Tarot is a way for people to connect with the spiritual realm. Since at least the mid-15th century, tarot readers have pulled tarot cards to guide them through life’s shocking twists and turns. And with its increasing popularity on social media (hello, #TarotTok), it makes sense why you’d be curious to know what the cards have in store for you. If you’ve pulled the Magician card, then get ready to bridge the gap between the spiritual and material worlds, because this card’s energy is all about fulfilling your magical potential.
It helps to know the basics of tarot to fully grasp the Magician’s meanings. For starters, each tarot deck has 78 cards, which are divided into subsets called the minor and major arcana. The Magician is part of the major arcana group, which are archetypes that reflect crucial life lessons. The card depicts a figure standing in front of a table with one hand pointed up and the other pointed down, which is said to represent the phrase “as above, so below.” All four elements — fire, water, air, and earth, are shown in the background. This card is about manifestation, desire, and manipulating the energies around you, which reflects in the spiritual realm as it does in the earthly one.
What Does The Magician Tarot Card Mean?
In tarot, the major arcana represents the Fool’s journey, a metaphor for our individual quest through life. The Magician, labeled number one, is the Fool’s first encounter. It represents the actualization and autonomy of the self. It is the revelation that you are the creator of your own life, and you have the power to produce the reality you want. Since it’s the first card after the Fool, the card heralds new beginnings.
“In the Pamela Colman-Smith illustration for the Smith-Waite deck, the figure has one arm pointed up and one arm pointed down,” Melinda Lee Holm, tarot priestess and author of Elemental Power and Your Magickal Year, tells Bustle. “[This image] symbolizes the magician’s connection to the heavens and the earth and the expansive power of magick.”
Think of this imagery as anointing the spiritual realm with the physical, which allows you to fulfill your destiny as the architect of your life. The Magician is a reminder that you have plenty of resources — aka the four elements — at your disposal, so you can lean on your mystical abilities to get what you want. You’re a sorcerer at your craft, and it’s about time you notice it!
Pulling the Magician card is a sign that you should dive into your manifestation practice. Whether you do vision boards, the law of assumption, or other another manifestation method, the Magician asks you to take your practice seriously. Recognizing the power is only the part of the Magician’s magic — it’s having the intention and action to manifest it in order to make it happen.
“I advise people to start saying what they want to conjure out loud in the present tense,” explains Holm. “For example, if you’re job-hunting, say ‘I have my dream job’ before you actually draw it to you.”
What Does The Magician Card Mean When It’s Upright?
Because you’re always shuffling your deck, tarot readers use the direction of the card to decipher its meaning. When the Magician card is pulled right side up, or upright, it’s an auspicious symbol of power, authority, talents, and new beginnings. You’re being reminded of your magical abilities, and whatever manifestations you’re working towards will prove fruitful as long as you continue to lean into your inner creator. Whether it’s rubbing elbows with the big names or investing in that master class, the Magician is reminding you to utilize the resources around you.
“When the Magician comes up in a reading, it is an invitation to step into your power, to accept that you have the ability to move mountains with your magick,” Holm explains. “That can be thrilling or intimidating depending on the person and situation.”
Ultimately, the Magician tarot card is a symbol of your talents and unique skills, as well as a sign to access your full potential. It’s an indication that you’re way more authority in your life, and that you should recognize the power you possess. Maybe you’ve been feeling discouraged from getting rejection after rejection or experiencing major imposter syndrome.
What Does The Magician Card Reversed Mean?
The more you use your tarot deck, the more you’ll pull cards upside down, or in reverse — whether on purpose or unintentionally. Some tarot practitioners believe that a card in reverse reflects the adverse meaning of the card. Others say a reverse card bears its original meaning but that it should be interpreted to reveal something internal. On one hand, the Magician is the realization of your magical abilities; on the other, it could represent the blocks that prevent you from accessing your inner power.
“If the card is reversed, it can indicate that really harnessing your power will be a bit of a challenge or could be delayed,” explains Holm. If the Magician has shown up in reverse, you may want to consider the obstacles in your way that are discouraging you. Have you been a hermit lately? Or maybe you’ve been feeling slowed down by others. The Magician in reverse is a good moment to investigate whether the circumstances stacked against you is in your control, and whether the people around you are uplifting you or not.
“Magician card energy can be loud or quiet, internal or external, but it is always transformative and empowering,” says Holm.
Melinda Lee Holm, tarot priestess and author of Elemental Power and Your Magickal Year