Tarot Card Meanings: The Magician

The light: skill, confidence, focus, the spark of a new project.

The shadows: external manipulation, overbearing ego, failure to act on a new idea.

The Magician points to the querent’s latent talents, resources and capabilities. He represents the tangible tools of the Fool’s journey, bridging the gap between the Fool’s wide-eyed impetus and the material world. This tenuous link is the only way for the Fool to cross the crashing waves at his feet to move towards his goal.

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Deck used: The Original Rider Waite Tarot DeckThe Original Rider Waite

Associated with the messenger Mercury, the Magician is a conduit from the higher levels of consciousness to our more base selves. In front of him, he has all the required tools for our journey: the cup (representing emotion), the pentacle (representing the material realm), the sword (representing intellect) and the wand (representing spirituality).

Above his head is the infinity symbol, suggesting that the Magician is present in all aspects of the querent’s life. We can be reminded of our own unity to our older and younger selves and the fact that our actions will stay with us through eternity; therefore, we should listen to our divine motivation when it appears to us. This same symbol can also represent ‘Jerusalem above’ in the Kabbalistic approach.

In the RWS card, the Magician holds a sceptre aloft and points to the ground with the opposite hand. In this stance, he seems to be saying, ‘as above, so below.’ Thus, he is a reminder of life’s cycles and is present at the beginning and end of a journey. This phrase can also remind us that whatever we do will return to us karmically.

The colours of the card represent both the energy required to push forward with an idea (red) and the purity of divine guidance (white). The reflection of these colours in the wild flowers that surround the Magician remind us of the beauty in letting nature grow without human interference can be a reminder to us to get out of our own heads and start creating.

The Magician is diplomatic and free of prejudice. He does not judge, but comes to us in moments of inspiration. Whether or not we choose to act on this spark is up to us. Personally, he reminds me of the ancient Roman idea of a genius, who was the spirit guide of a family or individual and provided them with inspiration. In a way, this meant that the individual’s achievement was not all her own, but it also took some of the pressure off – if a creative endeavour was not very successful, perhaps her genius wasn’t very good, and there was no shame in that. If we follow the Magician’s lead, embarking on a path illuminated by his golden background, we may end up creating something unusual or unexpected. If the creation is before its time, we can always blame the genius.

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