(The above image is a copy of The Magician card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 10 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
The Magician card definitively begins the Tarot deck since The Fool can either be the first or the last. The Magician card is all about new beginnings and manifesting our internal visions. It can encourage us to take on new projects and to practice our creativity.
For more information about The Magician card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – TAROT NUMBER
The Tarot number for The Magician is the roman numeral I for one. It is the number of new beginnings, of looking forward. While The Fool may be first or last, The Magician is always one, a clean start for whatever journey you are undertaking. The iconography of the roman numeral I also plays into the themes of the card for its shape matches the wand wielded by The Magician. As the wand is the starting point for the will, the number one is the starting point for all numbers.
Point 2 – POSE
The Magician has one hand pointing to the sky and one hand pointing to the ground. This pose symbolizes the union between the spiritual world above and the material world below. As a creator, The Magician enacts their spiritual vision using the materials they have been given. The Magician’s pose is a reminder of balance. You shouldn’t solely have your head in the clouds or your nose to the ground. You need both idealism and pragmatism to achieve your goals.
Point 3 – WAND
The wand held by The Magician is an illustration of his balanced pose. The wand is two identical poles joined together to form a perfect union. It is through that harmony that The Magician creates. In order to become The Magician, one must balance the aspects of their lives.
Point 4 – WORKBENCH
The Magician does not create ex nihilo. The workbench emphasizes The Magician’s craft. It is a place of training, of failing sometimes. It illustrates the long tradition that The Magician learns from. It reminds us of the hard work that goes into creating things. Consider The Magicians in your life and aim to practice your craft alongside them.
Point 5 – WAND, SWORD, CUP, PENTACLE
On the work bench there lies a wand, sword, cup, and pentacle. These are the suits of the minor arcana and they are the materials you have to work with. With these four materials, representing the four elements, Fire, Wind, Water, and Earth, as well as the four aspects of our psyche, intellect, will, feelings, and corporeality, The Magician creates anything their imagination can come up with.
Point 6 – FLOWERS
The Magician is all about manifesting your vision and seeing your ideas blossom. Perhaps this is illustrated with the blooming roses and lilies that surround the card. A garden, like The Magician’s craft, combines the naturally chaotic plant material with the orderliness of the gardener’s mind. A rose garden can also symbolize a promise for future success, encouraging the reader on their journey.
Point 7 – RED ROBE
Red is the color of passion and energy. It is the lifeblood that drives The Magician to create. The red robe roots The Magician in their emotion and reminds the reader to be passionate about whatever project they are trying to manifest.
Point 8 – WHITE TUNIC
Like most of the symbols on this card, the white tunic is a unified paradox. On one hand, white is the color that contains all colors, representing completion. On the other hand, white is a blank slate, empty, representing new beginnings. The Magician wears the white tunic in order to have one eye on the start of their project and one eye on the end of their project.
Point 9 – INFINITY
Above The Magician’s head hovers the infinity symbol. Like a halo, the infinity symbol represents The Magician’s wisdom and holiness. Like the white tunic, the infinity symbol is a unified paradox. It is infinite repetition, beginning and end. Infinity is the equilibrium of opposites that The Magician requires in order to create.
Point 10 – GIRDLE
Similar to the infinity symbol, The Magician’s girdle reflects a snake eating its own tale. While the infinity symbol above The Magician’s head illustrates the unlimited potential of the mind, the girdle illustrates the unlimited potential of the body. Both infinities are reiterated by The Magician’s pose and both are required in order to create.
In Tarot readings, an upright Magician is an encouragement to pursue your goals. You might be on the fence about a certain idea of yours. Take the leap. Become The Magician and manifest your vision. An upright Magician asks you to recognize the resources that you have and to use them to the best of your abilities. Ask yourself why you want to pursue a project and how you can best achieve it. If the passion to succeed is within you, then don’t worry. Work hard and your vision will come to light.
A reverse Magician reveals that while you have the vision, something is prohibiting you from actualizing it. It can be a reminder to self-analyze. What drew you originally to your idea? What are the outside forces that are affecting you? Can something be done about them? While a reverse Magician addresses inhibiting factors, it does not deny your ability to overcome them. You have the skills. Work hard to figure out what is holding you back in order to reaffirm your vision.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.