The Magician Tarot Card Meaning

By Charrette Vachon

The tarot card known as the Magician represents everything at its start, the birthplace of all that happens, the sum of all our endeavors, and the inspiration for everything that is created. As the Major Arcana’s first card, the Magician also contains the promises and the future capacity of all things right where they start.

The planet associated with the Magician is Mercury. Air is the element it is linked to, and the astrological sign involved is Aries. Important dates are in cycles of 88 days (the orbital period of Mercury).

Illustration Credit: Violetta Astanina

Visual Components And What They Represent

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Magician was originally referred to as the “Bateleur” in French tarot decks. This quite literally refers to a purveyor of quack medicine, also called a mountebank, i.e. someone who uses clever manual tricks to con or deceive people. This can be traced back to the terms “Il Bagatello” or “Il Bagatto” which means juggler in Italian. In the Italian dialect that is spoken in Milan, the word refers to a cobbler. This could perhaps explain why the card later also became known as the “artisan.” It is also the reason why some of the first tarot decks portrayed the Magician as a street performer.

During the 19th century, French occultists made a number of changes to the card’s character. They e.g. pictured him with a suit symbol in his hand and the other cards placed on a table standing before him. Over time the personality of the juggler increasingly adopted metaphysical properties and it for the first time became known as the Magician or Magus.

In the Ride-Waite deck (which originated in England), a young male can be seen standing behind a table. On the table, there are four objects. They represent the Minor Arcana: a sword, a cup, a wand, and a pentacle (i.e. a disk that has been inscribed with a 5-point star). Seen hovering over his head in a way that reminds one of a halo, there is the lemniscate, or embodiment of eternal life, in the form of a figure eight lying on its side.

Another symbol representing eternity can be seen around the young man’s waist in the form of a snake eating its own tail. Over his head can be seen the symbol of desire: a beautiful bouquet of red roses. In front of the table one also sees a number of red roses, this time entwined with the symbol of abstract thought: white lilies. His clothes are also red and white. His white tunic symbolizes purity while his red outer robe symbolizes desire, passion, and activity.

In his right hand, he is holding a wand which he lifts above his head. His left hand, meanwhile, is pointing toward the ground to symbolize that he is calling upon and joining the physical and the spiritual.

The Magician Card As An Individual

Uninhibited, unselfconscious, creative, highly skilled, and authentic, at its best the Magician embodies an individual with brilliant reasoning skills, the ability to quickly grasp something, inventive, with a sharp intellect that always wants to understand things.

At worst the Magician represents somebody who struggles to focus, acts impulsively, is prone to jump to conclusions, suffers from disorganized thinking, and who have intents that could be described as superficial and sometimes even deceitful or malicious. The Magician is known as a smooth talker and can therefore easily seduce his audience – but there is little depth in his emotions and what he says and his ploys can often be easily exposed.

His persuasiveness and smooth talking, combined with his productive imagination often make him a good candidate for jobs involving communicating with others such as journalism, acting, design, sales, and decoration.

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What Is The Magician Tarot Card

The Magician In An Upright Position

The Magician standing upright indicates ingenuity, skills, and the capability to impact the physical world. At its best, it also shows personal power that is inspired directly by the divine.

Relationships And Love

Accomplished, smooth, and alluring, the Magician is at the same time impetuous and intellectual. When someone is in love, he or she knows how to make sure the other person is aware of the fact. Yet he or she also knows how to react tactfully and skillfully. Some imaginative ideas and playfulness with help them to spice up the monotony of their daily routines.

If you are single, you will most likely soon find a new love or make a new friend. At the start of the relationship, both of you will be summing up the other one’s potential.


Your endeavors and ventures will be made significantly easier and you will have a busier life in the immediate future. For individuals who are trying to start a new career, new opportunities will open up – including job offers. They will be able to embark on this new life journey with enthusiasm and confidence.

Those who are already in a job will soon be receiving news about a promotion. It is not impossible that you could be assigned additional duties because of your determined efforts and expertise in helping to solve issues related to your job.

A brand new enterprise will assist you to fulfill your dreams. Your inborn potential will enable you to grab the opportunity to build a new business. If you already own a business, fresh avenues will open up to develop and grow with the help of the resources you already have at your disposal.

Finances and Money

Money flows in two different directions. Your skills will enable you to boost your regular income and also to make extra cash on the side. These additional funds will give you a feeling of being more secure. That could, however, make you less cautious when working with money. Although you aren’t in a perilous financial situation, the situation does bother you – but with some skillful moves, you will be able to turn things around.


The Magician is linked to physical health and energy. If you are not well, you can expect to get better in the near future.

The Magician In The Reversed Position

From a negative point of view, the Magician can be seen as a fraudster, a backstabber, and someone who cheats and lies. Be careful of new business endeavors and new friends. There is a significant risk of being double-crossed so you should proceed with caution.

Romantic Relationships And Love

If you are currently in a relationship, things might soon start to go wrong. Something that happened recently is creating doubt in the relationship. Something you do, or a gesture or initiative you don’t think through properly will upset the other person.

He or she believes that you are smug, that you don’t always speak the truth, and that you sometimes act unscrupulously. This places the future of your whole relationship in danger. You are also blamed for failing to use your skills for the benefit of the people nearest to you. The uncertainty over what waits next is busy eating away at the bond between you. You are also guilty of not talking about how you really feel. Instead, you place yourself before the other person or you put on a charade. There is only one person that matters to you: yourself.

If you are currently not in a long-term relationship, you are hopping from one adventure to the next without giving any thought to tomorrow.

Your Job And Your Career

In the reversed position, the Magician symbolizes unfocused energies and a lack of competence and experience.

– New projects often kick off unsatisfactorily or don’t lead to anything.

– Something that happened recently is preventing an endeavor or project from moving ahead.

– Professionally you are simply not fulfilling your true potential.

– You tend to force your will on others and you have problems with owning up to your mistakes.

– Displaying little or no initiative, becoming stagnant, and starting to depend on others too much are also linked to the Magician card in the reversed position.


You make choices without thinking and these are often not in your own best interest.


An overabundance of energy could result in becoming restless, your energies dissipating, and you becoming mentally or physically tired. This is especially true when combined with cards such as the Wheel of Fortune, High Priestess, the Fool, or Judgment.

You are regularly getting headaches. Neuralgia and vertigo are other possibilities, particularly in combination with cards such as the Hanged Man, Chariot, or Emperor.

Avoid making impulsive decisions and ensure that you make time for a short break several times during the day. Consider studying something like yoga, relaxation techniques, or Tai Chi.

From Your Past To Your Present And On To The Future

Although inside you there is everything you need for spiritual growth, you have failed to do something about this until now.

Something that happened recently, however, lets you rediscover your true potential for spirituality. This is the perfect moment to take action about an idea that entered your mind a while ago but that you did not pursue any further. You are now more open to listening to the voice inside you that is ready to lead you forward. It might guide you to find a spiritual counselor or spiritual guide, or join a group where spirituality is discussed.

If something that happened recently is for the time being making it hard for you to utilize the spiritual reserves at your disposal, you might be leaning toward using potentially harmful occult powers in order to achieve your spiritual dreams. Be very careful not to end up in the clutches of a con artist who abuse the attractions of the esoteric to lure you into his web.

Also be aware that you sometimes have the propensity to tell lies, brag, or try to manipulate those near you.

Various Combinations Of Tarot Cards That Are Very Important

In specific positions, the Magician points to a lack of tact and/or judgment if you are not aware of all the resources available to you and how to use them. It warns of lies, ploys, and plots with the Devil, rashness and ill-considered or unpredictable behavior with the Fool, character weakness when combined with the Hanged Man, and capriciousness with the Lovers.

The Magician/High Priestess Combination

The High Priestess/Magician combination could be an indication that a very strong business collaboration between a woman and a man is on the verge of being formed. It could also be a warning against someone being initiated into the occult.

The Ace Of Wands And The Magician Combination

You are experiencing a fairly productive period in your life. In this case, the Ace of Wands card is an indication that you are managing to get everything you have to do done remarkably quickly.

The Combination Of the Knight Of Wands And The Magician

The tarot card known as the Knight of Wands encourages you to chase your dreams. Everything you know has been laid out on the table. Be careful of the possibility that it might be a rash decision, however, because you haven’t considered all the different angles yet.

The Two Of Pentacles And The Magician

You might feel driven to communicate and write by using words. Above all, the Two Of Pentacles embodies balance. When combined with The Magician, this card could also be an indication that some or other type of broker (Magician) is assisting you to choose between different property, bond, or stock deals.

The Two Of Cups Combined With The Magician

If you are a female, expect a new guy to enter your life soon. This will create a lot of sparks! The combination of the Two of Cups and The Magician is a sign of a very deep bond that is about to be established.

Yes Or No? What Does The Magician Say?

When the Magician enters your life, the universe has given you a positive answer to this question: Yes. Stop hesitating – your dreams can become a reality!

The Magician FAQ

What does it mean if I get The Magician in a love reading?

If you get the Magician in an upright position in a love reading, it is impulsive and intellectual at the same time. When you have fallen in love, you will know how to show your feelings and simultaneously react skilfully and tactfully.

What Does The Reversed Magician Mean?

In the reverse position, the Magician symbolizes someone who cheats, lies, and tricks or betrays other people. Be cautious when meeting new people or entering into a new business venture with someone. There is a very real risk of being conned, so remaining prudent will not do you any harm.

What Does The Magician In the Future Position Tell Us?

In case something that happened recently has (for now at least) made it hard for you to utilize the spiritual resources at your disposal, you could be tempted to get yourself involved with potentially harmful occult powers while trying to realize your spiritual ambitions.

The Bottom Line: Does The Magician Tell Me To Stop Or To Proceed?

When you go for a tarot reading and you get the Magician card, you are being given a positive reply to this question. Stop hesitating. Your goals can be achieved, so the answer is an unequivocal yes.