February 2018: The Chariot

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Happy February! We've made it to the second month of 2018, and now things are really going to start cookin'. If January was about setting up the structures and foundations for the new year (see last month's card, The Hierophant) then this month is all about putting those structures into ACTION. If last month was about paving the road, this month is about getting in the car and driving.

This month's card, The Chariot, promises momentum, forward motion, and speed. In the card's image, we see a driver coming at us straight on, pushing two animals forward, with speed, stability, and perhaps even aggression. This card is all about motion. It's perhaps the antithesis of The Hanged Man; when The Chariot shows up, you've got to act. Now isn't the time to hang around. In fact, you probably don't have a choice. The train's leaving the station, and you're on it, bub.

While this card is all about moving forward, and doing so quickly, it's not just about pushing forward willy-nilly. There's a sense of balance and stability to this card that's comforting. In many depictions of this card, we see the chariot being pulled by two sphinxes: one black, one white. The symmetry and balance of the creatures pulling the cart show that the chariot isn't going to tip over. It's perfectly balanced, a real yin/yang situation (which is probably good, because otherwise the strong masculine energy of the chariot's driver would overpower the vehicle and ruin the whole thing). The Sphinx was a Greek image of female divinity, according to Barbara G. Walker's Woman's Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects. We also see the balance, in the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith imagery, of the sunny sky and the lunar design on the chariot itself. This card is full of balance, duality, masculine/feminine equilibrium.

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So you're moving forward fast, and you're doing so in a balanced, if perhaps hasty, way. That's good. This is a month to act a little hasty. Take that sudden invitation. Go on a day trip on a whim. I'm personally going on a last-minute weekend trip to Chicago because of an exciting opportunity for my boyfriend, and that is total Chariot energy: a sudden trip and sudden career/educational opportunities. Grab that energy by the reigns and follow it.

While I often find cards telling me to sit and meditate, to get introspective, this card is telling us the opposite. It's about external action. This month, it isn't enough to journal and make lists and vision boards to make shit happen. You've gotta leave your house,  hit the pavement, and get going. It's a great month for motion, in general. Go on a walk even if you don't have a destination. Go on a jog or bike ride or day hike; anything that gets your feet moving and blood pumping. The motion will match the energy of the Chariot, syncing you up with its influence.

This is also a card about knowing where you want to go. The super moon at the end of January was hugely about naming our desires-- at least for me, it really centered around that-- and so The Chariot is the logical next step. We've named our desires, and now it's time to chase them. I'm finally committing, this month, to enrolling in the grad program I've been dreaming about for years. I've spent enough time poring over their course catalog and online-stalking the faculty. It's time to take action. It's time to close the laptop and begin.

Where are you headed? Where do you want to go? Maybe you can't get there just yet (I'm stuck for a few more months finishing up a less-than-ideal job before I can start my program) but the long-term view of your desired destination, and the aim of your vehicle pointing straight at it, can provide more than enough consolation. Yes, the road may be long, but you're on it. You've put the key in the ignition and turned. You're undeniably on your way.

Oh, and don't forget to enjoy the view while you're racing through the scenery this month. There's lots of good stuff rushing by. Take a few polaroids on your journey and take a moment of gratitude when you stop for gas. When you do eventually slow down and rest, you'll want to remember how exhilarating this process was.

xx blessed be