- Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
- The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
- The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
- The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
- The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
- The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
- Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)
To read my previous posts in this series, enter “Animal Tarot Time” in the search field on the main page of the blog or scroll down and click on Animal Tarot Time under CATEGORIES.
Let’s look at how THE CHARIOT is portrayed in seven different animal decks.
Animal Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine (Hay House)
You’ve earned the rewards and recognition you’re receiving.
In this deck, the Arabian Horse is meant to represent “the balance of strength and intellect,” and like The Chariot in traditional decks, success depends on the ability of the driver of the chariot to guide opposing forces or energies forward together in the same direction. The image on this card does not show opposing energies pulling against each other. Rather, we are meant to consider the Arabian horses themselves as symbols of grace, intelligence, passion, and confidence.
The Animal Totem Tarot by Leeza Robertson; illustrated by Eugene Smith (Llewellyn Publications)
You have to pay just as much attention to the energy that creates
your movement, as the direction of the movement itself.
To capture the essence of The Chariot, this deck describes the manner in which Orcas (Killer Whales) hunt. The pack travels together, using speed, diving techniques, and tail movements to master their environment and capture their prey. They not only know which direction to go, but the types of movement and behavior to use to achieve their goal. With each movement, ripples are created that affect the surrounding environment and everything in it.
The Animal Wisdom Tarot by Dawn Brunke; illustrated by Ola Liola (CICO Books)
Let go – become master of your vehicle.
Keynotes for this card in this deck are “Power, Balance, Alignment, Control.” The equine association with the traditional Chariot card is picked up in this deck, with the addition of wings. The message is similar to the traditional Strength card in that we are encouraged to control our direction in life with calm focus rather than trying to force or fight our way along. Brunke writes: “We are the vehicle that carries our soul through life. Nurture courage, self-authority, and poise to lead yourself.” We are encouraged to “align divergent energies and direct movement through inner balance.”
The Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (Dragonhawk Publishing)
Movement and Balance
Here again we see the importance of both movement and balance in The Chariot. We may be very good at “movement” but if that movement is undisciplined, out-of-control, and fraught with inner discord, we are not likely to get where we want to go. Harnessing and guiding our raw power and passion is necessary in order to go in a specific direction. The idea of balance is further represented by the fact that horses have four legs, giving them stability and balance in their movements.
The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt (Llewellyn Worldwide)
THE CHARIOT / FREYA:
departure, experiencing the world, deliberate actions
In this deck, The Chariot is represented by the Norse goddess Freya riding a golden boar, an emblem of her power. She is assisted by an emerging lynx, whose exceptional eyesight guides her. Freya’s beauty, determination, and powerful spirit are, of course, legendary. Her energy inspires us to find a purpose in our actions and to pursue that purpose as we continue on the path we have chosen.
The Animism Tarot by Joanna Cheung (Self-Published)
strength, control, resilience, intuition, determination, victory
Like others, this deck chooses the Horse to represent The Chariot card. The image shows a lavender-gray horse flying in a deep purple, starry sky as a crescent moon shines above. Cheung’s keywords reinforce the message we associate with The Chariot. Rather than trying to rephrase her poetic description, I will quote part of it here: The horse “is the journey: the road travelled and the obstacles ahead. He is the will, willing himself to triumph.”
Tarot of the Animal Lords with artwork by Angelo Giannini (Lo Scarabeo)
SWAN and CROWNED CRANE:
victory, success, huge ambitions, sudden loss
As I have come to expect, this deck gets the prize for the most interesting and unexpected imagery for The Chariot. Symbolically, swans commonly symbolize peace, tranquility, loyalty, strength, beauty, grace, and love. Cranes are viewed as symbols of vigilance, longevity, wisdom, fidelity, and honor. These are the qualities, then, that can help us reach our destination.
To summarize, we have:
Horse – 4
Orca – 1
Swan and Crane – 1
Boar, Lynx (Freya) – 1
I’m not surprised to see the Horse take the lead in this group of animals. It is interesting to think of myself as a horse, steering myself, rather than someone driving a chariot pulled by horses. I like the image of the pack of orcas working in concert towards a goal. Freya riding her boar works pretty well for me. The swan and crane are, well, fun. Which one is your favorite?