Last week I had a draw in which The Chariot brought along two passengers: The Empress and The Emperor, with a message about conquering different aspects of ourselves and balancing out our masculine and feminine energies. Today we have a similar draw, except The Chariot has different companions this time: The Hermit and Death (who he’s apparently chummy with).
What two aspects of us or of reality could The Chariot be pointing to today? The Hermit has me think of the Light within–the inner illumination that is our unfailing guide throughout many lifetimes. When everything in the world seems to be in a constant state of flux, there is just one thing that does not seem to change: the still, sacred space within the human heart.
The Death card, however, speaks of impermanence, change, endings, and death. It points to the large swaths of Reality that are never the same from moment to moment. It refers to the great challenge in spirituality of accepting something that can be quite frightening to our limited self.
The realization of both these cards have challenges. On one hand, seeing the inner guiding light that The Hermit points to may not come naturally to beings that place their identity in the physical world, social concepts, and self-constructs. On the other hand, accepting the ever-changing nature of everything feels unnatural and can be full of pain. We want things to remain stable.
So today the rider is calling on us to harness these two sides of our being: the inner and the outer. As we catch a ride with The Chariot through life, we become friends with his passengers. We get to admire the ever-changing scenery that Death points to, as we touch with The Hermit the never-flickering radiance and light of the human spirit within. We discover that anchoring ourselves to the stillness that is inside is one of the secrets to stoicism and equanimity in the face of changes without end.
The plant stuff you see on the bottom of the photo is the inner structure of a dead Joshua Tree, which is pictured alive in The Hermit card. They are like the “bones” that we see in the Death card. For me it merges Death and The Hermit in a piece of powerful symbolism.