In the beginning of tarot’s existence, the Magician’s role was primarily that of a stage magician or even juggler. This, by extension, was interpreted as a con man or someone who tries to trick you. Like the Fool, the Magician was not the noble or admirable character it is today. This card was a warning to beware of being taken for a ride.

Today, however, that interpretation, like the historical meaning for the Fool, is reserved for the reversed or ill-dignified position. Instead, we focus on the Magician’s skill, his ability to make effective use of all the resources at his disposal, to create something out of seemingly nothing.

The Magician is usually shown with a table. On the table are items representing the four suits of the tarot deck. Or three, as the Magician is usually holding the wand. So then, before him are the sword, pentacle, and chalice. He holds the wand because the wand represents the will, and for the Magician magic begins first with his will, or his intent.

When this card comes up, we usually say that whatever you set your mind to create or accomplish, you will. You have all the resources you need as well as the knowledge and skill to use them.

The Magician featured here is from Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine Tarot.

Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...