There are a couple of elements involved in this card because it really operates on two levels. The first, more mystical, level involves the ability to use your powers of imagination and concentration to make whatever you want to manifest on the material plane. This card indicates that the questioner is at a place in life where all of the elements are coming together for a successful new enterprise. The individual involved literally has the ability to visualize what he or she wants to happen and bring it into being. It’s a very strong card and shows that a lot of magic is operating in the questioners life.
A secondary meaning can be gleaned from the name of this card in the older Tarot decks: The Juggler. He isn’t simply The Magician in the mystical sense, he’s also The Magician in the sense of a magician’s stage show. He has the ability to juggle a half dozen balls in the air and dazzle you with illusions. In this sense it shows that the questioner not only has the ability to make a new project manifest, he also has the ability to promote it successfully and sell it to the people who can back him financially or emotionally
If this card shows up when you’re wondering if a new or different idea might work, there’s a very simple answer: GO FOR IT!
REVERSED: This is still a very powerful card but it comes with several warnings. Be very sure that any new project is in alignment with your Higher Self and you aren’t simply acting out of ego or greed.
If you’re dealing with someone else’s new project take a very careful look at it before you commit to backing it. Be sure that the magician you’re dealing with isn’t a con artist who’s shilling you for support but will never complete the project.
There is also a strong warning to stay alert and not miss new opportunities that are right under your nose.
A couple of additional thoughts about the Magician:
One of the issues that you need to think about when you’re dealing with this card is, “What is magic?”
We all know the magic of nature. Any kind of newborn is magical, from a baby to a kitten. The magic of love. The beautifully transient magic of a rainbow or a shooting star. A hidden waterfall in a silent forest.
But how does personal magic work? Aleister Crowley defined magic as, “”the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will”, including both “mundane” acts of will as well as ritual magic.
In other words it’s using your will power to make something manifest in your life. You can view it as something as simple as lying in bed in the morning and contemplating how you’re going to make coffee manifest in your life. “I’m going to get out of bed. I’ll put water in the carafe, I’ll put the filter basket in the coffee maker, I’ll put the coffee in the basket, and I’ll press the on switch.”
Of course, we don’t go through that sequence of thinking. We just DO it because we already know how to do it.
Magic involves making something manifest in your life when you don’t know HOW to do it. But there is a basic pattern, a framework that you can use even if you don’t know exactly how to make it come about. You start by visualizing it. Try to get as clear a picture in your mind as you possibly can of what you want.
Then pour energy into it. You actually have to take some time – even a little time each day – to visualize what you want and imagine it coming into being. If you belong to a particular tradition such a Wicca or Neo-Paganism you may have rituals you’ll want to do at this point such as burning particular herbs or incense and gathering minerals and crystals for extra energy
Feel it. Visualizations don’t work if all they are is an idea. They need feelings, the deeper and stronger the better. While you’re visualizing what you want to come into being try to summon as much joy and happiness as you can. If you’re a more physical person you may want to dance or chant to enhance the emotional depth.
Wait and watch. Remember: this is something that you want but you DON’T KNOW how to make it happen. You’ve started at point A with, “This is what I want.” You’ve gone to point C with the visualization of it. All the intermediate steps to your goal that you might call Point B will be provided as you go along but you have to watch for the signs and omens for what you should do next. And that’s the magic of it: knock and the door will open and a pathway will appear.
One more quick thought before we move on from the Magician and that’s about the Magician reversed. In most of the New Agey Tarot definitions you’ll find that it’s defined along the lines of being out of harmony with the universe or a failure to concentrate on the task at hand or perhaps a caution that someone you’re dealing with is a con artist.
There’s also another meaning which isn’t much discussed anymore and that’s plain old Black Magic. Just as you can heal someone by intently pouring loving energy into them, so you can sicken someone by intently pouring hatred into them. It’s very real.
We think of Black Magic in terms of what see in the movies. An old woman sticking needles into a voodoo doll or a black robed man chanting incantations. Oddly, a much more common version of it is everyday prayer or mental obsession. I knew a woman who claimed to be a very devout Catholic who would regularly sit down, say her rosary, and pray for terrible things to happen to people who had offended her. She didn’t get that what she was doing was Black Magic. She was sending concentrated hate energy at the people she was, “praying about,” and her rosary was her ritual tool.
In the same sense, if we become obsessed with someone having hurt or offended us and we go through the day wishing them nothing but ill, we’re sending hate. It’s Black Magic, albeit on a very amateur, informal scale. So if you get the Magician reversed in a reading you’re doing don’t automatically assume that it’s about ego trips or missed opportunities. It may point to something more sinister going on.