Motion or change and identity or rest are the first and second secrets of Nature: Motion and Rest. The whole code of her laws may be written on the thumbnail.
The Thoth Chariot represents the Universal Key of change/movement combination of stillness/activity: of movement and repose.
Every individual is touched by change, at home or multi-dimensionally in their areas of Earth, Air, Water and Fire; the 4 universal elements, as symbolized by the 4 pillars, the 4 wheels, and the 4 animals. These 4 elemental aspects of ourselves/Self combine to create who we are, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The spinning disc in the hands of the charioteer, mundanely symbolizes the wheel of fortune,: However, esoterically the 2 Grails are shown here-one of water and one of blood and/or wine. Either way, we have free-choice and can choose fortunate, positive, and abundant changes for ourselves.
The 10 crystals on the golden armor represent the ten powerful positive choices of the 10 Sephiroth on the Qabalist' Tree of Life; The crown, which is "the crowning achievement", wisdom, understanding, mercy, severity, beauty, splendor, victory, foundation and kingdom, in that order. These 10 states of intelligent energy are multidimensional movements and repose that are known as "Our Greater Self", Horu, Adam Khadmon and/or "the heavenly human".
The Chariot-ATU 7-is the 18th Path of Cheth on the Tree of Life. The Hebrew letter- Cheth- means enclosure, or fence and is that enclosure which the Chariot/Soul provides for the Charioteer/Personality.
In his text- THIRTY TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, Dr. Paul Foster Case stated:
The Eighteenth Path is called the House of Influence (by greatness of whose abundance the influx of good things upon created beings is increased) and from the midst of the investigation the arcana and hidden senses are drawn forth, which dwell in its shade and which cling to it, form the cause of all causes.
Between the 5th Sepiroth- Geburah (Severity) and the 3rd Sephiroth- Binah (Understanding) 2 aspects of the Great Mother on the Tree of Life, runs the Path of Cheth. This is the highest and most profound Path on the Pillar of Severity and introduces the Personality to the Supreme Spiritual Self that wraps our Soul in the Golden Armor of Protection so that the Personality can be carried through the unmanifested Universe, and/or Dark Matter and Dark Energy. The Chariot is the enclosure that holds the Soul in a state of peace, as moves through all planes.
In his BOOK OF TOKENS, Dr. Paul Foster Cases stated this about the Chariot:
I am the hedge of protection
Enclosing the field of existence in this field thou dwellest,
And I am thy defense,
Against the darkness which is without.
Yet is this hedge of safety
Alas a wall of limitation,
And the darkness against which it defends thee
Is the radiant Darkness of the Limitless Light, too brilliant for thine eyes.
The Darkness that Case, refers to is that of the Limitless Light of Ain Soph.
Which is the very pinnacle of the Supreme Spiritual Self. Pictured in the Chariot, the experience of the Spiritual Self is known in Alchemy as the "Exhalation", where the Alchemist becomes the Philosopher's Stone.
The Thoth Chariot, shows the influences of both the Hindu Tattvas and the biblical text of Ezekiel with its "living creatures" being represented as 4 Sphinxes pulling the Chariot. These 4 Kerubim (angelic beings) represent not only the 4 Tarot Elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth, but also each has four sub-elements, as do the Tattvas, and are represented as the 4 faces of the creatures.
The 5th Sephirotic presence of Geburah, is often symbolized with a Pentagram, or 5 pointed star, that has the Four Elements crowned by the Spirit. Thus, making 5 the number of Geburah on the Tree of Life, Geburah is a Red Force, and is symbolized on the Thoth card as Red Wheels, meaning that the force of Geburah (Severity) is the motive force of the Chariot.
Geburah is complimented by the 4th Sephiroth- Chesed (Mercy) on the Tree of Life, and this compliment is seen in the constant usage of the number 4, Chesed's number. In the Thoth Chariot card there are 4 Sphinx, and 4 columns (4 Universal Elements) holding up the starry canopy or heavens of Binah (The Great Mother- Empress Card key 3). These 4 elemental columns are called the “4 columns of the Tree of Life in a Solid Sphere", a universal cube, adding a little more of the arcane to this card. I suggest the curious student gets the book, THE QABALISTIC TAROT by Robert Wang, as it is a fine text for understanding the Arcane.
Above the Golden Armored figure on the Thoth Card is a crab, symbolizing the sign of Cancer Woven into the canopy is the word "ABRACADABRA", which Robert Wang thinks is an apparent pun on "ABRAHADABRA", a word that Crowley called, “one of the most important key numbers of the Liber Al...The word of the Aeon....the cypher of the Great Work". When using Qabalistic Gematria (numerology), (Book 777 of Crowley). The value of Abrahadabra, corresponds to Cheth=8, Resh=10 and Tav=400, all of which adds up to 418. Using the math of numerology, we do the sum, 4+1+8= 13, the Key 13 of the Death Card of great spiritual change.
Crowley understood that something martial is going on in the Psyche of the Seeker themselves. Much like the Bhagavad Gita, where the pursuit of enlivenment is symbolized by warring factions. On this highest Path of Severity, the Soul Warrior of Geburah has reached a pinnacle, as shown by the 10 stars on his golden chest that represent Assiah or Matter (10th Sephiroth). Seated in meditation, with the Holy Grail in his hands: the Cup (Womb) that we look directly into when using our Imagination to produce ideas, i.e. the womb with a view. Hence, he is holding the water that has turned to wine, as symbolic transformation of birth. Where "water is turned into Wine", the fertile/birth giving Mother's blood.
The movement of the Chariot conceals a mystery (arcana) of great significance. The Chariot is reminiscent of the Greek Chariot of the Sun, Helios, as the four horses of the Sun pulled the Chariot of the Sun across the sky. This is significant as a representation, since the Chariot moves between the Light, centered in Tiphareth (Beauty) and the Supreme Darkness of the Limitless Light (Dark Energy) at the hidden side of Kether (Crown). Yet, there is even a more complex meaning suggested here, as the Sun is guided by the Moon! And in both Greek Mythology and the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the sun is subordinate to the moon. Since the Chariot is of the sign of Cancer, that is ruled by the Moon (and in which Jupiter is exalted), the Charioteer follows this philosophy of subordination to the Great Mother. The cardinal Path of the Moon, leads from Tiphareth (Beauty-Solar Logos) to Kether (Crown) and is the Path of the Priestess/Knowledge. Water (Pure Consciousness) takes precedence here and is represented by the Moon.
This is a Higher Path and/or Occult card, and requires much skrying, meditation, and arcane study, so this author recommends that you devote more time to this card than a brief lesson. At least, get the books I have recommended in this treatise and read them liberally! What is also noted here, is that the Male-Female relationship, is represented backwards here in our reflected world. The Male Force of the Universe is Subservient to the Female Force in order for Force to become Form and/or Electricity (male) is made into forms by Magnetism (female). Here, Idea is subservient to Understanding, a necessary president for Life to progress. There is much to consider here, if one wishes to "Know thyself!"
The Tarot of The Spirit- Key 7, depicts the Charioteer sitting inside a cube of the Universe, which is a transformation of the Magus's table. Now the driver of the chariot has become the magic tool. The drivers hood, is of gold, lined with darkness. Symbolizing that one must move through darkness to experience light. Today, we could analyse this with physics, as the dark energy pushes the universe of light/matter along.
The charioteer, is also wearing the mask of The High Priestess showing his attunement to this divine knowledge. On the Charioteer's chest are the letters V.T., for the Hebrew letter Tav, the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet and therefore, represents the completion of all things. The Charioteer has conquer the 4 universal elements as he is made of all the cards that became before him making him the master of life expression.
The 2 serpents on his chest plate, represent the ability to renew self at will (snakes shed skin to grow, as do crabs). The 4 corners of his cube-vehicle, represent the 3 aspects of the divine mystery that is Father, Son, and holy spirit; Mother/Father/God, and/or Love, Will and the Original Intelligence. Plus the aspect of the Destroyer or Dissolver, as all 4 aspects are necessary for transformation and/or movement of energy. The vehicle represents the "Heavenly Human" personality. That of the Golden Horus/Adam Khadmon. Here, with hands on an invisible steering wheel, the Higher Personality of the Charioteer is in perfect control of the mechanism of the Universe; that being the comic workings of the Universe. The invisible sephiroth of Daath-meaning knowledge.
The guardians of the Merkabah (throne/or threshold of god)are the 2 sphinxes, representing the 2 lovers and/or the 2 that equal 0; Anima/Animus.The Pillar of mercy-white and the pillar of severity-dark, are both present; each embossed with the sign of Cancer. The wheels at top and bottom of the pillars, indicate that the energy is flowing. Beside the rising pentagrams are the symbols for the double suns and moons, indication the duality of the Divine Creative The 4 stars show the connection between the Charioteer and the Emperor/Chesed, implying the Charioteer/Psyche has mastered the house/structure/vehicle of the personality and is at bliss in the body.
- When the Chariot card is thrown during a reading, the querent is reminded:
- To devote themselves to the combination of activity and quietude so that they may have the drive to attain goals.
- When this card is thrown during a reading, it generally means that a new force is dissolving old forms. This is a time for clearing out, moving beyond the past, beginning with new energy and taking full responsibility for the past.
- This is a time of supreme magical power and self-mastery. But as always, this explanation is too short for a more profound understanding of this Powerful symbol for Self movement.
- It is a time of clearing out the past, moving beyond and beginning with new energy while taking responsibility for one's present condition.
- There is a need for victory here, by combining the images or content of the unconscious with the consciousness for the purpose of achievement.
- The Chariot also signifies that the querent has begun controlling a situation by the force of their personality....a focus of Will.
- The goal will need fighting for, but you have been granted the energy to win it!
If ill defined by the surrounding cards:
- Success that is not very enduring.
- High handedness.
- Ultimate failure due to obstacles.
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