Tyldwick - Chariot


What I notice in the Chariot card:

hall tree bench
charioteer statue (possibly Apollo)
medieval tapestry on wall
2 Naxian sphinx statues

A hall tree bench is often found near the entrance of a home; it usually has hooks or storage space under the seat for coats, gloves or boots. Here it has become a chariot, and the charioteer has stored all his personal stuff so he can concentrate on what's in front of him. He'll have to wait to sit on that comfy seat, as he has important things to do.

The charioteer makes me think of Apollo, who in the 3rd century BCE became associated with the sun (merging with the god Helios); he drove his chariot across the sky, making the sun rise every morning. The sun reminds me think of the solar plexus chakra (Manipura) which governs personal power. As the chariot is about self-will, this makes perfect sense to me. As the statue is missing several limbs, this implies a mental power rather than a physical one.

The medieval tapestry in the background looks like it might be a hunting scene. There is a lot of activity, almost appearing chaotic. The charioteer faces away from the activity and focuses on his objective. We can get distracted from our our goals by the drama going on in other folk's lives, and this is a reminder to keep my mind on what I'm aiming toward. On the other hand, it might represent the personal "hunt" of the charioteer.

The Naxian sphinx statues were a gift from the people of Naos and guarded Apollo's temple at Delphi. They were symbols of power, and the Greeks saw them as merciless (if you couldn't answer their riddles you got eaten - no excuses accepted). For the Chariot card, they represent the five senses, emotions and instincts. These are human components that are supposed to be tools to help guide us, but instead they often become our masters. Think of being on a diet, and yet you can't stop thinking about a quart of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Or, imagine an obnoxious boss you'd really like to give a head slap. The Chariot is about learning to harness the senses, emotions and instincts so they work for us rather than against us.



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Nemia, I think you're right about the statue. Furthermore, the Wiktionary description for 'ephebe' is "a young man, especially an 18-20 year old in ancient Greece undergoing military training." Certainly an active time in life when one would be learning to exercise discipline and self-control to achieve victory!

BodhiSeed is dead-on about the tapestry. I believe it is, specifically, the Devonshire Hunting Tapestry: Boar and Bear Hunt, a beautiful 15th Century French tapestry. It can be viewed in full here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/the-devonshire-hunting-tapestries

The middle portion of the tapestry is depicted on the card. Directly behind and partially obscured by the Agrigento Ephebe is a woman in a blue gown, decorated with golden letters that spell the motto 'much desire'. This suggests to me that the young man is acting purposefully in order to satisfy the desire that drives him.