As the Voyager deck is based purely on intuition, I am sharing my own intuitive finds for this card. Just writing out the name of the Magician, I see ‘magi’ nestled in it, and immediately I think of Gift of the Magi, in which love is displayed over vanity and pride. So, too, is following the Magician’s path, as the source of the spark woven throughout the card’s imagery is often called love. It is a sense of purity and intuition.
I’ve tried to read the card as a story, beginning with the item that catches my attention first. This is the group of tulips at the bottom of the card. They begin as ordinary tulips but soon lead up to one tightly packed mass of flowers that resembles a crowing rooster. The message is clear: The present depends on our own perception, and therefore is what we decide it to be. Before our eyes, tulips can turn to roosters. Less metaphorically, problems can turn into opportunities.
Transformation is a strong message in this card: Gold is extracted from the Earth to create the Incan mask. Fireworks are transformed from papery cylinders to vibrant explosions in the sky with the touch of a spark. Even an ancient star combusts, transmuting into something new as its fragments reassert themselves in the universe. It’s a reminder that our lives may be short, but without taking that leap of faith, the sun sets on nothing spectacular.
Looking down from that elegant swan dive, I see the shore and, beneath it, a butterfly. I’m reminded of our fragile ecosystems ad the rising sea levels. I’m also reminded of Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder, in which the death of a single butterfly on a time-travelling expedition creates a chain of reactions that result in the American people preferring to elect the leadership of a fascist over a moderate.
On a more basic level, this card still speaks of the first spark of fervour in a new project. It reminds us of the glories of riding a wave of God-sent intuition to see a project or idea through. Through the upside down (yet filled) cup, we can be reminded that emotion can turn logic on its head. This is not a negative or a positive, but the way things are. Lastly, we can remember that a simple twist of a crystal will send rainbows cascading out the other side if the right light is applied. So, too, can our perception change our output, transmuting raw materials into things of light and beauty.
As the Magician in Pamela Coleman Smith’s artwork has the suits lined up on his table, our own tools are seen to erupt from the hand in the lower corner, bringing us back to the rooster tulips once more. As energy can flow out of our hands, so can the tools we have create our world.
We are at once ancient and modern, the heirs of old wisdom scratched on stones and new scientific discoveries. We hold the fate of the world in our eyes, and therefore need to take responsibility for its fate. We have the tools to hand, both to enact out truest desires and to leave the world a better place than we found it.