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The Thirteenth Moon
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Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
Posts: 8,552
REVERSALS: The Chariot Reversed

Upright, the Chariot is all about moving forward. Not just about charging ahead, but rather seeing where you want to go, picking up the reins, taking control of inner and outer forces, and directing everything forward. Hence, it is a card of great determination and confidence, motivation and leadership. Without these, there's no making the chariot go where you want it to go. So what about reversed?

1) Opposite: image-wise, there is some confusion with the chariot. It's about movement, victory and going forward; but the image in Rider-Waite at least, is of the chariot at rest. Either after it's victory or before. This makes the opposite or inverse interpetation a bit difficult, as the most obvious one would be a chariot at rest. NOT moving as compared to moving.

So let's simplify this opposite; we'll leave the movement interpeations for the other two and go for the "victory" interpetation on this one. Obviously, the opposite would be defeat. The chariot did not conquer either the inner or outer forces; it lost the battle to control the horses, lost the battle against whatever it was fighting. It might even suggest that the querent gave into cowardice. He didn't try to show the horses who was boss, didn't try to barrel though his enemies--he just hid in his chariot hoping not to get hurt, taking no chances.

2) Blocked: as the upright card often focuses on controling the horses, on determination and direction, we can see that a blocking of these energies leaves the querent at loose ends. Ever driven with someone who has absolutely NO sense of direction? That's what we have here. The querent may know where he wants to go...but he doesn't have a clue how to get there. And he lacks the determination to find a way to get there.

Somehow, the energy of determination and direction must be unblocked. Otherwise, he's going to be driving about aimlessly and hopelessly. To the point where his additude is "what's the use?"

Another interpetation for this chariot which is blocked is that it's not moving; hence, we can predict car trouble. The querent wants to go somewhere, but the vehicle he would use to get there is out of commission, either literally (a car), or figuratively (a means to leave his job, his career, his relationship...etc).

3) Upsidedown: Turn the chariot upsidedown and no one is going anywhere. The wheels are in the air, the horses on their backs, the charioteer throw from the interior.

I know what you're thinking. And yes. Car accident is an apt if frightening prediction for this one. At it's worst, the reversed Chariot is not merely about a loss of control and direction, but the complete loss of any means to get where you're going. You won't be leading anyone to victory, there's no fighting the war, let alone winning it. Anything inside (motivations, determination, energy) or outside of you is not working, not moving. The horses can't run and the wheels are spinning in the air.

You are stuck.
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Old 12-04-2006     Top   #1
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Since the chariot is symbolizing victory and forward movement and in total control fo the situation you have the victory over. Reversed it could be that you have lost control of the horses as it were or the forces therein, which would cause the defeat. That could occur in perhaps a job, relationship, your own personal growth, for that matter a diet. Also where the chariot driver is very sure of himself, reversed he is unsure and incapable of handling any situation and the horses, the powers that are there, sense and know there is a problem and try to go every which way. It's not even controlled chaos anymore, but total chaos,with the charioteer hanging on for dear life.


Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. ~ Joseph Campbell

'As Eckhart Tolle said I lived with many spiritual teachers, all of them were cats...' MDR
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Old 12-04-2006     Top   #2
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Upright I see the chariot as having to direct its way through obstacles to get to the winning line.....and get there he does....reversed he just keeps on hitting them...not to say he won't get to that winning line....he's just going to get a little bruised and battered along the way!
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Old 13-04-2006     Top   #3
in a barrel in the yard
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The talk about "victory reversed" reminds me that if you fail, try, try again. The Chariot reversed could be encouragement to keep at it. Also, peace is half the victory, so it could meen this as well.

The Chariot has come up as a car accident, almost literally, in one of my spreads, though it was an ultimately avoided, although a close call.

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Old 14-04-2006     Top   #4
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Join Date: 22 Jan 2006
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Some ideas here for The Chariot reversed

In the positive sense, I see The Chariot as the personality which is the expression of the inner Self. The figure in the chariot is learning to master the body and mind by aligning its responses and reflexes with that of the Will. At this stage we are realizing that emotion is an essential source of our personal power. Also the personality is the expression of the cosmic force and of the divine which seeks expression through the body.

Everything in our world is comprised of a consistent vibrating substance which we call energy. Within the continuum of this energy there are distinct differences in vibrational speeds and characteristics. To make the chariot work, we require not only balance but also energy (+-) to flow freely.

Reversed, In the midst of change, it is easy for us - too easy - to pre-judge the unfamiliar before we feel the reality of it, and then miss the opportunity to move towards something new and constructive. At times we tend to suppress our emotions and rely largely on our consciousness, our minds, to steer us through life. But without energy, emotion and intent, the wheels will not turn. They remain motionless.

In a couple of readings where The Chariot was reversed, both querents agreed they were so busy trying to “create” personalities which they hoped would live up to the expectations of others, and doing things they didn't even enjoy, that they had put a stranglehold on their own desires and goals. Their chariot was literally broken down and out of gas.

If we don't learn what needs to be learned within each cycle, we will repeat them, without actually getting anywhere. We'll go around and around in circles.

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Old 15-04-2006     Top   #5
Join Date: 16 Oct 2007
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This card came up reversed for me. Once in the am and also in the PM. I thought there must be something to it. Later that night my boyfriend was late coming home and I thought uhh ooo. I asked the tarot and it confirmed it. Yes he has gotten into an acident and hit someone at a stop light. Be careful!
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Old 16-10-2007     Top   #6
The Thirteenth Moon
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Originally Posted by Emotive
This card came up reversed for me. Once in the am and also in the PM. I thought there must be something to it. Later that night my boyfriend was late coming home and I thought uhh ooo. I asked the tarot and it confirmed it. Yes he has gotten into an acident and hit someone at a stop light. Be careful!
Thanks for revising this thread. While all cards can be taken literally now and then, few cards, in my experience, are so very literal as the Chariot. Almost every tarot reader I know can tell a story about pulling the reversed Chariot and having some sort of car trouble or accident. It doesn't always meant that, but it's pretty darn consistent in warning people about their cars.
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Old 17-10-2007     Top   #7
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