When we see you
we are ready
following blue horses under stars
To be confident, to be guided, to face
A young man stands in a chariot. They are drawn by two blue horses and carry a wand in hand. They look ahead, under a veil of stars.
The man in the chariot looks like a handsome young prince , they are adorned with a crown, and seemed dressed for a role of importance.
When I first saw this card I thought they looked confident, like someone ready to take on the world.
What is confidence?
Confidence comes from a trust or belief in ourselves and what we do in the world.
To believe in ourselves we have to begin to know ourselves.
Perhaps the young prince finds some confidence in their constructed chariot, their garments, crown and wand; these could be the adornments of a young person ready to find their place in society.
To begin to know yourself you have to start trying new things, ways of dressing and expressing in the world, and to see yourself in different roles. The constructed, sheltered chariot speaks to this sense of finding of oneself in environments, roles, and clothes; the constructions of the ego.
A chariot is for movement, often led by animals. So this person is going somewhere, When we see this card we may be asked, what are we led by? And where are we going?
To begin knowing yourself is to begin understanding where you are going.
But closer inspection will find no wheels on this chariot, this prince is staying in one place.
I found this confusing for some time. I wondered why the chariot actually looked stuck? The horses seemed to move, but how could they get anywhere?
Alejandro Jodorowski writes that the The Chariot moves with the spinning of the earth.
Perhaps when you are learning to know yourself you are always in the right place.
But the young prince is looking away slightly, they are not facing us, and they keep their left hand shy and hidden. This chariot is a construction, above him the stars are a clothed veil; a fabrication.
They are not yet ready to leave this place, and be exposed under the open night sky.
The shadow side to confidence is fear.
The prince’s idle left hand reveals an uncertainty in his role. He looks away somewhat distracted. In his eyes a sense of sadness can be detected.
Part of learning to find oneself comes in realising these constructions we build and garments we wear are not who we really are. ‘Confidence’ is an act. One that we learn to perform to move forward in the world, but one that in the end, is tiring and repetitive.
Two crescent moons rest on the prince’s shoulders. They are under the protective and nurturing influence of the Mother; they are a child at heart.
One day this prince will pull down his clothed veil of stars and find themselves under a bare, glimmering sky. They will pour water back into the ground that has nurtured them, and take off their crown. They will have nothing to hide and have found true confidence – vulnerability.
But for now,
The Chariot is a path.
It tells us we are getting to know ourselves, we are going somewhere, and we are learning how to become confident.
But true confidence will come in letting go of confidence.
In taking off your armour,
And allowing the movement of the stars to guide you.
Artwork comes from a collaborative project interpreting the Arcana of the Tarot between Jack O’Flynn and Connie Hurley, conducted by post.
Connie is an artist and star living in Edinburgh who is interested in gendered social and support structures, DIY methods of making, folklore narratives, processes and love. her work moves between sculpture, installation, performance, curation, facilitation and friendship. https://cargocollective.com/conniehurley
Jack Oflynn 2021