the magician tarot card 1

The Magician Tarot Card Meanings & Symbolism

Last Updated: September 17, 2021

“The Great Work of Magic is the collapsing of the future into the immediate present; the magician seizes reality and lives now, free from the bonds of his past, and knowing that the future is the Manifestation of his Will.”

  • Phil Hine, Condensed Chaos

“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.”

The Magician Tarot Card Key Facts

Uprightmanifestation, creation, willpower, mastery
Reversedchaos, scattered energy, manipulation
Yes or NoYes
ElementAir, Spirit
Astrological SignGemini, Virgo
the magician upright tarot card

The Magician is the card of manifestation.

What does The Magician mean in Tarot?

The Magician is Major Arcana number one. 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.

Love & relationships upright meaning

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 forces 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. 

Health upright meaning

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 a feeling

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.

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.

Love & relationships reversed meaning

In terms of a love reading, this card 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. 

Health reversed meaning

In terms of a health reading, The Magician reversed 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.

If you’d like to learn more about tarot cards, feel free to check out our other articles on tarot card meanings.

Pamela Norrie

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 and through Instagram @hearthandhame