The Hero/Fool's Journey: Part 4 (The Lovers, The Chariot & Strength)
Welcome to Part 4 of "The Hero/Fool's Journey"! To recap, the Hero/Fool has learned about the necessary balance of opposites in life, felt inspired or confident to lead or go on a crusade of some kind (or some kind or learning trip, in modern day terms), and was contemplating the transference of knowledge and ritual, questioning existing systems and structures that are in place, or blindly adhering to them.
6. The Lovers
What do the Lovers have to tell us? What does it mean to be the Lovers?
The Emperor and Hierophant asked you how you make decisions and choices as an individual, on your individual journey. However, the Lovers ask you how you make decisions as a couple, within a relationship. You have another person to consider as you make choices and decisions in your journey. The Lovers ask you to balance both your needs, to consider if partnership (of any kind) is for your greater good at this stage of the journey. Or you are being asked to re-evaluate your current partnership. As you go along on your Hero/Fool's Journey, there are more and more things to juggle and balance in your life, more potential consequences and possible outcomes to weigh. More things to protect and to defend. As a couple or within your partnership you are being asked to consider what is important and what is not as you look to the future.
IN BETWEEN CONCEPT THAT CONNECTS THE LOVERS TO THE CHARIOT: The Hero/Fool starts to feel tension surrounding defensive strategies, either defending himself, his beliefs, his partnership or someone/something he is responsible for.
7. The Chariot
What does the Chariot have to tell us? What does it mean to get the Chariot?
The Hero/Fool has made his decision and is moving forward, taking action (whatever that action is). The Chariot encourages you to take action/make decisions based on your intuition and past knowledge (as depicted by the MOON on the soldiers right shoulder) and also your goals and desires (as depicted by the STARS above the soldier), and ultimately towards abundance, love and happiness (as depicted by the SUN on the soldier's left shoulder). At this stage in the Journey, the Hero/Fool begins to get glimpses of his inner guidance/Higher Self or Spirit Animal (in this case, a lion, but it can be any animal). There is a need to be balanced before moving forward, to be aligned. Be firm and sure of your goals so that your chariot horses are both facing the same direction. Movement cannot happen if the horses are facing two different directions. This stage is about focused energy and intentions. Commitment to the goal. It's movement but it's also about staying still when necessary. The Chariot asks you, Where do you truly want to go?
IN BETWEEN CONCEPT THAT CONNECTS THE CHARIOT TO STRENGTH: The Hero/Fool is focusing on balance and realigning his chakras to ensure that he can make committed movement in one direction, and getting glimpses of his Higher Guidance.
What does Strength have to tell us? What does it mean to get Strength?
I feel like people (a.k.a.The Fool/Hero) often get caught in a looping cycle between The Lovers-The Chariot-Strength because they haven't made balanced decisions in the Lovers phase, and quickly drove their Chariot in a direction that wasn't for their greatest good. When that happens, they will be forced to re-evaluate their choices through the resulting circumstances in the Strength phase. But if they re-evaluate the situation in an unbalanced way, not having learned from the past, and by basing it too much on another person's expectations (ie. their Lover or partner) they may once again charge their Chariot in another direction that isn't pointed towards their "Star" and will again have to re-visit the consequences. They perhaps aren't fully listening to their inner voice or guidance. They aren't considering their own highest good. To fully embrace Strength is to fully embrace a love for yourself, to do what is truly for your greatest good, and to not fear the consequences. You fully embrace your Spirit Guides/Animals and become very acquainted and comfortable with them. You are no longer afraid of what the world thinks of you and how others might react to your choices. You are ready to take the next step to fully embrace who you are.
IN BETWEEN CONCEPT THAT CONNECTS STRENGTH TO THE HERMIT: The Hero/Fool is beginning to fully embrace and acknowledge his Inner Guide/Higher Guidance.