BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE MAGICIAN
Astrological Sign/Planet: Mercury
Elemental Placement: Air
Yes/No Reading Answer: Yes
Keywords (Upright): Manifestation, Power, Inspiration, Resourceful, Creation
Keywords (Reversed): Lack of Foresight, Unused Abilities, Manipulation, Loss of Power
The Magician stands above the table before him, actively working his craft. He is clothed in white and red robes. The white belted and secured with a snake eating it’s own tail (the Ouroboros) the red covering him loosely. Above his head is a lemniscate, or “infinity symbol”. He stands specifically with his right arm raised while holding a double tipped wand and his left pointing to the earth below him.
Red roses and lilies adorn the space where he is practicing, creating a covering above his head with the roses. On the table before him sits a sword, a pentacle, a wand, and a cup. (All four suits of the Tarot) These are also symbols showing us the four elements (earth, air, fire, water). An often missed part of the card are the three symbols on the front of the table which are waves, tongues of fire, and a dove. Together with the fact that the table is made of wood (a tree from the earth), this doubles down on the idea of the four elements. The table for earth, the dove for air, the tongues of fire for fire, and of course the waves for water.
CARD SYMBOLS EXPLAINED
I – The number listed at the top of the card is one. This is, of course, the first number. Remember, The Fool had a zero rather than a tangible number. Numerologically, this number can symbolize the life-giving energy of the sun. Also, noting that the Roman Numeral is used here, it can show us that both the heavens and the earth are connected.
White Robe – The Magician’s bound, white robe signifies his purity in working. There is no malice or self-satisfaction here, but instead the purest of hearts. We see this again as the white is also wrapped around his head, showing that he has purity of mind.
Red Robe – This red robe shows us that the Magician is engulfed in passion for his craft and his intention. This is certainly needed when we are creating.
Ouroboros (Snake) Belt – The symbol of the Ouroboros is ancient, and used in multiple cultures. It is most well known as a symbol used in alchemy. While it has many meanings to different cultures, it is most notable as being a symbol for cycle and continuation. Therefore, this shows us that the Magician understands that to each thing that he does, there is a season. He uses that knowledge to create and manipulate the elements for their best uses.
Lemniscate – The Lemniscate has many meanings spiritually, but it is most known for being a symbol of eternity. Much like the Ouroboros, it’s cyclic and continuing. It’s interesting to note, as well, that this symbol only appears on two cards in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. The other card it is used on is the Strength card.
Right Hand/Arm – Using his wand, he points to the heavens, showing the connection to the divine is needed in all creation. Regardless of what the reader of the cards believes (we all have different faith and beliefs), this shows us that it is not by our own intention alone that we create and manipulate the world around us.
Left Hand – The Magician also points his left hand to the ground. Here, he shows us two things. First, much like the hand raised above him connecting to the heavens and the divine, he also reminds us that, in order for us to accomplish goals and growth, we must be grounded to the power of the earth herself. Secondly, much like the one at the top, we can see the connection between heaven and earth in this symbol.
Dual Sided Wand – While also a symbol showing us that heaven is connected to the earth, this wand also shows us the importance of duality between intention and manifestation. We send the intention to the realms above us, then the power is returned with the ability to manifest that intention.
Roses & Lilies – A red rose is often a symbol of passion, and this is why we see so many of them on this card. We must learn that, in order to manifest and create on the earth, we must have the passion to send that intention. However, passion alone breeds only corruption as it grows. We must balance that out with the innocence and integrity that comes with the white lily.
The Sword – The suit of swords in the tarot (and on this table) is a symbol of the things in our lives ruled by the air. This includes our thoughts, our words, and our actions on this plane.
The Cup – The suit of cups and the cup on this table is a symbol of the things in our lives ruled by water. This includes our emotions, creativity, and intuition.
The Pentacle – The suit of pentacles is a symbol of the things in our lives ruled by earth. This can include our financial position, our work, education, and our material items.
The Wand – The suit of wands is a symbol of the things in our lives ruled by fire. This can include our spirituality, our passions, motivation, energy, and the expansion of things related to those. Think growth when you see a wand.
Are there any other symbols that you noticed? If so, write them down and make note. The art of tarot is considered that because it is personal and seen differently in each person’s eyes. The Magician can mean many things to many different people, so think about what it can mean to you!