The Magician stands behind a table, one arm raised and one lowered. In his raised arm is a wand. Before him on the table are the tools he uses and the suits of the Minor Arcana of the Tarot – a pentacle, sword, wand and cup. An infinity symbol is etched over the magician’s head. Strands of ivy or garlands hang over him and flowers grow to the foreground.
After The Fool, The Magician is the awakening we all go through as we embark on the journey that is the Tarot. On the face of it, The Magician is a simple card but within, it holds the way to the truth that we all seek.
With one hand pointed skyward and the other pointed down, the phrase “As Above, So Below” will be familiar to many. To understand the gods, heavens, worlds or the reason why, we need only look at what is around us (beneath us). The Magician also serves as a medium between the spirit and earthly worlds, and in the magical arts we walk that thin line between the two. We should be aware of our abilities and recognise that we can channel energy ‘from above’ to ‘below’ in accordance with our intentions.
Dressed in a white robe is symbolic of the innocence and purity of the Magician. We should not approach this journey or the magical arts with impurities in our hearts, nor for self gain. We should always ensure our intentions are noble and serve a higher goal.The red cloak represents our fire and passion in life. These two colours and meanings are again represented in the flowers to the front – white and red which are possible lillies (white) and roses (red).
The infinity sign over the Magician hints at several things – the endless journey we face, that time is endless, that the Magician’s quest is never really over. This is again represented by the snake eating its tail which appears as a belt around the magicians waist.
The infinity symbol and the snake are also hinting that nothing really ever ends. Our energy, that of our soul, is everlasting. We should remember that as begin this journey, it is foremost a journey of the soul. We happen to have a physical body that covers it and an ego that berates us, but we are souls walking this physical plane. Our experiences in life will be shaped by how we use the tools available to us – Wands representing Fire (the Heart – Love), Swords representing Air (our mind), Pentacles representing Earth (our physical body) and Cups representing Emotions (our feelings).
When everything is stripped away from us, that is all we have to guide us in this life. There is no family, friends, phones or external paraphernalia surrounding the magician. All that he has is within him, albeit layed out on the table so that we the onlooker may understand.
If we are following a spiritual path when we consider this card, it reminds us that in our magical work, we also use our emotions (cups), mind (swords), creative fire (spirit – wands) and our bodies or earthly belongings (pentacles) in pursuit of our art.
When the Magician appears in readings it is a sign that we have within ourselves the creative ability to achieve our goals. Using all the tools available to us, there is no reason as to why we cannot progress on our journey whether that be in business, relationships or spiritual paths. This is a time to will things to happen, to believe in the endless possibilities of life.
The Magician is not pondering the tools before him. He is actively using them, one hand raised and one hand lowered. It is a time to be confident in ourselves, to know that everything we need is already within us and to step forward confidently.
We should also be aware of deeper meaning to things occurring around us. Just as the Magician is loaded with symbolic meaning, so events seemingly taking place at random in our lives could be screaming at us to pay attention! That passing comment about a job opening, the compliment someone pays us, the full moon we’ve never noticed before or the bird singing overhead – all could be omens or signals from the other world to guide us or awaken us to the magic that takes place all around us. That the Magician is surrounded by a natural environment rather than depicted in a building, reminds us that our tools, or sense are intimately linked to Mother Earth, that we are not separate from the Universe but a part of a living, breathing matrix of consciousness.
If we are in pursuit of a specific goal, we should take the lead of the Magician and apply ourselves diligently to attaining it. All our emotions, mind, spirit and body should be focused on the goal. The Magician does not herald success if we apply ourselves only half-heartedly – we must be focused and determined to achieve our goals and apply everything we have at our disposal.
The Magician Reversed:
The Magician reversed can signify that we are not applying ourselves with focus and will to our goals. We are only prodding here and there, never sincere in our efforts to progress ourselves on our journey. Success therefore, eludes us. We may be lacking confidence, not in others, but in ourselves. Failure is not the fault of other people nor the circumstances we find ourselves in – this failure is purely our own fault because we have been lazy or hesitant in applying ourselves.
When reversed, the Magician can also warn us to beware of forces that may be underhand or treacherous. These may be from ourselves! Treachery, betrayal, deceit and dishonesty are afoot. If we are engaged in such practices The Magician is a warning to desist and right ourselves to the natural laws of the universe. For all the planning and skill it takes to carry out these negative traits, we would be better served utilising our talents for good!
When the Magician appears reversed it is a sign that things are out of balance. The tools we have in this life – emotions, mind, body and spirit, are not in alignment and we are being thrown from our path. This is very much to do with our inner workings rather than external forces. Perhaps we have strayed from feels right to us and we are forcing ourselves to walk somebody else’s path. Maybe we are afraid or fearful to change path. The Magician reminds us that we have everything we need and to align ourselves to our true path. Often we already know what that is or what direction we should start out on. So do not be afraid to change direction in life. Everything you will ever need is within you.