Welcome to a new series of posts that will compare each card in the Tarot across different decks in order to study and explore each archetype and concept more deeply. This is not necessarily meant to be a teaching tool for others, but if you like to study the Tarot as much as I do, I hope you find it interesting. Enjoy!
For more on the decks referenced here please another page in my blog: Tools of the Locksmith: https://wordpress.com/page/theramblinglocksmith.com/163
A major reference for this study was “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom” by Rachel Pollack.
This week’s card is the Magician. I have to admit that not all of the cards in the tarot have easy meanings and connections for me, and the Magician is one that I have to use more intuition than others to read, so I’m very happy to study it further here and have more access to its meanings after this. This archetype is about the drive to create and where it comes from, and also how you are or are not able to express it.
Referencing the Rider-Waite-Smith standard image the Magician typically has a representation of all the tools of the minor arcana on a table – a chalice, a coin with a pentacle on it, a staff/wand, and a sword. They represents the fact that the Magician has access to all the tools in order to create. The Magician also has his own wand in his hand which he firmly grasps and points toward the sky while he points the finger of his other hand to the earth. This represents the ability to connect divine energy/inspiration to the act of creation in the world.
Lets explore these concepts through some different representations of this card.
This is the Magician from the Ancestral Path Tarot and its almost dead on the Rider-Waite-Smith version. In this deck the pentacles are replaced with Sacred Circles. The cave paintings in the back to me signify how ancient this archetype and instinct to create is. We as humans have had the need to create representations of what we see around us and what is important to our daily life. This magician wears the robes of several times as well which contributes to that timeliness energy of the card. In the section from Rachel Pollack’s book on the Magician she talks about what happens which we try to hold the power of creation without expressing it, and how that can create insanity because of our need to express ourselves. I think that’s also an important essence of this card when using it in readings. A message to make sure that you are doing one of the things that humans have needed to do to have meaning throughout time and expressing your creative energy in whatever form makes sense for you.
Several folks don’t pick the Santa Muerte deck for readings because of all the skeletons, but look at how much fun this one is having in the creative process. The candles on his hat show a strong flame and connection to the divine. Joy is important to the creative process because it better channels the flow of creative energy. If you are not creating with Joy in your heart this may be where to look with this card.
There are also swords and a big jug of water hanging over him maybe ready to put out this inspirational light, but this magician seems unbothered by the potential to loose inspiration and become blocked. The word “Will” is also put next to the palmistry hand signifying the importance of focus and willpower in this process and archetype. The process of creation is not always such an easy flow between inspiration to manifestation. Sometime you must have willpower and intention to keep the process going.
In the Tarot of the Divine fairytales and mythology are used to represent each of the cards in the deck. For the Magician we see the fairy godmother from the story of Cinderella. In this case the Magician doesn’t create because of divine inspiration. This Magician is there to support someone else with helpful creations that are entirely unexpected, and that act is the inspiration. Its the spark of getting help from out of nowhere right when you need in the most.
When reflecting on this card think about if you are ready to be the fairy godmother to someone else, and that’s where your creative inspiration and joy lies, or if this is what you are in need of. If this is what you are need of maybe look at the tools and materials you already have and if you can manifest any of this yourself.
In the Brady the Magician is referenced by the Raven, and throughout the rest of the deck this Raven shows up in other cards signaling back to the power of creativity. This Raven has a blank banner above it representing the ability to create the first page of a story with the resources available.
The Raven has many tools to carry with it but it grasps each firmly showing not only an instinctual creative energy, but an instinctual confidence.
Never underestimate the importance of storytellers in our societies and communities. They are true magicians and also another kind of architect that brings a dream to reality.
What of your story are you finally ready to tell? What dream can you bring to others by writing it?
I love this card from the Afro Brazilian Tarot because it shows a literal “hand of the divine” touching this man in order for him to create spiritually for his community and congregation. He has a chalice, he has a stake for the sword, he has a plate for the physical world manifestation of this process, but where is the wand?
He is the wand, and his skill is the ability to channel this divine energy into the the world and create. If you were going to focus on becoming a wand and channeling inspiration how would you do it? Through meditation? Through another kind of ritual? By healing so you can continue to unblock and allow more to flow through you?
Ah the Voyager Tarot. Soooooo much imagery in one little card. (Actually the card stock is quite large, but you know what I mean.) This card really does show examples of all the tools, and also how to become a connection between the heavens and the earth.
There are a lot of images here that reinforce the things said above such as the hieroglyphics for both an ancient evidence of the need to create as well as creation in the physical world and not just in our minds. The thing that hits me the most in the card is just how much is there, and how much power can be present.
First, are you clear what your tools are or do you need to first refine them so you can more easily channel them? And also the Magician can always become dangerous and too powerful if he gets greedy or starts to create with ill intent. Make sure you are creating out of joy and not revenge or greed, or the need to seem more powerful.
The Osho Zen Tarot, as always, comes at this card from a completely different angle. It is asking if you feel connected to the universe in the first place perhaps signaling that you are blocked somewhere and unable to create. Are you at home in your own skin or your current environment or do you feel like you are constantly fighting the world or even the universe?
Home is the inner quality of acceptance and relaxation. Fighting to get what we need and pursuing an individual agenda means we have forgotten than there is no separation between ourselves and the universe, and once we can realize that this is an illusion, we can discard that illusion and feel our existence, and our home inside and out.
In this way we create the energy we need to exist and be at home in our own skin, and after that we will feel the flow we need to channel this energy into creation.
Unable to shed the illusion? Follow the advice of the guidebook that comes with this deck and “go out and look at the stars”.
After all, we are all made of stars. Be well.