The Meaning of
"The Magician" Tarot Card
Tarot Quick Info
What is the inverted meaning of
The Meaning of
The Symbolism of The Magician
The Magician card is numbered "1", and is often considered the true first card of the Major Arcana.
On The Magician card we see a young adept holding a wand aloft in one hand. His other hand points towards the ground in a gesture which channels both the power of the heavens above, and the power of the Earth beneath his feet.
His pose communicates in the simplest terms, the esoteric doctrine of "As above, so below" — or what is true in spiritual realms is also manifested here on Earth.
Above his head, a mysterious infinity symbol hovers in the air, representing the infinite possibilities of the mind, and the equally infinite capacity of the individual.
a mysterious infinity symbol hovers in the air, representing the infinite possibilities of the mind, and the infinite capacity of the individual.
On the table before him, he has arranged all four suits of the Minor Arcana: A cup, a sword, a pentacle coin and a wand signify that he is well-versed in the fundamental elements and concepts they represent.
This young man is a prodigy — one who has not only achieved mastery in his studies, but combines skills from all areas, into a sum which is greater than its parts.
An abundance of flowers flourishes the scene, symbolizing the manifestation of the young man's energies; Roses frame the top, while a combination of red roses and white lillies fill the bottom.
The young man wears the white vestments of an acolyte, but also a red robe signifying vitality and skill. Around his waist is an ouroboros, signifying infinite capability and potential.
How to Interpret The Magician
The Magician tarot card is the ultimate representation of pure skill and mastery. Energy, willpower and ability all join forces here to manifest whatever is desired.
Is it magic? Or is the Magician's execution just so flawless that he makes it look that way?
The card represents the flawless execution of a plan. Skill, practice and knowledge combine in a brilliant solution to a problem. Is it magic? Or is the Magician's execution just so flawless that he makes it look that way?
When The Magician appears in a tarot reading, it references a level of technical mastery, and skillful execution that's so perfectly performed that it looks like magic.
Because his knowledge is deep and his skills are well honed, he can accomplish things that many others cannot. What he wills, he can easiliy manifest into reality.
The presentation of all four suits of the tarot on the table before him, suggests that the young man has complete mastery of all worldly skills and pursuits. When solving a problem he considers all approaches to be worthy of consideration.
Likewise, when The Magician card shows up in a tarot spread, it not only suggests perfect execution, but a more subtely a perfect approach — one which is original and may combine multiple skills into a single solution.
Generally speaking, The Magician is a very positive card. It also carries overtones of artistic merits, recognition, awards — and accomplishing the "impossible."
The Magician Inverted
The Magician card reversed is mixed message. Skill and mastery are still indicated, but execution and follow-through have gone off track somewhere.
Even with all the Magician's ability and adept mastery, things just aren't going the way they should for some reason.
Maybe the energy is missing; Maybe the desire just isn't there; Maybe the timing is wrong.
...all the originality, knowledge and creativity in the world just aren't enough to get past this fundamental block.
For whatever reason, all the originality, knowledge and creativity in the world just aren't enough to get past this fundamental block.
When The Magician shows up in its inverted position it's often a call to look at greater issues. Stop thinking about the task at hand for a moment, and consider the larger issues at work.
Perhaps an overconfidence has led to a poor choice of approaches — or perhaps a lack of information has led to a fruitless pursuit.
In some cases the card may also speak to a misplaced belief in an ability — one which proves to be less adept than expected.
A cocky belief in one's capacity may have led someone to take on more than they are capable of, or to assume a role for which they are ill-equipped.
Generally speaking, the reversed Magician card is somewhat negative. It may refer to a person who has failed for one reason or another, or circumstances which aren't conducive to success.
Common Symbols Found On the Magician Card
Tarot cards often use a language of symbols to illustrate additional information about how each card should be read. The Magician contains at least three common, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these symbols can add additional layers of interpretation to the card.
The symbols which appear on the Magician card are:
Roses symbolism appears on the Magician card:
Roses are some of the most important repeating symbols in the classic Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck. What can sometimes be confusing about interpreting roses different varieties of roses depicted on different cards. Each of these different varieties carries a distinct meaning.
NOTE: The roses on the Magician card are mixed with white lilies, suggesting a potent alchemic mixture of male and female energies. Like everything on the Magician card, the message is mixture. All suits are represented here. Both Heaven and Earth are also referenced — and both genders are represented with both roses and lilies present.
Lilies symbolism appears on the Magician card:
White lilies are used commonly in the Rider Waite deck on many different cards. Lilies mean positive thinking, innocence, clarity and focus. Lily flowers are also the representation of a distinctly female force, or the "Yin" side of the Yin Yang. In historic Christian symbolism, the pure white lily is also linked to virginity, the biblical Mary and things that are both pure and sacred.
NOTE: The lilies shown on the Magician card are mixed with roses. In the same way that all 4 Tarot suits are represented on the Magician's workbench above, the symbolic representations of male and female flowers mix among the leaves below.
Infinity symbols symbolism appears on the Magician card:
In the most general sense, infinity symbols indicate ability without limitations. These symbols ask us to consider the infinite potential inside every one of us — and our limitless ability to exercise willpower over the physical universe. At a simpler level, infinity symbols ask us to question anything which might seem impossible. These symbols push us to step forward and to try, even when everyday logic may be trying to convince us that success is beyond our physical ability or means.
NOTE: Here, on the Magician card, the infinity symbol hovering above the young man's head suggests an infinte level of mastery and skill.
Read more about the symbolism of "Infinity Symbols" in Tarot
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