Solar and Lunar lions, Night and Day

Attributes: Synthesizing opposites; balancing female and male qualities; balancing left brain and right brain thinking

Full Moon in Leo key phrase: "I will"

In a Reading: In a reading this card symbolizes opposing viewpoints. Whether the opposite points of view are male and female, right-brained/left-brained, liberal vs. conservative, young vs. old. This card suggests some kind of interaction between the opposites. One would surely like to take power from the other or get the other to see it their way. However the opposites keep things moving forward. Each forcing the other to sharpen their skills, grow, adapt and change.
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