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The Chariot

Chariot, The

  • Hebrew letter: Cheth
  • Syllables: Ch, I, Th
  • Astrological Correlation: Cancer

At first glance, the Chariot depicts a man enjoying a tickertape parade through a city. He might be a successful presidential candidate, he may be some sort of hero receiving just recognition for his efforts.

The Hebrew word "Cheth" (pronounced as "Heth" or "Kheth") means "fence" and this card is all about the fencing in of prized things, the fence being of course a way of claiming ownership and therefore triumph over others. And the first step toward victory is to fence one's self in. Discipline, dedication, persistence, all ways of fencing (or reining) in our own nature. Kabbalists also associate the faculty of speech with Cheth, and what better example than a winning candidate, who has won victory by the power of words? And living in the public eye, as he will while in office, means that the open car that he parades in is another sort of fence. It is a symbol of how much he must watch himself but it's also a symbol of his distance from the common people. The city skyscrapers shown in the background are also "fences", with their hundreds of walls and floors fencing off prized bits of real estate, even high uo in the air.

In Paul Foster Case's original BOTA design, the charioteer wears a crown surmounted by three pentagrams because the power of speech gives us control over three worlds. I have moved the pentagrams (a crown would have looked incongruous in a modern scene) and have placed them on the limousine's flags.

Many card designs have the chariot being drawn by two sphinxes, one white, one black. With their lion bodies and human heads can be said to represent the fusion between human and animal nature. The chariot is often trained by these creatures, representing the charioteeers triumph over both possible sides of his own nature. The black and white colouring of the sphynxes is a pretty obvious reference the positive and negative side of things.

In my design, the Shynx has been replaced by a driver whose face is hidden by the car's sun visor, alluding thus to the sphynxes traditional association with riddles. The visor is black and white in reference to the dual colouring of the original sphynxes. If we postulate the idea that the driver is probably a trained secret service guy who doubles as a body guard then we have the dual nature of the sphynx right there, a powerful man driving slowly and carefully, under the command of his president.



Self-Control, faith in one's self. Mastery over one's environment. Willpower, a triumph over adversity. Success due to one's own efforts and in no way due to luck.


Inbalances, destruction, falling apart under external pressure, maybe through weakness of character, an inability to adapt to circumstance. Personal and character limitations are insurmountable.