Tarot & the Kabbalah: Lesson 13

By Gary Meister, CTM

We are starting down path Seven, this time, traveling from Sphere 3, Understanding to Sphere 5, Severity. This path is represented by Major Arcana Key VII, The Chariot, "Receptivity."


The charioteer stands in his chariot in his chariot wearing battle armor and a golden crown. This would lead us to believe that he is royalty on some level. In front of the chariot—where one would expect to see horses—we see two sphinx-like creatures, one black, one white. They are lying down facing away from each other. There is a river behind him and a city can be seen beyond the river.  He holds a golden staff in his right hand (our left) and his hands are held in the attitude of holding the reins. But—now things begin to get weird—there are no reins and the chariot appears to be made of concrete and sit firmly on the ground! Even if the sphinxes were standing up, and pull in the same direction, they would be unable to move this ungainly weight!The entire picture portrays frozen action—suspended animation! Although the charioteer appears to be ready for battle, everything in the picture shows that he is NOT.  He is waiting! Waiting for what? Esoterically, one of the key words for this card is "Receptivity." The card symbolizes receptive waiting for divine guidance. 

Remember—all of the Tarot cards are symbols for some human action or trait. This one is no exception. It is telling us that when we face a situation wherein we can't decide what's right and what's wrong, we need to go into the silence (meditation) and listen for our Higher Self, our Superconscious Mind, to guide us. We need to be receptive, to listen. It often comes as an inner feeling, "This is right," or "This is wrong." These inner feelings are our Higher Guidance. If you don't feel right about following up on a possible decision, chances are very good that you shouldn't do it. By maintaining this receptivity to your Higher Guidance, you can be led in the right direction. 

Now—how can we understand this card as a reflection of the Creator? As the Creative Principal moved from the Sphere of Understanding on pathway #7 and towards the Sphere of Severity, It (He, She, etc.) realized that, while understanding is necessary, there is a time when a definite set of rules must be enforced (Severity). And It must listen for guidance...WHAT???  Guidance from where? This is The Creator !!! 

Now—we need to remember that the Creator had nothing to work with in building His (Her, Its) Creation other than Its own Matter; there was/is nothing else available. So, it stands to reason that everything It created was fashioned with the stuff of God. That includes what we think of as good, and that which we consider bad. It is all part and parcel of the Creator, God. How else could it have been created? There was nothing else to go by! 

So, The Creative Principal had to listen to all parts of Itself,  to get guidance—to go by what it felt like.  And again—It had to get Its guidance from Its Whole Self because there was/is NOTHING ELSE! The Creator was receptive to Its own guidance! 

And, according to the Kabbalah, everything the Creator used/uses for Creation is reflected in everything we go through in all areas of our lives. So—let's take a look at our baby. However, s/he is no longer a baby! S/he is now pre-pubescent now, nearly a teen, and now is able to make meaningful decisions. Unfortunately, this child seldom takes the time to sit quietly and listen!  It's mostly just "full speed ahead" and never-mind the consequences... With any luck s/he makes mostly good choices and experiences appropriate  consequences for the bad ones. 

This child spends quite a lot of time away from his/her parents, having far more opportunities to choose his/her actions. Some things that are inherently bad look pretty good to a twelve- year-old and s/he chooses unwisely. With any luck the parents discover the transgression and applies appropriate  consequences ("Let the punishment fit the crime"). Most often this child makes more and more good choices as time goes on and eventually becomes a responsible, well behaved adult. 

Now—how about us adults? How does this listening effect us?  Well, let us say we have already begun our project and have taken the steps which have led to growth in the project. But, we might run into a choice that doesn't feel good to us; We may have already made up our mind as to how we will progress, but it doesn't feel right, somehow. We should very probably stop before carrying out this decision and take some time to relax, meditate and really listen to what our Higher Self is trying to tell us. The answer is there but we must take the time to really listen! As you go into your meditation, ask your Higher Self to give you the answer to this problem. Don't put pressure on this; be prepared to meditate on this a few times before jumping into this step of the project. The answer will come! You just have to listen! 

In a reading, The Chariot says pretty much what I've already said... I might say, "It appears that you are experiencing a problem with coming to a decision of some kind. It looks like each time you decide to go ahead with your choice, it just doesn't feel good to you. This is your Higher Self communicating with you. Something is wrong in this decision. It may not necessarily be a bad choice but somehow it doesn't feel right to you. 

"So—it's time to meditate on this situation. If you have trouble with meditating, try to sleep on it. As you get ready to drift off to sleep, talk to your Higher Self; ask It to give you a dream that will guide you. As before, don't just give up after the first night. Give it a few chances to work. It can give the answers you need!" 

That's what I might say—what would you say? Work with this card until the next time. 

See you then! 

Bright Blessings ~ Gary Meister, CTM

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