The Magician

The Magician Tarot Card Meaning – 1st Arcana

What does the Tarot card the Magician mean?

The Tarot Arcana Magician – this is the first numbered Tarot card, a symbol of the beginning of the Path, from where everything begins. He has all the necessary resources for this: Cup, Sword, Pentacle and Wand – 4 elements that exist in harmony. This card is ambiguous, not positive, not negative. Its value depends on the straight or inverted position, as well as other cards in the spread.

Names in Other Languages: Il Mago, Le Bateleur, Der Magier.

The occult meaning of the Arcana: father, spiritual teacher.

The physical meaning of the Arcana: man.

The Kabbalistic meaning of the Arcana: Self-Control.

Spirit Orb: self-knowledge

Goal: Ability to control fate

Element: a collection of four elements

Planet: Sun, Pluto, Mercury, Uranus

Astrological Sign: Libra, Leo, Scorpio, Gemini, Taurus

Key Date: new moon

Places: research institute; library; an office for scientific work; exchange; doctor’s office; a place where you can find harmony.

The Magician Tarot Card


In Waite’s classic Tarot deck, the Magician is depicted with his right hand raised up, gripping a wand. The left hand is down. Above it is the sign of infinity, and in front of it: the Cup, Pentacle, Staff and Sword – symbols of the 4 elements of the Tarot.
(For a detailed analysis of Symbols and Elements, click here)

Meaning of the Card

You are a free, independent person and you must make your own decisions. You will have to look for a way out of your current situation yourself. You have enough strength to achieve what you want, you just have to decide to want.
The meaning of this Arcana is as follows: everything in this world is in front of God, like the objects that lie on the table in front of the Magician, and just as God plays with the elements of reality, the Magician juggles with these objects. It’s not the objects that are important, but the very ability to dominate and manipulate them. The Magician is the active masculine force of the creative impulse. This is the force that allows us to influence the world through the proper concentration of individual will and power. The first Arcana is like our first step on the path to self-development and spiritual enlightenment. This is the point at which, unfortunately, many people stop, because they believe that they have achieved their goal. As already mentioned, the Magician corresponds in astrology to the planet Mercury, which is responsible for rational consciousness and connections. The Magician calls for an individual perception of information, openness to new knowledge, learning and the formation of personal opinion. Also, the Magician card can speak of the need for a certain dexterity in solving your problem or that you should lead a more strict moderate life. You should start your Journey with the awareness of your will, the decision to develop, and the confidence in your success. The main question of the Magician is if you should limit yourself to the worldly authority that is given to you or to develop further along the spiritual path?

Positive Aspects of the Card
Purposefulness; strength of will; creation; self-confidence and determination; the ability to quickly solve problems; to be disciplined, agile, resourceful and courageous.

Negative Aspects of the Card
The dexterity and cunning of a swindler, an intriguer who tries to manipulate people; indecision and uncertainty; inferiority complex.

The Magician Tarot Card Meaning in an Upright Position

The very essence of the card can be described with the phrase – “Man is the creator of his own destiny.” The Tarot Magician says – you have the power! It is right now! Don’t be afraid to take the initiative, be willing to take risks, and be energetic. Only this will help you to achieve the intended goal. All the necessary possibilities are available to you. You can easily control the situation and change the course of events. New ways of solving old problems have emerged. The time of stagnation is over, you can start a new round.

Key Words and Phrases

The archetype of the matured son. The ability to achieve your goal. The outcomes of disciplined learning. Change through willpower. Ability to use creative powers. Creative visualization. The ability to make decisions. Disciplined and creative action. Desire to master something new. Self confidence. Creative powers. Predicting the future. Determination. Learning by trial and error. Possibilities. Ability to quickly solve problems. Sleight of hand. Ability to adapt to change. Courage. Striving to be visible. Bragging. Work for yourself. Agility. Ability for medicine. Ability for languages. Ingenuity. Ability to use valuable equipment wisely. Creation of new long-term projects. Actions. Modern technologies. Central nervous system. Lungs. Hands. Five senses. Androgenicity (bisexuality). I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul. Activity. Good health. Creation. Search for a new idea. Purposeful power.

The main meanings of the card in an upright position

intermediary (between source and destination);
the power to act and make decisions;
active will;
sexual energy;
the ability to resolve conflicts and rise to new heights;
means a leader, an original thinker;
clarity of thought;
period of inspiration;
research institute; library; an office for scientific work; exchange; doctor’s office; a place where you can find harmony;
knowing yourself and your capabilities;
good contact with other people;
studying your surroundings;
spiritual development;
the ability to adapt to new conditions;
the beginning of a new period in life.

The Magician Tarot Card
Witchcraft Tarot of Ellen Dugan

Situation and Advice

When reading Tarot for a certain situation, “Magician” means that you personally keep everything under control and you decide when and how to change the situation.
You will soon be able to reap the benefits of long and disciplined training. To achieve your goals, you or the person you trust will be able to use your talents and merits. The right time to start new projects, since right now you are the master of your destiny. Everything you need will be at your fingertips. Technically advanced modern equipment will be of great help.
You will be able to cope with the new situation, take the necessary actions and focus your attention on the realization of potential opportunities. You will be able to present yourself in the most favorable light to those who are interested in your knowledge and experience. Right now, creative thinking will help you, maybe it makes sense to continue learning. You will be able to take full advantage of your organizational skills. Perhaps you will be successful in financial affairs. The Magician says that the forces of nature will help you achieve your goals. To be successful, you may need special skills and ability to work with technology. The Magician indicates that you must observe, experiment, remain receptive, improve your skills and learn to rule the world. If you asked a question about health, then the Magician can symbolize an experienced therapist or surgeon.

Persons designated by the Magician Tarot Сard

A son. Brother. A grown man. Someone who manipulates the physical world. A politician who knows how to properly dispose of his power. Writer. Magician Illusionist. Engineer. Inventor. Agent. Someone who is well versed in technology and knows how to work with various tools. Entrepreneur. Alchemist. Teacher. Guide. Children from five years old to puberty. Speaker. Linguist. Painter. Practical scientist. Medical worker. Neurosurgeon. Craftsman. Psychotherapist.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

In an inverted position, the Magician portends a period of collapse of hopes, mistakes and failures. Perhaps the reason lies in indecision, hesitation, inability to use one’s own strengths and talents. Or you lack not only strength, but also lack the required knowledge. Ambition in the current period will not lead to success. Probably, not all information has been received yet or something has not been taken into account.
You use your powers unwisely or destructively. You strive for vanity goals and you are influenced by those who lie and deceive you. Your projects are poorly thought out and unlikely to be successful.

Key Words and Phrases

Feigned experience. Weakness. Indecision. Inability to see things as they are. Selfish behavior. Actions at random. Collapse of plans. Impotence. Delay. Reluctance to take advantage of the opportunity. Inability to use what is at hand. Waste of energy or resources. Unrealistic goals. Making mistakes. Inability to learn from past mistakes. Excessive self-confidence. Lack of ease in doing business and communicating. Inability to use technology. Useless technology. Ignoring your own talents. Manipulation. Suppression of sexuality. Overconfidence. Lack of self-confidence or willpower. Reluctance to solve problems. The strength is running out. Nothing can be done right. Lack of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Unfulfilled plans, unattainable goals. Disorder and inconsistency. Inadequate reasoning. Gossip.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

unreasonable use of one’s powers;
striving for vanity goals;
ill-conceived projects;
manipulation of people;
lack of sensitivity;
chaotic actions;
patience must be learned;
the ability to get things done, despite resistance;
a violent mind that does not know how to adequately approach problem solving;
false direction of activity;
carelessness in actions;
inability to use their capabilities and talents.

The Magician Tarot Card Meaning
Tarot of Alphonse Mucha

Situation and Advice

This Arcana basically always has a positive meaning. First of all, it says that you control everything, and your future is in your hands! However, in an inverted form, it may indicate your insecurity and indecision, hesitation, unwillingness to learn, or neglect of your abilities or yourself as a person. Also, the Magician can be a signal of your monstrous egoism, or indicate to you that you are abusing power! This Arcana announces to you that you do not need to postpone an important matter for later, you can start it right now. The main thing is to be guided by your reason and logic, and your faith in your own strength. Your desire for victory will lead you to such a desired goal, and “your gods” will protect you from danger on your way!
For some reason, you don’t use all your skills and talents to achieve your goal. Your indecision can lead to difficulties and delays. Perhaps you do not have enough knowledge to do some work: there is a need for further training. Perhaps you are pretending to know more than you really are. If you lack confidence in yourself, most likely you will miss out on a great opportunity. But if you are overly self-confident, you may be drawn into questionable projects. Perhaps someone is interfering with your actions or is trying to show off. In essence, the Magician is a deceiver. Sometimes the Magician in an inverted position can mean your brother or sister, who is giving you a lot of trouble.
Now is the time to pull yourself together and focus all your efforts on achieving success. The Magician in an inverted position may indicate that you feel deprived. You should avoid excessive materialism and go beyond the narrow confines of personal interests. Perhaps you are not listening to your intuitive self, as you are too focused on manipulating the outside world. Now is not the best time to quit your stable job and start your own business.

Persons designated by the Magician Tarot Сard

Impostors. Those who use their external data to achieve a goal. Those who only want sex, not love. Deceivers. Selfish people. People who are of no use, or those who constantly interfere. Those who are confident in their own knowledge and skills, without any reason. Natural geniuses. Upstarts. Unpleasant personalities. Those who cannot be trusted. People “walking over corpses”, plotting against others.

In the Spreads

Arcana the Magician has one feature – all actions have significant consequences. Consider this if this card fell to you. Even the slightest change in any area can cause a chain reaction. Think before you act.

In an Upright Position:

Arcana Magician represents the power of knowledge, intelligence and confidence in one’s abilities. If you got this card in a spread, it means that you have the energy to go forward to decide your destiny. You have empathy and good intuition, you are able to create a good base for a strong relationship, and you have powerful sexual energy. You know how to extinguish conflicts and reconcile enemies. You are responsible for your actions and are independent. You have the strength for whatever you want to achieve.
The first Arcana can also indicate the need to withstand the test through determination to act and self-confidence. Shows a situation that needs a clear analysis and study.
In divination for the future, Tarot Arcana Magician shows that there is no 100% option. The result will be determined by your behavior and how you can show yourself.
By pulling out this card, you show that you have the power to act and make decisions. You are sensitive, intuitive in how you use your power, and are adept at laying the foundation for positive relationships. You are able to connect the inner and outer world. This card is associated with active will, as well as with sexual energy. Pulling the Magician in a spread means that you bring undeniable vitality and inspiration to your daily life and have a tremendous ability to resolve conflicts and rise to new heights. You are a true leader and an original thinker.

In a Reversed Position:

In this form, the Magician Tarot Card usually means two things (depends on other cards in the layout).
The first is the inability to influence events, mainly due to their own fears and lack of will, as a result – a missed moment. Perhaps you are using your powers unwisely, your projects are poorly organized, or you are falling for someone’s trick.
The second is foul play, when a person can influence events, but uses it for selfish or destructive purposes. If a person is a leader, then he is abusing power. You need to be very careful with such a person.
You are using your powers unwisely or destructively. You strive for vanity goals and are influenced by those who lie and deceive you. Your projects are poorly thought out and unlikely to be successful.

In a Personal Spread:

Means that at the moment you should take the initiative. Show determination and a strong willingness to deal with problems that may come your way.

In the Spreads for Different Situation:

In an Upright Position:

In the spreads for a certain situation, the “Magician” means that you personally keep everything under control and you decide when and how to change the situation. However, if this Arcana falls in a reversed position, or next to the negative cards of the Minor Arcana, then this card will embody all the negative qualities: bragging, vanity, selfishness, which will ultimately lead to complete loneliness and rejection by society. Also, this card warns that the questioner himself can ruin the whole situation. In this case, the “Magician” says that you were so much carried away by your own opinion that you stopped seeing and hearing the people around you, in other words, you became a tyrant! Stop! Take a look at yourself from the outside, and also take a closer look at the people around you! And most importantly, make the right conclusions, because Tarot cards are not just another way to look into the future. With their help you can also find out what flaws you have! If the “Magician” dropped out next to the positive cards of the Minor Arcana, then you have enough strength and skill to start something new. If you are in a depressed state, and the Magician card fell out in your scenario, then it tells you that you can achieve improvements in your life solely by active actions. In the case of health, this card may speak of a brain disease.

The Magician
Mythological Tarot by J. Sharman-Bürk, L. Green

In a Reversed Position:
This Arcana basically always has a positive meaning. First of all, it says that you control everything, and your future is in your hands! However, in a reversed position, it may indicate your insecurity and indecision, hesitation, unwillingness to learn, the neglection of your abilities or of yourself as a person. Also, the Magician can be a signal of your monstrous selfishness, or indicate to you that you are abusing power!
The Magician announces to you – you do not need to postpone an important matter for later, you can start it now, the main thing is to be guided by your reason and logic, and your faith in yourself and your desire to win will lead you to the desired goal, and “your gods” will protect you from danger on your way!

In the Spreads for Relationship:

In an Upright Position:
Symbolizes the period of inspiration, courage, strengthening of “magnetism”. Used wisely, these powers personified by the Magician will help you overcome constraints, stiffness, and any existing problems in general. To use it effectively means to use it for the good of everyone, and not just for your own benefit. The Magician symbolizes knowledge. In this case it’s the awareness of the importance of unity and harmony in relationships.

In a Reversed Position:
This is where the Magician can point out problems. If this is a new acquaintance, then most often it is hopeless. If we are talking about an already established alliance, then this card means that the relationship is going by inertia and they have little chances for the future. Sometimes the card can indicate problems in intimate life or dissatisfaction with one of the partners.

In the Spreads for Dates

In an Upright Position:
You have enough self-confidence to start a new romance.
The other person will want to follow you. So go ahead, call him (or her) after you!

In a Reversed Position:
You tend to back down too easily. Often times you sit on the sidelines watching someone else get their luck.
You have something to offer the other person, but you need to develop confidence in your own capabilities. If you don’t even like yourself, why should someone else like you?

In the Spreads for Family

In an Upright Position:
Your family members notice that you are increasingly acting like an adult. This is because you discuss with them what is important to you, you pay attention to their response, and channel your energy in a positive way.

In a Reversed Position:
Try to pay a little more attention to the people around you. Your attitude towards them creates tension that is not necessary.

In the Spreads for Friendship

In an Upright Position:
People are drawn to you because there is something magical about you. It’s great to be with you. You are great at communicating with people. You understand them, and they understand what you are saying.

In a Reversed Position:
Laziness prevents you from learning new things. Stop watching life, it’s time to live. Now there is enough strength for a powerful start.

In the Spreads for Business, Study and Money

In the Spreads for Money

In an Upright Position:
It is likely that soon the money will come to you on its own. Or life will provide you with a way to make money without much stress: part-time work or one-time work from home. Take this opportunity.

In a Reversed Position:
Don’t waste money, especially if you feel upset or anxious at heart. This is not an option. Channel your energy into positive activities (something you feel useful) or talk to friends, family, or teachers about new things to do.
It will be good if you want to learn something or acquire a new hobby.

In the Spreads for Education

In an Upright Position:

This is the right time to choose tasks or items on which you would like to focus your efforts. This choice will help you decide on your future career.
It is not shameful to want a better life. It’s a honorable and worthy business to work on your own toward the achievement of the goal that you want.

In a Reversed Position:
You are slow to make a study-related decision, or you simply don’t make an effort. If you don’t take action soon, you will regret it later.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. The show is already underway, you are on stage, and the re-production will be with a different cast. Nothing will happen again for you. Make a breakthrough, so you will feel much better, add will add self-esteem.

The Magician Tarot Card
Wizards Tarot by Corrine Kenner

In the Spreads for Career

In an Upright Position:
The magician shows that we are aware of this potential and use it by taking the initiative. Depending on what this initiative is aimed at, we can achieve financial success, promotion, or solve some difficult problems. For example, to pass the exams or complete a project. If we have to perform the functions of a boss, we can do a lot to improve the climate in the team, give our employees an incentive to increase their efficiency, and thereby – the success of the entire company. In negotiations, projects, testing or other assignments that we have so far postponed due to some difficulty or problematic, we can now cut the Gordian knot. During this period, we will be able to cope with any problems.

In a Reversed Position:
A magician in an inverted position does not portend quick success, but can speak of a period of failures and mistakes. He often reports that the work will proceed by inertia, without changes. You just need to get rid of your ambitions, not quit your job or your business, and do not try to manipulate others.

In the Spreads for Health

In an Upright Position:
Good health or convalescence. For pregnant women, it can mean the birth of a son. If we are talking about a disease: maybe it’s the beginning of some kind of disease. Airborne infections. Angina. Diseases of the respiratory system, of the nervous system. Head trauma. Diseases of the hands.

In a Reversed Position:
As a rule, there will be no changes in health – neither good nor bad. For men, the Magician card in an inverted position may indicate problems in the intimate area or male impotence.

In the Perspectives

You have good inclinations. You will find the right decisions and the right path to eventually become a master.

Answer to Yes / No Tarot Spreads

In an Upright Position:
Yes. The matter begins to take shape, the rest will depend on you.

In a Reversed Position:
Yes, but with obstacles.

Combinations with other cards

Hanged Man: obstacles, inactivity
Four of Swords: quiet rest, accumulation of energy
Eight of Swords: embarrassment and insecurity, powerlessness

The Judgment: triumph
Eight of Wands: solving the mystery
Two of Wands: gaining power
Eight of Pentacles: DIY Mastery

Arcana’s warning

Do not overestimate yourself, and do not consider yourself above everyone else! Remember, the result does not always justify the action.
As you are going towards your goal, do not forget about others. It is very easy not to notice how you are hurting someone near you by your actions or destroying something good. You don’t need to go over your head, otherwise you can get a rollback from the Universe. Also, analyze your actions, there is a risk that you can lose a lot due to thoughtlessness.
Do not assume that all means are good to achieve your goal. The qualities of the Magician endow a person with cunning and megalomania. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
Do not assume that all means are good to achieve your goal.
You don’t have all the information yet.

Self-Development Lesson

True creative ability means drawing strength from the inner kingdom of the Spirit and manifesting this sacred power in the everyday world. By touching this sacred potential, you inevitably expand the boundaries of self-discovery, gaining twofold energy to start new projects, and demonstrate increased clarity of thought and understanding in creating your beliefs.

Key Ideas

Opportunities seethe around you, and you can use them and change the direction of life. Do not wait until they become available. These opportunities do not have their will, they just exist. Come yourself, take what you need. There is no future anywhere, not even in the patterns of stars. However, it can be created.
You are able to provide yourself with the experiences you want and become the guiding star of your own life.

Psychological (Personality) Meaning of the Arcana

Type of person in an upright position:
A person who carries knowledge; a scientist working for the benefit of humanity; inventor; professional consultant.
The card means a person that acts only at his own discretion. It is impossible to force him to do anything against his will. He will replay everything in such a way that the one who puts pressure on him will eventually be forced to give up his claims. Depending on the mood, he can show generosity and do even what he does not quite like, but with someone else’s hands.

Type of person in an reversed position:
Charlatan; a person using knowledge for selfish purposes; scientist working for “war”.
Means a person who goes ahead, disregarding other people. An egoist to the highest degree, demands obedience, and even worship to himself, considers people to be dust under their feet. Has a criminal nature. A Magician in an upright position is always clean before the law, even if he does something bad from the point of view of morality. This type of Magician does not give a damn about all the laws, not to mention morality.

The Magician. 78 Doors Tarot
78 Doors Tarot

Psychological significance of the Arcana:
You are free and independent, so you must make important decisions related to your life yourself. No one will help you with this. You have enough strength, you are able to achieve everything that you dream of. The main thing is to want to want. Your will, knowledge, skill to find contact with people, ability to take risks, ability to embody your abilities are a guarantee of success in the area where you want to realize yourself. You understand other people well, but you also know how to take care of your own interests. Use this and you will achieve harmony.

Final Advice of Arcana

The Magician is a kind of God! So believe in yourself, in your abilities, skills, abilities, in the fact that you can cope with the upcoming tasks. The neighboring cards will tell you whether you can develop your potential, or just waste it for vanity.

In an Upright Position:
Persistently move forward, show firmness in defending your position, take responsibility for the current situation.

In a Reversed Position:
Better overdoing than underdoing. Re-check what you heard, re-read what was written, redo what was done.


The Magician denotes the mind, ingenuity, active life position. This is a period when we are faced with difficult problems. We must withstand some kind of test. The complete clarity of consciousness and life savviness help us to successfully cope with them. Although the card indicates a high potential of consciousness, this does not mean that the potential of intuition and other subconscious forces at this time can be neglected. On the contrary: our readiness for action, for success, which the Magician indicates, is based precisely on the harmony between consciousness and subconsciousness. It is only through the self-confidence that results from this harmony that we can truly move mountains.

Discover other Major Arcana:

2 thoughts on “The Magician Tarot Card Meaning – 1st Arcana”

  1. Fantastic insight into The Magician card!
    Thankyou for writing such a great article, in-depth and a pleasure to read.

    I drew this card in response to a question about my ancestral origins, specifically “what is it I see flash through me when I catch myself in a mirror” etc because as a young teenager I begin seeing something deep within me surface in quick moments, I was a “white” girl, to put it simply for now, yet what I saw was wild, not white at all.
    I have in recent years gained more information on who my ancestors might be, Indigenous tribal people’s, and The Magician in my view has revealed the medicine woman archetype as the answer to my question.

    I hope I’ve made sense, it’s difficult to articulate myself on this matter as I’m still gathering information!

    Bunny Foot???

    1. You are welcome. If you feel some connection or something that you can’t explain, you need to explore it and amplify, maybe your purpose is to help people.
      And soon I will try to write one maybe two articles about architypes and professions which correspond to different cards.

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