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The Magician: Tarot Card Meanings

The traditional Rider Waite Magician tarot card laying flat on top of a green card back.

Tarot Card Meanings: The Magician

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”

- George Bernard Shaw


In the traditional Rider-Waite Tarot deck, each of the 22 major arcana cards represents a specific stage or lesson on a journey. In tarot, the progression through these lessons is typically referred to as The Fool’s Journey.

The Magician is the first character The Fool encounters on his journey. He represents the energy and power of our individual wills, and our ability to apply this otherworldly power to manifest our desires into the physical realm.

What does The Magician card mean in tarot?

The Magician stands with one hand raised to the sky and the other pointing at the ground, representing the connection between the spiritual realm above with the physical world below. He is the conductor of energy from this upper realm to the physical world, and the pathway to manifesting our dreams and goals into reality. He urges us to tap into our power, align ourselves with spiritual guidance, and take control of our lives to build the positive outcomes we’re seeking.

The Magician’s table displays all four suits of the tarot - cups (emotions, water), pentacles (physical things, earth), wands (desires, fire), and swords (thoughts, air). The Magician’s easy access to all of these tools indicates that we have everything we need to manifest the content of our minds. He reminds us that we are the creators of our realities, and we should focus our intention on our goals, while taking action to achieve them.

The infinity symbol above the head of The Magician represents infinite possibilities. He represents the staggering power of the human will, and reminds us to tap into that power to capture and grow opportunities. The Magician is surrounded by blooming roses and lilies, symbolizing his ability to cultivate potential.

The Magician Upright

  • Manifestation
  • Charisma
  • Talents

The Magician guides us in manifestation, first and foremost. He encourages us to focus our intentions on the actions required to transform our goals, born in the spiritual realm, into achievements in the physical world. He is associated with resourcefulness, and reminds us that we have everything we need to navigate through life successfully.

We can interpret The Magician as a reminder that we need to form a clear vision of our desires in the metaphysical realm before applying our power to bring them forward in the physical world. This card recognizes our talents and abilities, and aids us in focusing them to bring our dreams into reality.

What does an upright The Magician card mean for love?

Manifesting success in love is a prospect filled with excitement. When The Magician shows up in our love lives, he’s frequently telling us to embody confidence, believe in ourselves and trust our instincts when it comes to relationships.

What does an upright The Magician card mean for abundance?

We can attract abundance in our journey by directing our wills toward the manifestation of our dreams. The Magician is our reminder that we can create abundance in our lives, using all of the tools we have available to us. This card is also a caution that our intentions should be pure in this endeavour; when we seek abundance for the validation of our own egos, monetary gain or greed, we’re unable to adequately harness the connective manifestation energy The Magician offers.

What does an upright The Magician mean for your journey?

The Magician can indicate a time of transformation and change, as we move through new beginnings filled with the potential for spiritual growth. His ability to connect the physical and metaphysical realms is essential to the first stages of a journey as we must first visualize our intentions in the higher realm, before taking concrete actions to manifest them in the physical world.

The Magician Reversed

  • Deception
  • Trickster
  • Illusion

A reversed The Magician tarot card often signifies uncertainty. When we are unable to conceive our goals in the world of imagination, we can’t move forward with bringing them to reality. By staying aligned with our intuitions and recognizing opportunities as they cross our paths, we can enhance our abilities to visualize that which we are seeking.

The Magician in reverse can also be a warning for deception, illusion or trickery. This could be in relation to ourselves or others; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. We should take these warnings seriously and closely examine our intentions, goals and intuitions when we receive them.

It can remind us to be wary of those offering panacea – or to check in with ourselves to make sure we're not offering this to someone else.

What does a reversed The Magician mean for love?

Deception and illusion are not good signs for love. Whether we’re presenting a curated version of ourselves to tickle someone else’s fancy, or we’re on the receiving end of a romantic deception, The Magician reversed for love is a red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.

The Magician reversed could also mean a lack of confidence, or a feeling of disempowerment. When we’re uncertain about our romantic desires, or about how to communicate them, we can cause confusion in love. Expressing our feelings openly is the best way to combat emotional distance and build confidence in a relationship for the future.

What does a reversed The Magician mean for abundance?

When our channels for manifestation are blocked, it’s difficult to achieve the results we’re looking for. The Magician reversed can be a sign that it’s time to address these blockages through inner work or self-reflection. It could also represent a need to reconsider our aspirations and ensure they align with true abundance rather than a desire for material wealth.

What does a reversed The Magician mean for your journey?

A reversed The Magician card symbolizes the challenges we may face at the beginning of a journey. These challenges may include a lack of direction, self-doubt, or a lack of resources. The best way to move forward on the path when a reversed The Magician appears in our reading is to address any inner blockages, reflect on our intentions, and work on building the skills we’ll need to manifest our dreams into realities.

The traditional Rider-Waite The Magician tarot card.