Symbolism of The Magician in Tarot

Symbolism of The Magician in Tarot

What is the full symbolism of The Magician in Tarot?

The magician is a symbol of active masculinity, initiative and autocracy.

Archetype: Demiurge. Heavenly Father. Creator.
Number: 1 – start, impulse. The number that is contained in all other numbers.

The first Arcana is the personification of the divine principle. The card depicts a person. He is dressed in white clothes – this is a symbol of purity. It is surrounded by a snake biting its own tail – an ancient symbol of infinity, cyclicality, a series of rebirths, lives and deaths. One hand of the magician points up, the other down, and this is a reflection of the eternal “both above and below.” This is very much in line with the Confucian idea that we live in order to combine the earthly and heavenly in ourselves, and with the Platonic world of ideas, from which we can lower to earth in order to realize dreams.

Rectangular table
The symbol of matter. This is our earthly reality. We will see a similar symbol in other Major Arcana, such as in the Hierophant’s card and in the Devil’s card.
The table also represents the will of providence. To fulfill a karmic task, everyone receives 4 tools corresponding to the elements. When a person learns to use them, he will know life in its entirety.

The snake biting its own tail and which encircles the Magician is an ancient symbol of knowledge, infinity, cyclicality, a series of rebirths – lives and deaths. The magician is protected by his acquired wisdom. Ouroboros is a symbol of a continuous time cycle. The snake’s head is the future, the end. The snake’s tail is the past, the beginning. Any end is just a new beginning.

One hand of Magician pointing up and the other down
This is a reflection of the eternal “as above, so below.” This is very much in line with the Confucian idea that we live in order to combine the earthly and heavenly in ourselves, and with the Platonic world of ideas, from which we can lower to earth in order to realize dreams.

Golden Scepter
A scepter resembling a double candle, a symbol of power. The scepter sanctifies not only the upper world, but also the lower world.

The knowledge that the magician spreads across the higher and lower worlds.

Red Robe
Speaks of a desire to act. Energy.

Infinity Sign (Lemniscate)
The fusion of the conscious and the unconscious. Constant, lively exchange between top and bottom, Embodies the Holy Spirit. It is also a symbol of eternity, a symbol of the eternal path of the magician.

White shirt
Expresses the purity of thoughts

There are 4 items on the table in front of the Magician

The Wand – personifies will, impulse. It is a symbol of activity and movement. It endows the owner with optimism and enthusiasm, corresponds to the yang principle – masculine, light, open and refers to the element of Fire. It is also a conductor of magical power.

The Pentacle – personifies matter. The pentagram is a symbol of the five elements of the Universe or five elements such as earth, water, fire, air and Ether (Spirit). The straight pentagram is a symbol of the victory of spirit over matter. While the inverted pentagram is a symbol of the victory of materialism over spirituality, the victory of soulless knowledge over spiritual knowledge. After all, the Magician is an Esoteric. And Esotericism is a kind of whole “spiritual science”. While science is “soulless knowledge, limited by the dogmas of materialism, that is, the framework of matter. While the Magician is a man of spiritual knowledge, he is an Esoteric Man. Also, the Golden Pentacle is identified with the material world, prosperity, comfort and abundance, and corresponds to the elements of the Earth.

The Sword – personifies the mind. It is a symbol of reflection, intellectual search for root causes, protection and justice. It is associated with the element of Air. It is also a weapon of a warrior who calls for battle, defending his interests.

The Cup – represents the soul. It is also a symbol of the winner. It is a keeper of liquid, describes feelings and relationships, inner world and emotions. It corresponds to the energetic principle of yin – a feminine, dark, hidden principle, and refers to the element of Water.

These symbolize 4 cardinal points, 4 seasons and 4 elements: fire (personification of will, impulse), earth (personification of matter), air (personification of mind) and water (personification of the soul). According to Karl Jung, there are 4 psychological functions: sensation, intuition, thinking and feeling. This is our inner resource, which has to be mastered in full. It is not the objects themselves that are important, but the ability to rule over them. This is why the Magician juggles the objects on some decks.

Red roses
This is a female symbol. Simolize divine love. A wish. Passion.

White Lilies
Male symbol. Mental purity and abstract thoughts.
The union of the masculine and feminine.

Yellow Background Color
symbolizes divine power and authority.

Number 1

Number 1 – Absolute, one God, potentiality, isolation, creativity, impenetrability, unpredictability.
The Number 1 symbolizes the unmanifested creative principle, closed within itself. This isolation is immanent to it, in contrast to the isolation of the triple. This is the solitude of a thought ripening within itself, needing nothing but complete loneliness. It is the seed, the germ, the potential for future manifestation of any kind. The Number 1 is absolutely impenetrable, it is a black box from which something can happen over time, but it is impossible to look inside it.
The Number 1 is the potential reality, the potential thought and the potential energy. These can be released in any form, and it is impossible to determine this in advance.
The Number 1 symbolizes the Absolute as a universal generative creative principle and each of its images on any plane of the Universe. It’s the initial moment of any process of creativity and the birth of a new one.

In a general sense, the Tarot Arcana Magician is a prototype of the Creator. The ideas about the meaning of the card according to the drawing are as follows: youth, energy, creativity. Moreover, the work of the Magician is focused on the process itself, and not on the result. Creativity goes hand in hand with energy, and energy is most often associated with youth.

flower dividing line, tarot

Discover symbolism of other Major Arcana:

6 thoughts on “Symbolism of The Magician in Tarot”

  1. A magician as a significator of an obstacle can indicate an unfavorable role played in a situation by a powerful and cunning person, a boss who manipulates others for his own benefit.

    1. Yes, and this can apply to almost any area – surgeons, group therapists, actors, artists, and generally HIGH-CLASS specialists are trained in Mag. This is a pro indicator. What a person does sometimes seems almost like a miracle, it was one thing, it became another, and he didn’t seem to strain too much :), but try again – it’s impossible, behind this ease there is skill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top