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The Magician - Tarot Card Meaning

Updated: May 8

The Magician is the card numbered one in the series of the Major Arcana. In the Thoth deck, the card is called The Magus. The Magician represents creative force in the Tarot deck. But this is not a remote divine or universal force, each of us contributes to the creation of reality with our actions, thoughts, and attitudes.

The Magician Major Arcana Tarot Card - Various Examples

Upright Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

The Magician card upright reminds us of the power that we have to shape our own lives. It suggests that we have something in mind that we want to achieve, and that now is the time to act. Our vision and our personal resources are aligned.

Reversed Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

The Magician reversed reminds us that our attitude and response can affect our lives much more than any setback or disappointment. It suggests that we change a situation by changing our attitude. This Major Arcana can also warns us that we are struggling to move forward because something about our goal is not aligned with our inner self.

Number - 1

The Magician is numbered one among the Major Arcana, and as such represents the most powerful creative forces in the universe. But creativity is not something that exists outside of the individual. We all create through our actions and thoughts. We are also the most powerful creative force in our own egocentric universe and therefore have the power to make changes.

Element - Air

The Magician is associated with the element of air, which is the intellectual element. In the form of The Magician, it reminds us of how important it is to have things properly aligned in our minds before making the real in the world. Only when we know what we want to create will it turn out the way we desire.

Planet - Mercury

The Magician is one of the Tarot cards aligned with Mercury, the planet of communication. But in this circumstance, it is less about communicating with the external world. The Magician highlights the importance of knowing ourselves and being able to explain to ourselves exactly what we want and why it is important.

The Magician - Tarot Card Description

The Magician Tarot card, as it appears in the Rider Waite deck, features a man in white robes with a red cloak. On the Rider Waite card, he wears white robes that represent the purity of his intentions and a red cloak that represents his worldly experience and knowledge.

Standing at the center of the scene, the Magician reaches one hand up towards the universe and one hand down to the earth. Above is the spiritual realm, and below is the material, and he stands between the two, able to leverage spiritual force to manifest in the physical world and able to move through the physical world in a way that heightens his spiritual existence.

On the Magician's table sit the symbols of the Tarot, pentacles, swords, wands, and cups in the Rider Waite deck, which also represent the elements earth, air, fire, and water. These show that he has all the resources that he needs in front of him. The flowers and plants that surround the table show what he is capable of achieving if he puts his skills to good use.

Read our profile of Odin, the god of war, wisdom, and witchcraft in Norse mythology.

The Magician - Upright Tarot Card Meaning

When The Magician appears upright in a Tarot reading, it is a good omen. It indicates that you already have a clear plan, vision, or desire in mind and reassures you that you are ready to embark on this challenge. It can simply provide reassurance that the plan is now.

The card reminds us how powerful we are when it comes to shaping our own lives. Most of the time, we are only one decision away from a completely different life. And, while we cannot control everything that happens around us and affects us, we can choose how we deal with things. It reminds us to adopt an opportunity mindset and never to play the victim. Life is not always fair, but focusing on unfairness as an excuse is rarely helpful.

The Magician card urges us to trust in ourselves. We have a lot of knowledge, hard-earned through life experience. Now is the time to draw on that knowledge and trust our instincts rather than bow to the ideas of others.

What to do?

If you see The Magician upright in a Tarot reading, it means that now is the time to act. Our vision for what we want is complete, and we are ready to tackle the challenge ahead of ourselves. It reminds us to have faith in ourselves. The Magician tells us that we need to take responsibility for making our dreams come true.

The Magician - Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

When The Magician appears reversed in a Tarot reading, it is often a sign that we have lost our way. It often appears when we are pouring our energy into something that no longer serves us. Perhaps it is an old dream that does not align with who we are as a person today, or perhaps the time and energy that we are investing are hurting rather than helping us.

The reversed Magician suggests that our explicit goals are not in line with our inner selves, and there is a breakdown of communication between our heads and our hearts. This is why we might be feeling drained or empty despite ostensibly succeeding.

The Magician card reversed suggests that we take some time to get to know ourselves again and recognized what has changed. Only when we have done this important work can we reorient our life and goals and start moving in a more positive direction.

It can also warn us that we are playing the blame game when things aren't working out. While we may be correctly identifying important factors, the chances are that it is our own actions that are preventing us from overcoming the obstacle.

What to do?

When The Magician reversed appears in a Tarot reading, it is time to do some important internal work to better understand what drives us. We likely need to redefine our "why". This can help us discover the things that are sapping our energy, motivation, and happiness. Once we have done this, we can start to create a new and more rewarding life.

The Magician Tarot Reading

The Magician is an empowering card that reminds us how much control we have over our lives. Tarot readings are meant to help us better understand our lives so that we can direct them better, which is why The Magician is a fitting card to be number one in the Major Arcana.

The Magician card is also focused on the importance of clarity of vision to guide us. Again, the Tarot is designed to help us focus on the most important things in our lives, something embodied by The Magician.

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