The Cart Before The Horse


We are now starting the last series of reflective snippets of Intiatic Tarot exegesis. Its appropriate that we are now looking at card number 7 titled The Chariot. The chariot has gone through a few different changes through deck, but most always depicted MAN and either different dress or clothing related to the times or symbolic men and women through the ages represented as well. The other is Horses. There were usually two horses one white and the other black.


Since the beginning of time we have been instructed by schools of wisdom to watch ourselves and not let the passions run away with us. Its not going to be in the best interests of this page to either define passions or moralize on stopping them. I would like to make reference to the idea of horses and carriages or chariots though.

Our first chariots in mystical literature are from the chariot burials of the Andronovo (Timber-Grave) sites of the Sintashta-Petrovka Proto-Indo-Iranian culture in modern Russia and Kazakhstan from around 2000 BC. This tells us as much as 4000+ years the symbol as a chariot has been around. The point that I was going to bring to attention with some of the modern horses being “sphinx’s” is that in Egypt the HYKSOS invaded on chariots contributing to the Military success of the Egyptians.

This tells us that since 2000 years bc Chariots were taken to be as important to be buried with death and in Egypt resembled great military power.

And so it is! Our chariot in this life is considered to be that which is able to carry the MAN (Meaning MANAS – SK for Thinker). The other is that MAN guides the HORSES. These HORSES are considered that which is powering the chariot. Here is the trickery, as a actual image this is appropriate as a military source of power, meaning when used in battle the CHARIOTEER is able to bring force with the HORSES into manifestation and then conquer EGYPT which is the Land of Matter. But its not that simple. When the CHARIOTEER or MANAS is pulled by the HORSES then we are not the Military conquer that we supposed to be but an ineffective slave to the HORSES will. This is when the HORSE pulls us.

In the language of Theosophy this would be the Mental and Emotional Bodies pulling us, instead of the Higher Mental and Intuitional bodies guiding us by the direction of the MONADIC DIRECTION. Its simple but profound when in an emotional turmoil to use the time tested line ” are we putting the cart before the horse” In this situation it should be yes! This statement is tricky again because to rely on power we need the horse, no one denies that fact but to properly guide the power of the horse we need a directing force as well meaning the Charioteer. It does not say put the charioteer before the horse, it says the cart, and in this analysis the cart is a moot point.

I’d also like to bring attention to a good Tibetan practice called the Chariot Technique in looking for a cart apart from its parts. Meaning look at the cart and see if its just wood, metal, axles, and rope. Held together by Nails or Weld. We will start to see that the Vehicle doesn’t have any intrinsic “vehicle-ness” apart from its parts. The same as our emotions and mental thoughts, the HORSE has no other purpose in the Chariot situation than to pull it, let us be the guiding force of those horses, or let our chariot be guided by our HIGHER SELF the real CHARIOTEER