The Fool’s Journey is an allegorical story told by the 78 cards of the Tarot. It details the challenges we must all face along life’s path and the potential outcomes if we are prepared to learn from the lessons we are presented with. Each card represents a portion of that journey and, consequently, has its own story to tell. The Magician is card often viewed with suspicion, as the Magician himself seems to be a wielder of some arcane power. However, is his significance as malign as some might suspect?
The Fool and the Magician
The story associated with this card concerns control and choice. In the story, the Fool encounters a Magician, who comes with all the trappings you might expect from a powerful sorcerer. He is skilful and self-possessed, with a band of light floating about his head. The Fool is impressed by this figure, so much so that when the Magician asks for the Fool’s backpack and stick, he willingly hands them over.
At this point, the Magician appears to cast a spell. He raises his staff to the heavens and, with his other hand, points down to the Earth. The Fool’s pack magically opens and reveals not the contents that the Fool was carrying with him, but a portal to the future. Through it, the Fool can see all the potential paths he can take and all the things he will need to travel those paths, represented by a Sword, a Cup, a Wand and a Pentacle.
The Fool realises that with these tools, he can make his life anything he wants it to be. However, the question that strikes him is whether the Magician created the tools that were found in his pack – or if they were actually there all along.
A card of infinite possibility
The card depicts the Magician at the moment of casting his spell. He has a halo and the contents of the Fool’s pack are laid before him on a table. The halo takes a particular form - a lemniscate. The lemniscate is the mystical symbol of infinity and this gives us a clue as to the meaning behind this confusing-looking card.
The Magician knows that he is the master of all that he possesses. The Sword, representing intellect and our powers of communication, the Cups representing our emotional reserves, the Wands representing our potential for creative thought and the pentacles symbolising our physical wealth and material goods. With all these things at his disposal, the Magician realises that the possibilities for his future are infinite, and that if he uses his powers with care and diligence then there is nothing that he cannot achieve.
Now that’s magic!
This card is the card of achievement. What may appear as magic to other people will be child’s play to you, because you will have taken the time to understand how best to complete your task. As well as appraising the task itself, this will require some contemplation, as you decide which aspects of your character and skill-set will be the ones most suited to the job in hand.
With all the tools of your psychic tool box at your disposal, the future is yours to shape as you see fit. This also means assuming responsibility for what you know you can and cannot do. Those tasks that are not within your powers to complete must be delegated or passed into others with the appropriate knowledge.
Magicians of the past, present and future
The meaning of a card alters in accordance with whether it is being used to chart the past, the present or the future. If the Magician is drawn in a reading focussing on the past, then it suggests that the current state of stability that you are enjoying is the result of having put your skills into practice in the past; you have earned the period of peace through honest, hard work and can now reap the benefits. Alternatively, if the card is reversed then it can suggest that you feel unfulfilled and long for the days when you were apparently able to create something from nothing. In the present, the Magician suggests an opportunity that is current. To make the most of what’s on offer, you will need to act swiftly and make incisive decisions on how best to approach the task in hand. While the opportunity might appear to be part of a run of good luck, the truth is that you are open enough to spot chance openings as they appear and turn them to your advantage. In this respect, you are as skilful as the Magician and fully confident that you are up to the job.
If the card is drawn in a reading that points to the future, then it speaks of a desired destiny being made real. At this moment in time, you are laying all the foundations for a goal to become fully achieved; you are firing on all cylinders and the reward is certain.
However, there is another aspect to this card, and it’s one that is not quite so welcome. If the Magician is interpreted to represent someone else in the querent’s life, then that person is likely to be a trickster of some sort. While they might appear confident and self-assured, the magnetism they generate is a smoke-screen for their fraudulent motives. This person is likely to be enigmatic and the querent should take steps to ensure that he is the real deal or they will be guided along the wrong path. In turn, this will lead to self-doubt and mistrust of the querent’s own abilities. They will be unsure as to whether they truly ever had the skill-set to achieve their dreams and ultimately be diverted from their life plans.
Generally speaking, the Magician is a card to be welcomed, for it shows that, at that moment in time, the querent is fully in control of every aspect of his being and is in a prime position to achieve just what he wants. While there is no magic involved, the querent’s apparent ability to create opportunities from thin air will impress those around him and bolster the feelings of self-confidence that come with it.