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Living the Tarot: Chariot and Mars

Chariot and Five of Batons Madenie deck

New Moon in Leo and my Mars Return on the same day.** I just pulled my morning trump and suit card combination and was astonished to see Mars in Leo staring me in the face disguised as the Chariot and Five of Batons.

I know, those of you who use the Golden Dawn system are saying, “Stop! The Chariot is Cancer.” And those using the continental system are saying “Stop! The Chariot is Gemini.”

And I’m saying that lining the Hebrew alphabet up with the cards and slapping attributions on them does not work for me. When tarot was in its formative years, Children of the Planet images were ingrained in popular culture. They appeared on wall frescoes, calendars, almanacs and illuminated manuscripts. These images show people doing things characteristic of each planet.

Ask any tarocchi player in a fifteenth-century tavern to point out the planet Mars in the deck, and he’d show you the Chariot.

I have my own quirky method for assigning cards to the signs of the zodiac and the decans. The four, five and six of Batons are the first, second and third decans of Leo. This shows me the story in my cards. Mars is actually in the first decan of Leo now – the Four of Batons. The Four can be a bit rigid and stuck in place. But Mars/Chariot is thrusting his scepter into the structure, mixing it up, creating some sparks. The two sets of rods echo the two horses. The charioteer is giving them energy and focus, ending a period of stalemate where one side pulls against the other.

High energy and exciting times await me later this month when Mars goes into the second decan and the Charioteer really starts living the Five of Batons.

**A planet “Returns” when it makes a complete cycle of the Sun and lands back in the same degree of the zodiac it was in when you were born. You’ll experience a Mars Return every two years.

Deck: Tarot de Marseille Pierre Madenié 1709, facsimile by Yves Reynaud.

Learn more about working with a Card-of-the-Day here.


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