The Magician is the first true teacher on our journey through the Tarot. He is associated with the god, Mercury, and with the Hermetic tradition.
When The Magician Tarot card appears, you have everything that you need to find your way in this world. You are self-confident, and you can transform your ideas into action.
On the other hand, The Magician can also be the great deceiver. He has more than one ace up his sleeve, and at times, he can be a sorcerer with hidden powers.
This article will explore the rich symbolism of The Magician Tarot card using the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. It will also tell you how to interpret the upright and reversed meanings of this card when they appear in reading.
The Magician Tarot Card and Numerology
Each card in the Tarot deck has numerological significance. The order of the Major Arcana represents a spiritual journey. We started with The Fool, which was the number 0, and now we move towards the number 1, The Magician.
There were numbers before there were things to be numbered, and creation began with a single point. Thus, the number 1 is the beginning of all activity.
It follows that 1 is the first step of the path and the start of every adventure. Furthermore, 1 is the bridge between the spiritual and the material world.
Keywords for The Magician Tarot Card
- Lack of scruples
- Lack of will
Imagery and Symbolism of The Magician Tarot Card
On this card is a mysterious man who is standing in front of a table. He wears a white robe with a red cape. The white garment is a symbol of wisdom, while the red cape symbolizes worldly knowledge and power. He also wears a snake-like belt, which shows the division between the earthly and the spiritual realms.
The snake has deep metaphysical significance, representing both knowledge and deception. Yet, the snake is biting his own tail, which symbolizes eternity. He has the sign for infinity above his head which is another symbol of eternity.
On the table in front of him, The Magician has a wand, a cup, a sword, and a pentacle. These are the four suits of the Tarot deck, and they also represent the four Classical elements. Wands are fire, cups are water, swords are air, and pentacles are earth. This means that he has all of the tools to manifest his desires.
The Magician is standing with one hand raised with a wand and with the other pointing to the ground. This is further symbolism that The Magician has access to both the spiritual and the material.
Surrounding The Magician are roses and lillies. The Rose is the flower of the Sun, and the Lilly is the flower of the Moon. This shows that he is able to combine the energy of the Solar and the Lunar to bring forth his will upon Creation.
Lessons of The Magician Tarot Card
The Magician Tarot card is a powerful card that occupies the first step of the Hero’s Journey. It teaches of the power and wisdom you can achieve by conquering your inner world. You can develop magical powers.
Two sides of the coin: deception and transformation
The Magician Tarot card also represents one of the most interesting archetypes of the Jungian symbolic universe: the trickster. This archetype is a personification of divine or supernatural nature and is usually embodied in a human male. He is dedicated to deceive and to disobey the rules and norms either for fun or for his own benefit.
Sometimes he is a smart person, who is lucky and able to turn things around for his own good. You can never know if he’s one of the good guys or the bad guys. All cultures have a god or entity with similar characteristics, but the Nordic god Loki is a prime example of one such trickster.
The vision of good and bad falls short when we refer to this archetype. It is in the middle that we can find the infinite shades of grey that are useful in our study our own humanity, our inner trickster.
The jokes, traps, and accidents caused by our internal swindler are almost always coupled with repression.
The greater the number of restrictions, rules, prohibitions and controls we have that prevent us from being who we really are, the more we will meet with the creative, ingenious and audacious aspect of this card.
That is why yo-yo diets are such a problem. If you decrease the caloric intake to a minimum before looking into the psychological reasons behind your unbalanced eating habits, it is a clear invitation for a famished Loki to appear at midnight. He could be disguised as a chocolate cheesecake…topped with ice cream.
Why do I need a trickster in my life? Because he is the one that can get you out of trouble. He has the tools to go beyond restrictions and to help you transform them if necessary. The Magician can be a trickster, but he also sees the joyful side of life. There are always two sides of a coin. Do you dare to flip it?
How to Interpret The Magician Tarot Card in a Reading
When The Magician Tarot card appears in a spread, it means that we are facing a person of great ability to communicate, who is creative and eloquent. He is also capable of influencing his work colleagues, conquer any desire, and succeed in anything.
The Magician is the great miracle worker of the deck. He will not come to judge you as Justice will, nor will he teach you a great lesson about self-control like Strength. The Magician is also not interested in uncovering your lower instincts like The Devil. The wizard is here to show you the inner potential that you have yet to discover! Go ahead! The Magician is the source of all inspiration, and he has direct contact with the gods. He is highly captivating, and he possesses all the tools that The Fool does not. Because of this, The Magician can help you find your way.
The Upright Position of The Magician Tarot Card:
The Magician has masculine energy. Because of this, he will not hesitate to raise his wand to get what he wants. Indeed, he will stir up all the energies of the universe if necessary to achieve his goals. In politics, communications, or business enterprises, The Magician will always get you out of trouble, but if and only if it’s in the upright position.
The Magician is the Renaissance Man who is the architect and master of his own destiny. He can control his circumstances through the intelligent use of psychic force. When appearing upright in company of positive Major Arcana, he announces the beginning of a new activity or a successful enterprise.
- The solution for your romantic and family problems is in your hands
- New relationships of love and friendship
- Creation of strong emotional ties
- A crush destined to lead to true love
- Great powers of attraction
- Numerous conquests
- Sex appeal
- Good health
- Rapid recovery
- Great sexual satisfaction
- Enhanced vitality
- Projects that are easy to plan and start
- Good relationships with your colleagues
- Start of a new highly profitable, but risky, activity
- Economic success
- A good time to create a partnership
- A raise
- Financial affairs carried out quickly and skillfully
- An attractive investment opportunity that you should take
The Reversed Position of The Magician Tarot Card:
When The Magician Tarot card appears in the reversed position, close the door. This means that it is time to do some thinking. Someone in your environment may be about to put you in danger, cheat you, or play a bad joke on you.
The Magician card, when reversed, can denote a lack of originality, indecision and insecurity. When it appears, the person in front of us is not a good-natured seducer coming to sweep us off our feet. He is a Don Juan who is looking for a casual fling. This person may even try to date your girlfriends and sisters.
The Magician reversed is the typical trickster that is gifted in the art of seduction. He is used to being able to take advantage of innocent people. He will put you in a situation where uncertainty can bring great risks.
Alternative readings for The Magician when it is reversed
If the card appears next to The Devil, Death or The Tower, it may mean that you are under the influence of black magic spells. On the other hand, if this card is accompanied by The Lovers, it indicates possible infidelities.
If the spread talks about business initiatives, The Magician Tarot card represents a manipulative person, such as a swindler or a liar. It also indicates a moment of inertia, passivity, or lack of confidence in your work team.
This card can go in two different and opposing directions when applied to a person. On one hand, he may turn intelligence into cunning, courage into recklessness, or self-confidence into bragging. Frauds, deceptions, and robberies may be day to day aspects of a fascinating rogue life.
On the other hand, it could mean none of these characteristics are present. On the contrary, we may be faced with a shy and passive individual, who is insecure and distrustful. The person could have a terrible self-image which frustrates them and gives him a sense of uselessness.
- Ending of relationships
- Lack of attraction
- One of you may have a bad temper that is causing tension
- Flirting outside marriage
- Problems with the digestive system
- Dangers derived from weapons, animals, and machines
- Take advice before making investments and, if possible, postpone them for a time in the future
- Stagnation or career setback
- Losing time and energy
- Difficulty with communicating ideas and applying new strategies
- Serious obstacles in your professional career.
- Be cautious about investments
- Beware of risky projects
Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.