At left is The Chariot from The Gilded Tarot. Luscious deck, isn't it? It was a birthday gift from a friend. Not a deck I'd have ever purchased for myself, I'm not fond of computer generated art in the tarot, but this deck is just so gorgeous. I am really delighted with it. Easy to shuffle too!
The most obvious meanings of The Chariot are movement, travel, or a warrior.
I personally rarely see much meaning in the black and white sphinxes (gold and silver on this deck). But that's just me. And that isn't to say that one day, with the right Querent, and the right question, one or both of the sphinxes may suddenly have a clear message for me. For now, I more or less ignore them. Or perhaps it's more appropriate to say that they ignore me. That's one of the funny things about the tarot--even after years of use, under the right circumstances, a card may suddenly hold a whole new meaning for you. Egyptian symbology has never called to me. But I don't want to discourage anyone from exploring their meaning. This MY tarot journal, not THE tarot journal.
The warrior aspect of this card also rarely comes up for me, but it can indicate someone "doing battle" in some aspect of their life. It could also indicate a champion--perhaps the Querent herself is a champion in some way or perhaps the card comes up to represent a champion in his life.
In general when this card comes up I see it as a message to the Querent to take charge of their life's direction or to take hold the reins of whatever situation they may be asking about. I see this as an empowering card, one that reminds us that we control the direction of our lives.
In the negative I may see this card as a sign of someone who is out of control. Or perhaps someone who has no direction. This card could indicate the lack of someone's ability to manage their life or an aspect of their life.
It's a Major Arcana card, however, and can somtimes indicate that there are greater forces at work. We can only control what WE do, not what others do. But what WE do is oh so important.
There is another aspect of this card that does have meaning for me at times. Health and vitality! Sometimes I see this card in regard to someone's health as either an indicator of their excellent physical state or as a message for them to get in gear and move their bodies.
Where this card comes up in the reading is key to its meaning, not to mention the cards that come up with it. This is to be said of all tarot cards, of course. One of the reasons I don't turn one card over at a time in a reading is because I need to see the entire context of the reading before I begin intepreting. If I do one card at a time, I'm more likely to misinterpret the message I'm supposed to be getting. The cards interact with each other--it's important to me to see them as a whole at first, then break them down.