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The Magician in the Tarot and Magick

Author: Anja Heij

The symbolic images of the Magician in the Tarot decks explain the essence of magick and the required attitude of its practicioners

This card has the number 1, because it is the card of beginnings and everything you need for a good start: self-confidence, creativity, determination, willpower, self-control, skill, craft, purposeful action, energy, activity and vitality. It is the drive to choose your own direction, to realize your Self. Ofcourse it is also the card of magick and the magician him-or herself, communicating between heaven and earth, thus creating and materializing new possibilities.









Rider-Waite TarotScapini Tarot





In the Rider-Waite Tarot we see a person dressed in white: his actions are pure (meaning in harmony with himself and beneficial to the world). The white band around his head shows that he has thought over his actions first and approved them to serve his higher self.
The red cloth he wears depicts the passion and desire he puts into his magick. Red is the color of Aries and the planet Mars, saying: "I want this and I want it now."
With his right raised arm he holds a white wand of pure creative light and through his left downward arm he channels these energies to earth. Thus he symbolizes the coming together of macrocosmos and microcosmos through creativity and the love and truth of the open heart, since the center of his left and right arm is between the 5th chakra (throat-chakra, creativity and speech) and the 4th chakra (heart-chakra, unconditional love).
Above his head lies the lemniscate, symbol of infinity, transformation and high spiritual power.

On the table lie the attributes for successful magick


  • The sword symbolizes mental power by single-pointed thought and focus.
  • The wand points at the willpower, determination and energy necessary to create something new.
  • The cup tells that he has a passionate desire to perform his magick, and that he feels love and humility towards the laws of nature.
  • The disk reveals that he is skilled in his magick, and that the combination of concentrated thought, desire, willpower and skill will lead to successful magick.

The background of the card is yellow; the color of the god and planet Mercury: thinking, communicating, traveling between the heavenly world of possibilities and the earthly world of materialization, and also traveling between our personality and our soul-self.
The red roses symbolize passionate love. The white lilies, flowers of transformation, point at pure love.






Tarot de Marseilles




Thoth Tarot





In both the medieval Scapini Tarot and the old Tarot de Marseilles the magician wears a big hat, emphasyzing the importance of focused thought and knowledge.
He works on a highly instable table with 3 legs, what means that he changes probabilities into a solid physical reality.
In the Scapini Tarot the magician stands on the skin of a crocodile. The crocodile is a symbol of vision and creative expression (in ancient Egypt they were considered to be oracles), as well as a symbol of instinctive nature (the beast within) mastered by the magician.
The figure in Scapini's Tarot is mostly dressed in the red of deep emotional desire and dedication towards his magick; the magician of the Tarot de Marseilles has reached more balance between the active, male (red) part of his personality and the receptive, female (blue) part of himself together with a mature portion of thinking (yellow).

In Crowleys Thoth Tarot the magician wears nothing at all: he is the ever-young, joyful, open and spontaneous Mercury, who believes that everything is possible. He has become a self-confident juggler, reaching the skies and creating himself a new world. Crowley writes that Mercury is the infinite creation.
The magical wand behind Mercury is surrounded by the two snakes of life (male) and death (female). They have taken the place of the lemniscate in the Rider-Waite Tarot.

Suggested Pdf Resources

The Devil, a Contrary Magician
Contrary Spell. I use the Tarot in magic, spells, and ritual.
A Tale of Three Magicians
flowers above my Magician are a close-up of the red roses and white lilies in the Rider-. Waite. Magician.
THE BASICS OF MAGICK
Tarot. 4. Runesticks.
The Magician's Kabbalah - Magical Athenaeum
By FP.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE TAROT by P. D. Ouspensky
The Tarot in its turn is quite analogous to the Kabala, Alchemy and Magic, and, magician.

Suggested News Resources

Tarocchi del Necronomicon – Dark Grimoire TarotTarot der Dunklen Schatten
Ancient text of magic, whichcraft, and rituals are called Claviculae or Grimoire.

Suggested Web Resources

the Magician - Meaning of the Magician Tarot Card
Dedicated to the diversity and beauty of Tarot What's New Most importantly, the Magician card stands for the "reveal" - as in a magic trick.
The Magician Tarot Card - Keen.com
Jul 13, 2010 The Magician Tarot Card based on Rider-Waite.
Love Tarot Readings: The Magician Tarot Card in Love Tarot | Tarot
Feb 7, 2011 In love tarot readings, the Magician imparts the elements of enchantment and magic that are found in our relationships.
The Magician (Tarot card) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"the mountebank" or the "sleight of hand artist", a practitioner of stage magic.
Tarot Wisdom - I The Magician: A Personal Reading - 78 Roads
Jul 4, 2011 An exploration of the beauty and wisdom of The Tarot through articles, Magic, and The Magician, to me represent the charlatan and thief.