THE CHARIOT BECOMES THE VICTORIOUS ONE
Triumphant in the battle of Self, the Victorious One walks forward, bearing aloft in his purple-gauntleted right hand an exotic flower – a flower such as a Buddha might carry – and leading by his left a brace of lions, the two lions that formerly pulled his chariot. On his head is a crown of seven blue stars; above his head in the heavens is a soaring eagle bearing spears in the formation of pyramids in his talons. (The eagle of victory reappears later on the left shoulder of the Changer). Many symbols of Victory are on this Book whose meaning is Self-Mastery.
The noble Arjuna who went into battle in the Chariot trump of the older Tarot has emerged victorious, leaving his battle- wagon abandoned behind him. To the right a rippling curtain, upheld by the blue birds of happiness, veils battling wolves. This shows that the battle of the instincts is behind him. It continues, but he has walked on. The letter C is embroidered on the curtain. The O, the circle of the universe, also the O of the wreath of the Virgin and the globe encircled by the man and woman in the Unity Book, has opened, meaning that nothing confines or contains him.
The Victorious One wears a sandal on his right foot; his left foot is bare but has two wings. This signifies that he walks upon the earth but is not of it. He has transcended its dimension while being fully grounded in reality. The purple gauntlet, like the purple band of the Nameless One, is a symbol of initiation – and it is in this hand that he wears Victory’s flower. The dice indicate that victory relies on timing and chance.
What is the meaning of Self-Mastery and what is the battle that the Victorious One has fought and won?
What is the battle of the Self?
“The Self must be known, loved and forgotten”, it said in reference to this Book.
What then is the Self?
The Self is the One and the Self is All. The Victorious One, therefore, is the Victorious ONE.
He is not merely one who is victorious; but the ONE victorious.
There is a veil between the Self and the self – like the rippling curtain that veils the battling wolves. The self, the small personal self, is the field of battling forces or instincts, of oppositions, passions, prejudices, and hostilities. It is based on the delusion of separateness. Even as the curtain separates the battling wolves from the foreground, the illusion of separateness – the product of the survival self – separates the individual from a recognition of the One or the Self that is beyond although within and of the Self. The battle of the Self continues so long as the Self is not found. But once the Self is found, wherein lies the battle?
The charioteer of the Chariot trump conceived of his battle as outward, not seeing that it was inward or rather within himself that the basis – the cause, the root or source – of the externals lay. The Victorious One, having found the Self, the One, has abandoned his battle-wagon as no longer needed. He battled to find the One and, having found it, walked on. But although he walks firmly on the earth he is no longer weighted down by it as is shown by the two wings on his left foot.
The C on the curtain also means that the enclosing of the circle of the Self, symbolized by the letter O, has opened, releasing the self to the boundless One.
The old battle continues, left behind and disregarded. Self- Mastery means that the battle of the instincts, of the personal self, continues to exist, but that the One has taken over and is at all times dominant, therefore one is unaffected by the tides of reaction and inter-reaction which rage back and forth within and around one. They rage – but since the Self is not involved, they have no effect.
The exotic flower shows that the triumph is spiritual, is no common victory, and that a higher realm of being has been won. The seven blue stars say the same thing, and the number seven is related to the seventh ray, supposedly the ray of the new age.
The Victorious One is aware of his victory as he steps forward leading the lions, for the victory of the Self is new to him. After all, he has just left his chariot.
The two lions, one black, one white, symbolize his feelings and the two aspects of his nature, the conscious and unconscious or the positive and negative flow. The two lions later uphold the Royal Maze, signifying that only the Victorious One can enter and pass through the Maze.
The lions led the chariot into battle – and a sunburst was painted on the battle-wagon’s front. Now the sun blazes overhead and the lions which led him he now leads.
One might say, after the Victorious One, where is there left to go?
But Self-Mastery is but one mighty step on the path of realization.
“The Self must be known, loved and forgotten”.
There is only One Being. And once one has realized the illusion of separateness and found that One – One walks on.