Tarot Card Meanings for the Magician
communication ~ skill ~ directing the will
- Keywords for the Magician
- Creativity, action, power, manifestation, skill, communication – oral, written & electronic, technology, magic, work, self-employment, a smooth talker, having the gift of the gab, will-power, directing your will, creative visualization, manifesting your desires.
- The Magician Reversed
- Deceit, con artist, liar, communication blocks, abuse of power, creative stagnation, ill intentions, manipulation, fake skill-set, a charlatan, ill intentions, being out of your depth.
- The Magician as People
- Magicians, jugglers, card sharks, illusionists, electricians, inventors, communications experts/workers, scientists, the self-employed; the technically minded.
Tarot Card Meanings for Specific Decks
The Lo Scarabeo Tarot attempts to fuse the three main tarot decks of the West, namely, the Rider Waite-Smith, the Crowley-Harris Thoth and the Tarot de Marseille. It depicts the main elements from each deck making it an excellent tool for widening your tarot vocabulary. It clearly shows the differences between them clarifying the origins of the different meanings being applied to the same card.
Skill, diplomacy, address, subtlety; sickness, pain, loss, disaster, snares of enemies; self-confidence, will; the Querent, if male.
Skill, wisdom, elasticity, craft, cunning, deceit, theft. Occult wisdom or power, a quick impulse, brainwave, messages & business transactions.
Shrewdness, initiation, dexterity, disciple, verve, talent, trickster, practical & creative intelligence.
Who is the Magician in Tarot?
The Esoteric Magician
The RWS Magician shows the maxim: as above, so below. It indicates that heaven can be shown on earth, and it is the Magician, or Magus, according to Crowley, that has the divine connection to make it happen. Waite says this is the divine motive in man and can be understood through Qabalah. The Magician travels the path from Kether to Binah. Like the Fool, the Magician also comes directly from Kether. Unlike the Fool, the Magician is numbered – 1, and so the potential that always exists with the Fool, can be made real through the Magician. Rachel Pollack says with one hand the Magician receives, with the other he commands and so he brings matter into form.
The Magician commands the four elements, as seen through the emblems of the four suits of the Minor Arcana. The RWS and Marseille show these on a table in front of him (the material plane). The Thoth, like the Lo Scarabeo, shows the Magus freely commanding them from the ether while he himself is above the ground. Through these elements and his manipulation of them, he creates change (magick).
The Everyday Magician
In the modern sense, and more widely seen, the Magician employs the Law of Attraction. It is seen as a lesser or weaker form of magic, but many people will attest to its effectiveness. Everyday you make things happen in your life, through your planning, your efforts and your will. You are a magician in your own right. Those who have success with magick or the Law of Attraction have learnt, even unconsciously, to connect to the higher realms and bring matter into form.
Historically, we can see the Magician as a trickster. The various Tarot de Marseille decks impart this, as does the Visconti Sforza. You can imagine a peddler with a table, three cups on it with a dice under one of them. Try as you may, you never guess the right one… Encountering a slick character like this happens in everyday life, from one who would con you out of your savings, to another who is a silver tongued devil promising you the earth then disappearing when it’s time to deliver. We’ve all met at least one of them.
The trickster is one side of the Magician, the communicator is another. They can be seen through the Magician’s connection to the planet Mercury and the god Hermes – communicator, circulator and trickster. Corresponding also to the Air element, the Magician is a master of the mental realm, the spoken and written word, thinking, planning but also doing.
Coming out of Kether for the Fool, he thought, “what do we have here?” The Magician would say, “what can I do here?” And he does it. He will convince you he can do it and he will convince you, you can do it also. He doesn’t have to be so selfish, despite his number being 1. As a master manipulator, he is also master communicator and can bring change to your life through verbal exchanges. Every effective motivational speaker is a magical communicator. Tony Robbins is but one.
Correspondences for the Magician
|Related to 10, the Wheel of Fortune and 19, the Sun|
Posts Featuring the Magician
See how the Magician interacts with other cards and can change the direction of a tarot reading when it is used as Stepping Stone to Success, and how I interpreted the Magician to represent my Beliefs in the Logical Levels Tarot Spread in Action!
Take an extra look at the Magician from other decks including the Infinite Visions Tarot by Gloria Jean and the Hezicos Tarot by Mary Griffin. Tarot cards can take on a different perspective when created by an artist and this always provides valuable insight when learning the tarot.
Journey Through the Major Arcana is a guest post series by Bonnie Cehovet. Exploring the Fool’s/Hero Journey through 3 x 7 Theory, see how the Magician fits into this narrative, mirroring your own personal development.
Hebrew Letters for Tarot Readers by Mick Frankel is a guest post series that shows the connection between the Major Arcana and the Hebrew Letters. There are 22 major cards and 22 letters, see how Mick skillfully explores these through the Tarot de Marseille.
Bibliography & Further Reading
- Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Waite
- The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley
- Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette
- CBD Tarot de Marseille by Yoav Ben-Dov
- Grimaud Tarot de Marseille
- 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack
- The Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang
Tarot Deck Credits
Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie ** published by Llewellyn Inc
Lo Scarabeo Tarot by Mark McElroy and Anna Lazzarini published by Lo Scarabeo