The Chariot

chariotThe path connecting Geburah and Binah is represented by the Chariot Tarot card. This is the path between Judgment and Understanding. The man standing on the chariot wears a crown, which may be likened to the crown of life received at the sphere of Kether. There is a smiley face on his left shoulder and a sad face on his right, representing the pillars of mercy and severity. If we view the manís body as representing aspects of the Qabalah, then his feet would be standing on Malkuth. The two sphinxes represent the riddle of the sphinx, and the choices we make between good and evil while on the earth.

Behind the chariot we see a river and a kingdom; these could represent the River of Life and the Kingdom of Heaven. The chariot is a vehicle of war, but it is not moving; symbolizing Christ waiting in Heaven for the Day of Judgment (represented by Geburah), when He will lead the armies of Heaven to liberate the world from evil. The drapery behind the charioteer has the Star of David in its pattern, symbolizing the Kingdom of Christ.

Journeying up the Pillar of Severity, we learned of the God of Hosts and the glory to come at Hod. The Hangedman Tarot represented enlightenment and understanding of the need to suffer, be disciplined, and overcome the evil in the world in order to avoid judgment. At the sphere of Geburah we examined how God deals with evil and the need for judgment. This path sits right beyond Geburah, and represents an understanding of the need to wait for Godís judgment (as learned at Geburah) combined with a deeper understanding of Godís plan and logic (which will be discussed at the sphere of Binah). This is where the God of Hosts waits to execute judgment at the appointed time Ė once mankind has had a chance to decide between good and evil (the riddle of the sphinx).

Like the Magician Tarot card, the man on the chariot holds a wand, symbolizing that he is a conduit of Godís power. One sphinx is black and the other is white, representing opposites and the choices we make between good and evil. The legend of the sphinx has been discussed previously in this book, but as a reminder, the sphinx asks a question and if the wrong answer is given the person is killed by the sphinx. On this path, the two sphinxes guard the Heavenly city, and the personís choice between good and evil will determine if they enter the kingdom or face judgment.

The Egyptian headdress on the sphinx brings to mind how God subdued the Egyptians and how Moses used his staff (wand) to liberate the slaves from bondage. The parallels between Christ and Moses will be discussed further in the chapter on Binah. Moses was a prince of Egypt who turned away from a life of luxury in order to follow God and protect those being oppressed. Moses was given a powerful staff and was used as a conduit of Godís power to free Godís chosen people from Egypt. In doing so, God punished the Egyptians for their sins and brought justice His mistreated people. Pharaohís armies and chariots were destroyed as the Hebrew people escaped across the Red Sea.

Exodus 14:16-18 "As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen."

Exodus 14:21-23 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea.

Exodus 14:28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh's entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained.

Exodus 15:18-19 "The LORD shall reign forever and ever." For the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea.

God used Moses as a conduit of His power, and He delivered His people and destroyed their captures. God was honored by the events that led up to and eventually delivered the Hebrew people from bondage. His righteous judgment demonstrated His strength (Geburah) and brought Him glory (Hod), just as Christ will do at His second coming (Matthew 16:26-28).

Judgment is promised for those who make the wrong decisions, but mercy and forgiveness is available to those who seek enlightenment, wisdom, and understanding and apply what they learn. Sometimes we need to slow down the chariot and take the time to make the correct decisions as to what paths we will take in life.

Acts 8:27-31 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot reading Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

Acts 8: 35-38 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Sometimes our chariots need to stand still or come to a stop so that we donít miss out on the more important aspects of life. The eunuch was saved because he took the time to understand the message of truth, and he acted upon what he learned (following the instructions and getting baptized). Phillip listened to the Spirit and served as a conduit of God to bring salvation to a seeker.

Psalm 20:6-8 Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God. They have bowed down and fallen, but we have risen and stood upright.

Psalm 46:8-10 Come, behold the works of the LORD, who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

God saves His chosen and delivers with the saving strength of His right hand. Jesus sits at Godís right hand, and will lead Godís armies in the Day of Judgment; but for now, He is waiting for the appointed time, and giving each individual a chance to choose between good and evil and determine their destinies.