Essence: Chet represents a fenced field. That which we claim for ourselves becomes our responsibility. Whatever we are pledged to alters and transforms us. We love and are loved, creating and nurturing lasting relationships. Rider-Waite Tarot: Chariot
8 ח CHET , FIELD ENCLOSED, FIELD OF RESPONSIBILITY
Chet is the number 8, a field enclosed and the fence enclosing it. The choice offered by Zayin has been made. One plot of land has been selected from all that lay before us. When we built a fence around it we thereby claimed it for ourselves.Chet is to be responsible, to pledge ourselves. We are altered and transformed by how we respond to our responsibilities.
For our chosen land to be productive requires the labor of sowing and returning, then waiting patiently for our garden to bloom. When it does, Chet is to make happy, to bless, to love and be loved.
In Zayin our longing for union has led us to make a choice, and so Chet is the wedding canopy and the wedding, which also represents the choice to select one from among many others, and to pledge to our chosen one, our care, attention and responsibility. Additionally, the letter refers to friendship, to the commitment and cultivation of relationships so that they, like the field, may bear fruit in the physical, emotional and spiritual levels of our being.
Wisdom begins with Chet. As with responsibility, wisdom grows when we allow ourselves to be penetrating and penetrable. When we recognize that growth comes through our exchange of love, energy and care, we share strength and vulnerability with our beloved. We are then able to continually discover the miraculous uniqueness of that other to whom we are pledged.
Life is Chet, as is freedom. When we are free we can choose that which we claim as our own. It then becomes our responsibility, even if to be free, to be truly alive, we must be willing to risk weeping a little, or even a lot. Thus, Chet also brings suffering, whether the happy suffering of birth pains or the agony of devastation, which is the inevitable end of even— especially!—the deepest love relationships.
The Chet card shares some meaning with the Tarot Chariot card for that which we conquer and claim as our own, becomes our responsibility.
When reversed, the Chet speaks of failure to take responsibility because we are fearful of vulnerability and/or unable or unwilling to value sufficiently that to which we were once committed. This may indicate a need for us to repair a pledge we have broken or relationship we have harmed.
We might ask, “Could what I want in any way result in the injury, conquest or enslavement of another?”
Conversely, it might be a warning that a promise made to us is in danger of being unfulfilled. It could indicate that someone with whom we are dealing is untrustworthy and trying to manipulate or enslave us.
We might ask, “Am I allowing myself to be coerced into committing to something against my better judgment?”
If we are avoiding or wavering in our commitment to an action, we may sin by missing the mark: in a half-way attempt to shoot an apple off our friend’s head we may hit his eye instead. Through careless inattention and not being fully responsible we risk hurting ourselves or another. The ground we walk on is Holy. Chet reversed reminds us that when we allow ourselves to be fenced in by fear of suffering, we fence out life.