Meet the Magician. The first numbered card of the major arcana in the Tarot . In the Marseilles tarot he is called le Bateleur which is a conjurer, street performer, showman or charlatan and trickster. The Magician can represent a very charming charismatic person and it can also represents that part of our personality where we can be extroverted and put things into action. This card can also represent an actor, performance artist such as an illusionist, salesperson, or someone who is involved with public relations. The Magician can represent youthfulness and enthusiasm in a situation where we are excited about an idea and turn it into reality. The card is numbered one which is associated with:
a new endeavor, project, initiative, journey
the ego, the individual
Here the first mystery (Arcanum) we are beginning to discover what we have at our disposal to manifest and put our ideas into action either from a plan or through improvisation.
The Magician has the tools to create:
On the table the Magician has his instruments or tools. Looking at these instruments closely, we see they represent the suits of the minor arcana which represent recent acquired skills. On the other hand it could also indicate using what is on hand to improvise.
Circles on the table represents the coins or pentacles: resources such as money but also health and home. How much strength we have to carry out our ideas. Are we ready physically to start something new? We also have the potential to make money because there are opportunities coming our way.
Knife represents the swords: This can indicate a time for taking on studies, enrolling in university or being taken under the wing of a new mentor. It also indicates that we are ready to speak up for what we want to achieve.
Cups or chalices: represents our emotions and relationships. This card can indicate that it is a time for meeting new people and making connections. Also, a start of a new passion or love.
In cards you may see dice as in the Lo Scarabeo Marseille Tarot edition by Anna Maria Morsucci. The dice represents Tarot's roots. Perhaps this is a reminder to honour our past. In order to understand where our path needs to take us, we need to know where we came from. What is our starting point and what are our surroundings?
Looking at the Magician's hat in the Marseilles Tarot we see that it resembles the infinity sign.
This means that there are many possibilities and opportunities. In the Rider Waite, The Magician has the infinity sign appearing above his head. The infinity sign is a hopeful sign, but on the other hand it can also be overwhelming for an individual to choose the best options for themselves. An individual must have the right mind set to be able to make the best choices especially if they have very little power such as not having enough authority to start a project at work. There should be care in how to voice opinions. Behavior should be in check and watch out for the right timing. Is it a good idea to quit a steady job to take on self employment or risky business venture?
On the table we also see a purse or bag (See Jean Dodal card and CBD card). We wonder what is in the bag, but we know there are things in it because there is a part of string or cord that is comin out of the bag. Does the Magician know what is in the bag? This is a time to discover new talents. On the other hand, it can indicate that plans are not ready or our vision is not completely understood. There needs to be more self discovery before embarking on a new goal. The table shows only three legs which indicates the vision is incomplete.
The Magician in appearance has the confidence and belief in his skills. The wand held in one hand pointing to the heavens indicates the ability to manifest anything. This is perhaps a way to have our attention distracted as he his handling another object in his other hand. This may indicate a trickster or an illusionist. It may speak to an illusion in our own mindset. Is our inner self trying to make us aware of something that we do not see as an obstacle?
The object held in the other hand appears to be above the hand. In other words, the Magician doesn't have the firmest grip on the object which gives the impression on not having a grip on the resources required to complete tasks. Also, it can represent poor timing with conception (birth, start of a project or relationship).
The table hides the Magicians pelvis which indicates that we may have blockage in our creativeness, self expression and/or sexual energy. There is also an indication that there are important tasks that need completed before we take on a new project.
Below the table in the Marseilles Tarot we see the white shape between the Magician's legs that resembles the female pelvis to represent Mother Nature. This can also suggest a birth of a new career, project, child, love or a new direction where we question our own being and are discovering a new part of our personality. The Magician represents our ego and our individualism.
What do I want to do or who am I? There is also a hint of self-centeredness or an immature person.
Looking at the feet of the Magician, one foot is pointing left and the other right. This signifies that the Magician is hesitant. A new beginning is exciting, but if past experiences are negative it may prevent us from moving forward to achieve our goals. It can also bring attention to decisions that are put off due to procrastination.
Ground beneath the feet:
In the Marseilles Tarot decks, the ground that the Magician stands on does not ex tend after the table suggesting there is an unawareness of our abilities. but it can signal a time for exciting self discovery and opportunities!
The above are suggestions for reading the Magician card and are not the only meanings that the Magician Card can have. You must look at the surrounding cards chosen by the querent in the reading. Whatever meaning you get from the Tarot card will be dependent on the deck you use, other cards in the spread and the question (the reason why the querent is having a Tarot reading).
Three card reading sample:
The querent asks if they are ready to leave a secure place and start a new life on their own.
The Magician represents the querent in this spread as someone who is ready to make their own life by leaving the childhood home. They have education and some work experience under their belt. They are hesitant though. At home there is protection and a hot meal whenever it's wanted and so it's easy to procrastinate. They are some worries about being ready, but in order to grow and become the person they want to be, the querent must step out, and make their own path. We learn to adapt to change when we have to. The best way to learn life's lessons is to go out on your own and create your life, make your own decisions and make your own mistakes. These are lessons that later on become wisdom.
The Marseille Tarot Revealed, A Complete Guide to Symbolism Meanings and Method by Yoav Ben-Doav 2017 Llewellyn Publications
Reading and Understanding the Marseilles Tarot by Anna Maria Morsucci and Antonella Aloi 2018 Lo Scarabeo