When the cards of the Major Arcana (with the Fool set aside) are placed in three rows of seven, the Chariot is the last card of the first row. This first row represents maturation and the development of ourselves as individuals. It represents the ability to control the dualistic parts of ourselves, but this does not mean that our duality is integrated — just willfully controlled. The ego represents the “I” that mediates between the id (primitive impulses) and the super-ego (social and cultural rules), and the Chariot is a symbol of the ego. The Fool on her Fool’S Journey has learned the lessons of the previous cards and has emerged as an individual capable of self-control and of asserting her will. The Chariot can also symbolize victory, forward movement, a journey, or goals.
A shadow of the Chariot is being overly confident or feeling that your only worth comes from your accomplishments. The opposite / reverse of the Chariot is being out of control or lacking purpose.
If I were to assign an element to the Chariot, I think it would be fire and air as elements of willpower.
So far this has been a tough card for me to really connect with. I’m looking forward to doing the reading for the Chariot later today so that I can explore it on a deeper, more personal level. I do like the symbolism of the Chariot as the “victory” at the end of the first row of seven Major Arcana cards. The accomplishment of maturing and balancing outer demands with inner impulses is an important step in our journeys, even if there are many steps to go 🙂