The Magician Tarot Card Meanings (Upright & Reversed)
Last Updated: December 3, 2022
The Magician is card number 1 (I) in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the 2nd major arcana trump card (The Fool, number 0, is the first card). Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.
In this article, we will explore the different meanings of this tarot card in various reading contexts as well as the different advice it can offer. To help you understand the deep symbolism within that card, we begin with the below narrative.
“I can…” he whispered as he approached the table. Taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly, he planted his feet firmly and grasped the wooden wand. He visualized roots growing from his feet, burrowing their way into the deep dark earth. The roots anchored him, and from this connection, the earth shored his strength. The earth energy flowed through him, pulsing with a soft glow and as it moved up his body he felt tension give way to empowerment. Soon this energy was joined by another from above; a light shining from the sky which trickled down into the top of his head and married and mingled with the earth energy. Now was the time, and so he allowed the energy excess to flow back down through his roots into the earth and thanks was given; he had a reserve of this mingled energy residing in his core, ready to be harnessed for the work ahead. He raised the wand to the sky, and with his left hand he pointed out and to the earth. As above, so below, he took another breath and he said aloud in his sonorous voice, “I WILL.”
4 Quick takeaways about this tarot card
- The Magician can represent your own personal power.
- This card can also indicate that you need to focus your energy and attention on a goal.
- The Magician can also symbolize creativity or resourcefulness.
- Finally, The Magician can represent a need to take action or make things happen in your life.
The Magician tarot card key correspondences
|manifestation, creation, willpower, mastery|
|chaos, scattered energy, manipulation|
|Yes or No||Yes|
|Astrological Sign||Gemini, Virgo|
Light aspect: The Pioneer, The Alchemist / Shadow aspect: The Artist, The Poet
May 21st to June 21st, Wednesday
Le Bateleur (Tarot de Marseille), The Magus (Egyptian Tarot & Thoth Tarot).
What does the upright Magician (tarot card I) mean?
In Latin, major arcana translates to “big secrets” and each of the 22 cards in this section of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck represents an important life lesson we must all face at some point. The Magician, arcanum 1, is no different.
The Magician is Major Arcana number one (I). The card depicts the image of a male standing out in nature in front of an altar, with magical tools in front of him, such as the pentacle, cup, wand and sword. He is robed and stands with one hand pointed to the heavens and one to the earth. Above his forehead is the infinity symbol representing his interconnectedness with all things. The imagery of his tools is represented within the minor arcana and depicted here represent his desire for mastery and control, to steer himself in the direction of his choosing. He finds a balance point within and knows he must still his busy thoughts and fears in order to manifest.
The keywords with this card are “I WILL.”
If The Fool teaches us folly, The Magician teaches us how to take back control. We learn we must pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and try again. But this time we won’t charge headstrong into the unknown, this time we learn from The Magician that we need a clear picture of what we want in life, what we wish to actually manifest and to learn from our experience.
The Fool was a clean slate, moulded by a new experience, The Magician is the desire for better – to do better, to obtain better, to have better.
Bakara Wintner in “WTF is Tarot?” writes “When we experience The Magician, the risk of The Fool has paid off…The tools are on the table for you, you will be given what you need when you need it, but the action is yours to take.”
The Magician is also about utilizing skills and recognising your own power, being prepared, self-reliant, and exercising willpower.
The magician tarot card from the rider waite tarot deck is often seen as a sign of potential, opportunity and new beginnings. This is because the card often signifies that the person who draws it has the power to create change in their lives through their own actions.
For many tarotists, The magician tarot card is also associated with creativity, self-confidence and charisma. If you are drawn to this card, it might be a sign that you are ready to take control of your life and make your own destiny.
If you are facing a difficult situation, the magician tarot card might suggest that you have the power to change things for the better. The magician’s advice would be to use your own skills and resources to create a better future for yourself.
However, it is important to remember that the magician tarot card is not a magic wand that will automatically solve all your problems. It is up to you to take action and make things happen. If you are willing to work hard and put in the effort, the magician tarot card can be a powerful tool for positive change.
If you are considering consulting the Tarot for guidance, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
When pulled in the upright position, The Magician is associated with manifestation, creation, willpower, and mastery.
What does the upright Magician mean in a love reading?
The Magician in terms of love can represent that we need to put some effort into manifesting a great relationship this involves working on ourselves to break negative behaviour patterns that can impede us as well as being more sociable to open up opportunities to meet others. The Magician advises us to really think about what qualities we are looking for in a partner and what sort of relationship would be best for us at that moment.
If already in a committed relationship, then The Magician may be asking you to look at ways to make it better – are there things you could be working on? Are there things your partner needs to work on? And do you both have a clear vision of your future together? This is a great time for open discussions with your significant other and to talk about your dreams and goals together.
What does the upright Magician mean in a health reading?
In terms of health, this card can be very positive, indicating a positive change, but also making sure you consult different resources available to you. You have the tools available for your needs and the energy and drive needed to improve your health. A positive mental attitude.
The Magician tarot card as feelings/emotions
If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling The Magician means that this person thinks of you in very high regard. This is someone that feels they can be open with you as you understand them whereas others may not, they fully trust in their connection with you. They see you as someone special!
If you pull the Magician tarot card, it indicates you feel in control and you feel creative. It’s a strong combination of mental clarity and emotional wellbeing. You have an idea and have the opportunity to work, and that is freeing and encouraging for you. Embrace your magick and what makes you special.
The Magician tarot card as a person
As a personality archetype, The Magician represents someone who is able to bring their wishes into their reality, they seem to be magnificent with all they put their mind to and are typically very creative. They seem to know how to talk the talk and how to walk the walk, to them anything is very much possible.
The Magician tarot card as advice
If you are asking the tarot for advice regarding a specific situation in your life, pulling The Magician means that you have every last possible thing you need right now to manifest exactly what you’re after. It’s time to march forward and don’t stop until your dream is in your hands, it’s all possible! You must believe in yourself, whether you’re on the route to manifesting your dreams or even just believing in your own power and using it wisely. With The Magician also linked to talent, it can also serve as a reminder to keep practising and working on that which you wish to master, you’ll get there!
What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with The Magician?
The Magician is linked to the planet Mercury which rules over the air sign Gemini, and Gemini season is always great for manifesting and bringing dreams & wishes into reality. Gemini’s are also typically known for being multi-talented and knowledgeable, something that goes hand in hand with The Magician’s traits with this cards links to manifestation and many tricks and talents.
Is The Magician a yes or no tarot card?
The Magician is seen as a ‘yes’ card within the deck, due to the overall positive energy that follows this card and its messages. It is all about manifesting successfully and serving as a reminder to not doubt your own abilities.
Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of questions:
- Will I get the job? The Magician is reminding you that you have the tools and talents you need, and it’s reminding you to be confident in yourself and trust that you will be successful in your venture.
- Is this new person in my life good for me? So long the card is upright, then this person shouldn’t be posing any great issues for you. In fact, they are most likely going to be someone you will connect well with, and they may even open you up to embracing your own talents which in turn could end up opening new doors and opportunities as they’ll be someone that serves as a reminder that you are just as capable as they are. Let them fuel you.
- Will I achieve my current goals? The Magician is letting you know that what you desire will come into play, you have the ability to manifest what it is that you want and expect, and all the effort you’re putting into your goals will pay off in one way or another.
- Should I make that investment? So long this is an opportunity that you feel sure about and one that feels ‘right’, but perhaps you just have some hesitation, then yes! The Magician would also suggest more money coming your way through this investment!
- Should I start my own business? So long you’re willing to put in the hard work required with whatever resources you have, then go for it. You very much have what’s required to be successful as you have the ‘push’ that’s required to keep a business going and flourishing.
What does the reversed Magician mean in Tarot?
If this card appears reversed in a tarot reading, this can indicate inaction, or the inability to take action, feeling out of touch and disconnected, and not using your potential. The Magician reversed can indicate feeling stuck, a lack of desire or drive to pursue your goals, or not having a clear picture of your goals. The presence of this card would suggest some time out is needed to do some soul searching and find your balance.
When pulled in the reversed position, The Magician is associated with chaos, scattered energy, and manipulation.
What does the inverted Magician mean in a love reading?
Drawing the upside-down Magician during a love tarot spread can indicate manipulation, illusion, and being out of alignment. Perhaps you’ve not been totally honest with each other? Or perhaps you are no longer in sync with each other. Now is a good time to do some work on that, asking some deep questions and being open to the answers you receive.
If you aren’t in a relationship, this card can signify that maybe you aren’t in the right place for meeting someone new just yet and you don’t really know what you want in a partnership, or if you even want one. You may be hesitant to open your heart to someone. Take your time, do the self-work and don’t pressure yourself into any situation you don’t feel comfortable in.
What does the upside-down Magician mean in a health reading?
In terms of a health reading, drawing The Magician in the reversed position can mean feeling uncertainty, feeling disillusioned, and the need to rest. It can indicate feelings of lethargy, lack of motivation and even depression. If you are struggling or dealing with a medical issue then you should seek out professional medical advice.
How to use the Magician in your Spellwork
This card can be used in spells to aid in manifesting your goals, to increase your drive and willpower and for leadership at work.
Carry the card in a pouch with a carnelian to increase your willpower or with a stick of cinnamon for success in your endeavours. The card can be placed on your altar where you can see it daily for inspiration.
The card can be used in candle-burning rituals for manifestation, just place the card under the candle holder. Alternatively, write your desires on the back of the card in a marker pen, or draw a sigil representing your desires and burn the card. Afterwards, allow the ash to scatter in the wind.
The Vision Board
A vision board is a representation of your dreams and goals. Images/words and inspirational quotes are stuck onto the board which creates an overall picture of what you wish to manifest. Place The Magician card (or a printout of the card) onto your vision board to increase the success of your manifestation.
Meeting the Magician
Sometimes we struggle because we don’t know what we want or what path to place our feet upon next. This can make anyone feel like they are just drifting on by with no real direction. If you are looking for a clearer picture of your goals then try the following exercise.
This is a creative writing exercise to help you find a clear vision of what you wish to manifest, but it is in no way meant to make anyone feel pressured into knowing what they want. Sometimes, like The Magician reversed, we need a time out from over-thinking it, because there is absolutely no rush to have your life figured out at any stage in your life. Please note this exercise is a light-hearted one, not intended as a be-all or end-all. At the end of the day, you determine your own actions, and you are responsible for making your own informed choices.
You need a pen and several sheets of paper. I prefer writing with pen and paper, but if you prefer using a computer, or voice recognition software to type then by all means use whatever method you prefer.
Place The Magician card in front of you and take a long look at it, noticing the colours, imagery and symbols.
You are going to write a story where you meet this character so choose a setting where your story will be based. Is he in the woods? In a house? On a farm? Etc. Feel free to be as descriptive as you like.
Your character in the story is a would-be apprentice. You have heard of The Magician’s skill and how he has helped others. You need his help to find out your own desires or what your path is. You wish for him to train you to help manifest your desires.
You knock on his door – and he answers. What does he look like? What is your first impression? What does his voice sound like? You enter his home, what can you see inside?
You both sit down to talk at his table, and you see a crystal ball placed upon it. He asks you to look inside the crystal ball and ask your question.
At this point you will stop writing and close your eyes visualising the crystal ball, asking your question and watching what it shows you next.
Once you have the information write it all down in your story. Then finish it by saying farewell to The Magician and returning home.
Read over your story and look for any imagery, insights or clues about your innermost goals and desires. It could be a start to help you on your path, and at the very least was a fun and creative exercise.
A Poem to remember the upright meanings
Poems can be a good way to remember information because they often use rhyme and rhythm, which can make them easier to memorize.
Additionally, poems often use vivid imagery and figurative language, which can help to make the information more interesting and engaging.
The Magician stands for a power divine
To manifest your will and existing sign.
He holds the tools of transformation
To make your dreams come to fruition
They stand for the power of creativity
To use your will and honour relativity
They hold the tools of creation
To take the lead and own your station
They stand for the strength of your will
To use your power to make it real
They hold the tools of magick
To make your dreams come true, oh so quick.
They stand for the power of faith
To make the impossible, possible fate
They hold the tools of the Universe
To make your destiny come true without curse.
To hold the tools of transformation
To make your dreams come true with elation
To manifest your will and make it shine
The Magician stands for a power divine.
A Poem to remember the reversal meanings
The Magician in reverse we must address
Can indicate a weak will and a lack of finesse
A person who lacks focus and direction
Blocking the flow of positive energy’s collection
The power of thought is not used or known
Willpower is weak and easily blown
A lack of proper action and manifestation
Leads to a life of lack and frustration.
The Magician in reverse can mean a need to be aware
Of the power of our thoughts, and how we use them with care.
In conclusion, the Magician tarot card is a powerful symbol of manifestation, creation, willpower, and mastery. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that it is time to take control of your life – you already have the power within yourself to succeed. Go and get it!
Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot readers, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.
The 22 major arcana cards each correspond to different aspects of the human experience that are universal. They represent the different stages of the “hero’s journey”: our biggest challenges and life lessons, as well as our highest aspirations and greatest potential.
Have you ever had a reading where the Magician card appeared? What was the outcome? What does Magician mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice? Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.
If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out our complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.
Written by Pamela Norrie
Pamela Norrie is a writer and blogger based in Scotland. She enjoys writing about folklore, witchcraft and short fiction. Some of her
work can be found on her blog hagothehills.wordpress.com and through Instagram @hearthandhame
Learn more about the major arcana tarot cards
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