The Magician: Journal Entry

The Magician is all about manifesting goals and bringing light into the physical realm. With the right channels, we can use that divine spark of creation to get us going. This card reminds us to channel our link to the divine so that insight and wisdom can flow through us in all that we do.

Recognising intuition when it speaks can be difficult at first, as its voice is quieter than the voice of the ego. Additionally, it can often be overridden by second-guessing or outright dismissal. Like the Magician, however, channelling this wisdom brings the wild beauty of creation down to Earth. This is an infinite learning process as well, with our path feeding into itself continuously. It is with this channelling in mind that I continue my journal entries from Theresa Reed’s Tarot Card By Card, so that I may grow more in touch with the card’s meaning.

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Deck used: Art of Life: Tarot Deck by Charlene LivingstoneArt of Life Tarot

Prompt: What is your secret (or not so secret) power? Write about your greatest talents, both recognised and latent.

I am a writer. One of the greatest compliments that I have ever received is that I craft beautiful sentences. There are times when words seem to flow through me, and other times when I sit down to write and barely anything gets written. I accept that this is all part of the process – inspiration is a fickle thing, and sometimes I wait for inspiration before acting. As Pablo Picasso is quick to remind me, however, ‘Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.’ So I need to start taking action and building up skills, even if I am unsure where everything is leading. I must have faith that inspiration will come.

Thus, I feel that my talent is my mulish way of ploughing away at my goals, regardless of whether or not Inspiration is working through me on that particular day. It has led to the creation of some pieces that will never see the light of day, but very often there is a nugget of gold to be sifted from anything I write.

On the whole, the Magician stands for the action we need to take – he provides the spark and we need to run with it. He activates our raw energy, helping us take responsibility for the things we need to do. Step up to the challenge. Here, I must recognise the need to take that spark and move forth with my goals. I must acknowledge myself as a conduit for this raw energy and make the most of my natural, if mulishly executed, ability.

Voyager Tarot: Magician

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.

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Deck used: Voyager Tarot

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.

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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.

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.

Voyager Tarot: Fool-Child

The way I interpret the RSW Fool and the way I interpret the Voyager’s Fool-Child is a prime example of the different ways card meanings change from one deck to the next. Though the cards serve the same function in their respective decks, the Fool-Child seems to remind me more that our innocence is often in our lack of knowing. It also hints at a wide-eyed innocence that borders on the eerie.

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Deck used: Voyager Tarot: Intuition Cards for the 21st CenturyVoyager Tarot

To me, the most prominent feature of the card is the slightly battered porcelain doll head, and my closest association with it is the Chernobyl disaster. Recent photographs of the site show us that nature is reclaiming the space, even after humans have done their best to destroy the planet. So, too, can the Fool-Child be seen as the reclamation of nature over our damaged selves, making us fresh again over our past experiences.

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Photo from The Guardian; photographed by Guy Corbishley

We can also see in this card the excitement and anticipation associated with the creation of a new life. The tenuous miracle of life is evident, including the uncertainty and fear we might feel about bringing such a life into the world.

The fireworks in the background remind us of our explosive potential if a fire is applied in the right way. The rows of yellow lights on a dark blue background remind me of a toy I had as a child: the Lite Brite, in which individual pegs would show a picture when added together. Perhaps this could speak of collaboration, or of working with a few different elements individually to create a bigger picture.

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The card also sends several messages. It speaks of the gangly awkwardness of youth and of the joy of finding surprise and wonder in a long-held job. It also hints at getting to a point of high achievement in a pursuit and still finding revelations. Therefore, this is a long-haul journey. This path can also be seen as a pilgrimage from rigid, masculine ways into a more intuitive way of being, exemplified by the figure standing at the precipice of a cliff. The daisies and orchids, perennial flowers, remind us that life is renewed within us and outside of ourselves.

Lastly, we can see several birds at the bottom of the card. They are at once exotic and commonplace, ‘birdbrained’ and wise. Their lineage stretches back to the time of the dinosaurs, making them a connection we have with our earth’s earlier history. Here, their presence tells us that our spirit guides will be blazing the path for us, helping our dreams take flight.

In short, what we can learn from this card is that a fresh start is on its way. It will not be without its times of awkwardness or youthful mistakes. It may even be a new start after a disaster. However, it will help you see things in a fresh, childlike perspective. Though this time of change may lead to anxiety and apprehension, you’ll know that you’re on to something big. Moreover, the spirits are with you. Prepare to embark on a path of renewable joy and lifelong interest. Everything that there is to fear may not be known to you at the moment, but it’s time to begin. For now, enjoy the freedom of the unknown.

Tarot Card Meanings: The Fool

When we first pick up a tarot deck, the metaphors are often enigmatic, leaving us feeling as though learning their mysteries is an insurmountable task. The subjects’ distanced faces and their old-world symbols at first give the tarot an aloof vibe. However, their mysteries becomes easier to understand when the cards are seen as different rites of passage in the seeker’s journey.

During different times of the seeker’s life, he or she can be represented by many different cards. A range of personal attributes can be picked up by the cards depending on one’s challenges, frame of mind or aspirations.

Likewise, each card can mean something different depending on when it is pulled and what calls out to the reader at the time. At one time, the colour red may show the reader that the seeker is full of energy; at another time, it may show that more energy is required. Thus, it is best to trust your own intuition when reading, and to be aware of your own personal symbology. This will lead to multilayered reading and deeper insight. Memorising a card’s meaning is important, but so is knowing when the quiet voice of intuition is speaking, nudging you to pick up on something else.

Lastly, interpretation of a card’s meaning can change depending on the deck used. Many decks are based on certain templates, such as the Rider-Waite Smith deck or the Marseilles deck, and so these can be interpreted in similar ways. However, even their readings may differ slightly based on the reader. Therefore, today I am starting with the Rider-Waite Smith deck. We’ll be looking at what can be considered the first and last card of the Major Arcana: The Fool.

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Deck used: The Original Rider Waite Tarot DeckOriginal Rider-Waite.

The light: spontaneity, fearlessness, carpe diem.

The shadows: negligence, vanity, carelessness.

The major arcana represent a cyclical journey, beginning with the innocent, naive Fool as he traverses through the joys and setbacks of life. Initially, we see that the Fool is set against a sunlit background, and he wears a tunic decorated in flowers, representing the flourish that gives way to the fruit of life. He stands at the edge of a precipice as his little dog rears at his feet. Some say that the dog is warning the Fool, others state that he is encouraging him to work through the frightening first step. The mountains behind him can symbolise the trek that he made in order to make this calculated first step, reminding us that the conclusion of one adventure is the beginning of another.

Meanwhile, all he has he carries – his bag and a white rose to represent his purity of intent. It is a good reminder to those of us starting on a journey that we often need less than we think we do in order to make that first step. Further to this, we can interpret that materialism has not yet affected the individual in question, and that the goal could be one of youthful ambition. This card can also represent the gut feeling one has when pursuing a project even though it seems ludicrous to others. In this type of scenario, the individual may be channeling a mystical cleverness devoid of reason. Such a pursuit has also been called a ‘holy madness,’ driving saints on in their mission when others believed it to be unrealistic.

As an individual, The Fool represents the unaffected, untainted soul. He may not be taking a fully practical approach, as he is oblivious to the cares of the world, but he is a dreamer. Because of this, it can be interpreted that this journey starts in utter innocence. He also has a spirit of initiation and spontaneity, displaying the joys of starting a new project. One can enter the journey free from prejudice and with a strong sense of spirit and purpose.