“In a chariot of light from the region of the day, the Goddess of Liberty came. She brought in her hand as a pledge of her love, the plant she named Liberty Tree.”~ Thomas Paine
Many of you will be familiar with the concept of linking numerology with Tarot. In order to get the underlying card for the year. In order to achieve this, you add the figures of the year, until you get a digit that can be aligned to a number in the major arcana. In the case of 2023 it goes like this: 2+0+2+3=7…. which in Tarot, is the number associated with THE CHARIOT, a card that pairs with number 16, THE TOWER, because 1+6=7.
Last year’s card pair was THE DEVIL and THE LOVERS a year of bedevilment and finger pointing, seeing the enemy in other people who spoke a different truth, a year of misinformation, control and double think, but also a year where we learned to what degree we give our power away for the sake of an easy life. Battles of wills, control issues and seeing “the other as enemy” were all themes that resonated with the number combination.
The Chariot and The Tower are a dynamic duo; they prepare us for dramatic change, and we will likely leave much behind. As Pluto moves out of Capricorn and into Aquarius, we expect a shift in the zeitgeist, a new tempo. The quote above, from Thomas Paine, was written around the last time Pluto moved into Aquarius when American Independence was being fought for, and the French Revolution was occurring. The Tower card above, from the Thoth deck, is redolent of Picasso’s “Guernica”, a famous anti-war piece painted in response to the 1937 bombing of northern Spain in 1937. The astrological symbolism of these two cards is that of Cancer (The Chariot) and Mars (The Tower). As a pair, they suggest a slow, awkward but dramatic and irrevocable change. If you think of the animal associated with Cancer, the crab, it cannot move forward directly but approaches things in a somewhat awkward and sideways fashion. Mars likes to be direct but is hampered by Cancerian energy, often finding out too late that there is no going back. Themes of destruction abound with this duo, but always for the sake of something better to take place….eventually.
Change is never comfortable, and this will be a year of change… what has given us comfort and security may be challenged in the coming months; there may be a greater emphasis on “safety” and “protection” whilst in reality it may well seem as if there is less and less safety and protection. An ancient association of the card The Chariot, is that of the Merkabah. There is a whole branch of mysticism devoted to the practice of Merkabah meditation, for anyone who would like to research it, much of it based around the passages of the Bible in Ezekiel. I have quoted from Wikipedia below.
According to the verses in Ezekiel and its attendant commentaries, his vision consists of a chariot made of many heavenly beings driven by the “Likeness of a Man”. The base structure of the chariot is composed of four beings. These beings are called the “living creatures” (Hebrew: חיות hayyot or khayyot). The bodies of the creatures are “like that of a human being”, but each of them has four faces, corresponding to the four directions the chariot can go (East, South, North and West). The faces are that of a man, a lion, an ox (later changed to a cherub in Ezekiel 10:14) and an eagle. Since there are four angels and each has four faces, there are a total of sixteen faces. Each of the hayyot angels also has four wings. Two of these wings spread across the length of the chariot and connect with the wings of the angel on the other side. This creates a sort of ‘box’ of wings that forms the perimeter of the chariot. With the remaining two wings, each angel covers its own body. Below, but not attached to, the feet of the hayyot angels are other angels that are shaped like wheels. These wheel angels, which are described as “a wheel inside of a wheel”, are called “ophanim“ אופנים (lit. wheels, cycles or ways). These wheels are not directly under the chariot but are nearby and along its perimeter. The angel with the face of the man is always on the east side and looks up at the “Likeness of a Man” that drives the chariot. The “Likeness of a Man” sits on a throne made of sapphire.
The Bible later makes mention of a third type of angel found in the merkabah called “seraphim“ (lit. “burning”) angels. These angels appear like flashes of fire continuously ascending and descending. These seraphim angels power the movement of the chariot. In the hierarchy of these angels, hayyoth are the highest, that is, closest to God, followed by the ophanim, which are followed by the seraphim. The chariot is in a constant state of motion, and the energy behind this movement runs according to this hierarchy. The movement of the ophanim is controlled by the “Living creatures”, or Hayyot, while the movement of the hayyot is controlled by the seraphim. The movement of all the angels of the chariot is controlled by the “Likeness of a Man” on the Throne.
The Chariot moves rapidly and quite unsteadily, in massive contrast to its stationary position, but in Tarot, we are generally concerned with the focus required before it begins to move. As a vehicle, its motion is a forgone conclusion, but its direction does have something to do with the driver, the charioteer. Its pair card, The Tower, symbolises the destruction of the outworn structures which have outlived their original purpose. Overall, the energy being described is something akin to moving house or having the other of all clear outs; painful at the time but liberating in the end.
If you go one step further, you can add your birthday to this and get your own personal card for the year. Add the day & month of birth to 2023 and keep adding until a single number is reached…. e.g., a birthday for May 3rd would be as follows: 5+3+2+0+2+3 = 15=1+5=6. For the interpretations, click HERE
“Once there was a man who had reached the middle of his life, and he decided that it was time to contemplate his worth and to evaluate his direction, so leaving his friends, his family and most of his possessions behind him, he walked off into the woods where he could think undisturbed.
When he entered the woods, he didn’t really know if he was doing the right thing, but he did know that he had to do it. At first the beauty of his new surroundings filled him with awe and wonder, and he soon learned how to listen to the sounds of nature; eventually as weeks turned into months, he slowly found himself changing. Every now and again he missed the people he had left behind, but the great beauty of his new environment lured him further into the mystery he was seeking and he could not turn back. In time he learned how to listen to his own thoughts; he could see his mind in the trees and feel his emotions in the bushes. The perfect balance of nature that surrounded him was starting to become him, and the fighting that used to go on within himself slowly beginning to disappear. At first he was frightened, for although he hadn’t realised it, the turmoils to which his mind were accustomed to had kept him company; now they were gone, and instead there was only the great stillness of nature.
More time passed and he began to realise that you could no longer categorise the people about whom he used to hold opinions about. He began to see the unimportance of classifying all the little things that used to trouble him, but now he had a different problem . With a clear mind, empty of the wearisome worries that had always vexed his spirit, what was he to do? In the past the voices of others with their strong opinions, somehow guided him and the effects of other people’s lives had impinged upon his own so much, that he never really had to concern himself with the direction his life should take.After two years in the woods he began to wonder if the outside world had changed much . He thought of the people that he had known, and wondered what they would be like now. Then he discovered an amazing thing about the changes that had taken place within himself. All he had to do was to think of a person and somehow, through some strange miracle, he instantly knew what the person was like now. At first he found this difficult to believe, but after a while he discovered what the woods had done to him. He could touch a leaf, and know when it was going to rain; he could somehow sense the presence of even the smallest of animals hundreds of yards away, and always he would be right. Something had brought him in tune with the perfect harmony with nature. The slightest upset in the ecological balance to which he had grown accustomed to, would instantly attract his attention, and for the first time in his life, he realised that he was a part of god’s creation . He had read about it, he had read about the state of being in books, he had secretly dreamed of it but this was different, he was actually participating in reality.
He sat down and leaned against the trunk of a giant sequoia tree to contemplate. Somehow in ways which he did not understand, he put himself through years of emotional torture; then he tested his ability and his desire to survive amidst the natural elements which were unfamiliar to him, and much to his amazement he he was intact after all. Would he spend the rest of his life in the forest, or would he in time, go out to meet people like he had in the past? The question perplexed him because he knew he could never tell anybody about what he had found. In some ways he was frightened that the strength of the people’s desires would bring him back to all he had discarded, but still, after two years in the woods he was growing lonesome. It was not the same kind of loneliness that he had known before his journey, he longed for the sounds of nature in people. The long months of solitude had made him silent, and he wanted to share what he had found with others, but he also knew that he must preserve it for himself. He remembered how it had once seemed so important to try to reform the world or perhaps redeem it from some vague impending doom. Now he did not have the same feeling, he had found his identity amidst the trees and the flowers, and he had witnessed how everything in nature fulfils itself in its season. He too was now filled with the abundant joys of nature, and for months he compared everything he felt in the woods with what he knew he would feel from other people. Hearing the words, he watched each moment renew itself through the vividness of the ever happening Now. Regardless of the weather or the changing days there was great peace within him.
He picked up a tiny flower and stared at it Somehow he knew the flower would be able to answer him, but he picked the flower and he knew that it could grow no more; this saddened him, for if only he had been able to get his answer by looking at the flower without picking it from its natural habitat. Then he became enlightened. If he left the forest to enlighten others, he would be removing himself from his natural source. How long could he endure? Like the flower he could only bloom for a while and then fade. He decided it would be wise to stay within his source; the Now, after all, was not something to boast of, or a reason to lead others to, rather to experience for oneself. He smiled as he thought ” Let all who want to know, venture into the forest themselves, where deep within the recesses of their minds and hearts they will feel the wind, taste the rain and let the Gentle Wisdom of natural law guide their journey “
An allegory taken from the book: The Karma of the Now by Martin Schulman.
Wishing you all the very best for 2023 and may the Goddess be with you.
THE THOTH JOURNEY TAROT
“A new age is dawning, with a need for a new wisdom, one that comes from the heart. This book is dedicated to all those who find themselves, for whatever reason, in darkness; given with love, this work, is a product of our times.”