The magician tarot card comes from humbler roots. In many ancient variations of the major arcana cards, this is not a real Magician but an illusionist, the famous Marseille deck even names it “The Mountebank”. Occult studies in the nineteenth century, mainly in the United Kingdom, altered the magician tarot card meaning to turn it into a full-fledged mage wielding occult powers and having secret knowledge about many things.
Traditional meanings associated with Magician card
Whether it represents the Querent on their journey to greater understanding, or the presence of a wise and knowledgeable person on their path, the magician tarot card is always a good sign when it is found upright in a reading, especially when the main focus of said reading revolves around a question or problem-related to the mind or to some kind of knowledge.
Beware the overconfidence or mental problems that can be hinted at when this card appears reversed in a reading. The worse enemy of knowledge is false certainty. The more you know, the more you usually understand how much you still have to learn. Never forget this particular paradox.
Keywords associated with the Magician card
Upright: Skill, diplomacy, willpower, cunning, knowledge, self-confidence, pain, loss.
Reversed: a physician, overconfidence, mental disease, headaches
Upright Magician card meaning
Most of the modern decks since the late 19th century represent the Magician as some sort of confident person, usually a middle-aged man, wielding or somehow in possession of various traditional magical tool that represent the four suits of the minor arcana (a cup, a sword, a wand, and a pentacle or a coin). Older depictions of the Magician, especially in early European decks, still have this symbolism of the four minor arcana suits but the protagonist is more often depicted almost as a charlatan or illusionist.
The meaning of the magician tarot card can vary but the most common reading is a notion of skill. Someone who has displayed vast amounts of knowledge and has the ability to use it.
In some other major arcana meanings, the magician can also represent someone full of self-confidence, someone bold and courageous in a positive aspect, or someone who can become vain and haughty if surrounded with more negative cards. Regardless, in both cases there is an element of strong willpower surrounding this card.
It should also be noted that in some readings, especially among initiatory orders, the magician tarot card could represent the Querent (the person who receives the tarot reading) if that person is male.
Reversed Magician card meaning
When the magician tarot card is reversed, there are mainly two commonly accepted ways to understand it. It can either represent an outside element gifted with practical knowledge, like a Physician or a Magus, or it can be a sign of some illness, particularly where the mind could be affected. In that later understanding, it could be as banal as a simple headache, or it could forecast something more serious that might turn into genuine mental illness.
If you have any doubt about it, do not hesitate to check your own mental health by consulting an appropriate expert. Better safe than sorry.
The Fool’s Journey
In the story told through the major arcana tarot cards, the Magician is one of the first characters that the Fool meets on his journey. It represents one of the two balancing forces of the universe. In this story, the Magician tarot card represents the active power of creative impulse, often seen as full of masculine energy.
Just like the Magician teaches that lesson to the Fool, this Arcanum is meant to let you learn how to have a lasting impact on the world by focusing your willpower and improving your concentration.
The Magician in love tarot
When the magician tarot card appears in a love-based reading, it often represents the impact and influence of a man who can act as some kind of role model in your relationship (if you are a man), or might simply represent the one you are interested in, if that person has a male gender.
This might mean that any relationship with that kind of person should first and foremost focus on mental matters, and the connection of your minds. Nevertheless, it also offers a few words of advice to let you remember to take your significant other’s mind into account when you make any decision that might affect your relationship. Even if it is quite physical in nature, you should not turn your back on all the practical knowledge that person might offer you.
The magician love tarot outcome is often positive, because any relationship with a strong mental connection is better equipped to thrive in the modern world of dating apps and instant messaging. It adds a layer of depth to the relationship that cannot be found in superficial relationships.
The Magician as a focus for meditation
The magician tarot card is a great focus for meditation. Indeed, the strong willpower energy and meaning held within this major arcana card echoes the sharp clear-headedness required for a successful meditation. This will help you collect your thoughts and hone your will like a sharp sword. You will get out of this meditation with more determination and drive, ready to take on the world.
This is also a great focus for any meditation aiming to improve your intellect, usually on an academic level. If you are currently learning something or about to pass an important exam, the magician tarot card can help you and make sure that you will be at the top of your game!