Learn Tarot: The Magician

Name Variant: The Magus, The Alchemist,
Element: Air
Planet: Mercury
Numerology: 1
Timing: Wednesday, Spring, Morning
Hebrew Letter: Bet
Crystals: Opal, Agate, Garnet
Herbs: Astragalus

Keywords: Enterprise, Knowledge, Diplomacy, Will, Skill, Personal Power, Communication, Messages, Creativity, Action, Manifestation, Technology, Magic, Alchemy

If the Fool was symbolic of beginning and unlimited potential, the Magician is the place of directed will. This is the place of the first step, an intention that creates drive in a specific direction.

The movement forward of the Magician also gives us another clue regarding The Fool. And that is that The Fool is a moment in time. It is not a direction, a drive or an aim. It is simply a state of being that underlies the traveler. Where it’s true that the Fool represents unlimited potential and unlimited options of paths, the second an intention is set and the first step takes place, the traveler is now directed, creating… The Magician.

So in this way the spiritual is aligned with the choice and self determination of the ego. The two coming together create a spark that initiates movement, which is creation, action, will, or the divine alchemization of intention and action that manifests it the world.

This next step in the journey is a bridge from that point of the internal state of being to the external physical one. Specifically, this gets manifested through communication and the transmitting of ideas. There is a flow that begins here and the intention or the direction in which the traveler is heading is coming forth as ideas, diplomacy, personal choice and personal power to determine. This card is about the identification of talents you might possess or choose to hone.

The Magician is the first step in creativity and it can also signal success in a reading.

It is important to note that in the original iconography which we’ll cover in different posts, all 4 elements are represented in the imagery and they symbolize all available tools to what the Magician is setting out to Master.


Keywords: Scattered energy and focus, Deceit, Blocks in Communication, Abuse of Power, Stagnation, Fake It Til You Make It, Manipulation

When considering the Reversed meaning, think about the integrity or lack of integrity at the foundation of the intention being set to move forward. That’s really the crux of The Magician. You’re stepping forward, but why? What is your aim? What is driving you? If your intentions are not true, then there is a propensity for manipulation, for abuses of power, for blocks in communication because what is being said does not match the energetic behind the words.

Focus is scattered and attempt are ineffective because the external presentation doesn’t match the internal impetus for the action.

In Jungian Tarot Interpretation For The Magician

This is the place of the Master. She is who is able to take the ideas and desires of the internal world and bring them manifest into the physical world. This is the doer, the inventor, creator. He/She is a person of power who gets this power from another place or reality, a spiritual realm is implied. It is not just that the Magician is able to direct intention or their magic. It’s critical to remember that the source comes from what can be seen as a divine realm, a divine purpose.

Jung considered this to be one of the dominant personalities in the collective unconscious and shares deep associations with the Shaman archetype who specifically has learned his magic through direct experience and not through books.

History Of The Magician

There is a long history of associating male magicians with the magic of entertainment and female magicians with witchcraft. It’s interesting to note that the magic of entertainment is that of manipulation, of illusion and of misleading the audience into believing magic has occurred, when in fact it has not.

Witchcraft however, has been vilified because the fear of the time, and still today is that it is in fact magick of a real nature.

A very long discussion can be had revolving this alone and the political and gender issues associated with it, but this is not the post of it.

Instead, I want to point out that because of this rift in perception, this card also comes with the association with the Trickster, which works given the cultural history behind the card. It now corresponds with the more obstructed or reverse meaning of the card, just as the old historical stereotypes that were placed on men and women played into the collective meaning we give to the card now.

That said, these roles still exist in more varied ways and its important to not only be on the lookout for how the play out in your life, but also how we contribute to them in society.

The Magician is a Master. His power is one sourced from the divine within. Integrity of intention is what determines how this archetype plays out in the world and in your life.

Meditation Question:

With your limitless potential, where are you choosing to head in your life?


Deck Used:  Rider Waite Tarot

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