Queering the Tarot: 1. The Magician

A guest post shared by Cassandra. 

Guest posts on Little Red Tarot are submitted by readers. The aim is to offer a wide range of voices, views on, feelings about and approaches to tarot (and related topics).


I am Cassandra Snow, a proud queer and feminist tarot reader & theatre entrepreneur out of Minneapolis, MN, USA. I’m honored to be sharing an ongoing series I’m writing called Queering the Tarot with Little Red Tarot readers. In this series, I take the most common interpretations and manifestations of the cards and discuss ways you might read them for a LGBTQQIA* client—or for yourself.

Queering the Tarot: 1. The Magician

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Magic, luck, creation

…these are just a few keywords often ascribed to The Magician—1.

The Magician represents being able to use the skills and resources at your disposal to create change in your life and the world at large. Delving a little deeper, this card also indicates creating through the law of attraction the life you desire. It’s a card of having mapped out and planned for the life you want to create, and being ready to step into the world and share all those skills and resources you’ve just mastered. It’s a card signifying that a transformation has happened within, and you are now ready to take all of these skills and magic contained inside of you out into the world, and the result will be a transformed life. The minor prophecies therefore include instances of luck—meetings, e-mails, phone calls all meant to take our life from the “I’m ready” to the “I’m actually doing this” stage.

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When we look at reading for the LGBTQIA* crowd, the base interpretation of this card doesn’t change.

This is one of those cards where knowing a lot about the queer experience comes in far more handy than knowing a lot about the tarot. As discussed in my post on queering The Fool, queer people often go through quite a journey to even get to the point of realizing they are a queer person, let alone coming out and living as one. This journey can come with a lot of shame and missteps along the way. While normally The Magician is seen as an early stages life card, for queer people, assuming this would be a mistake. It often takes years to feel comfortable presenting as a gender you weren’t assigned at birth. It can take many sexual partners to figure out how you fall in terms of sexual identity or kink preference. This card showing up for a queer person is not necessarily about that moment after The Fool, when you realize it’s okay to be you. It’s possibly years later when you’ve actually hammered out what “being you” looks and feels like, and what you want the rest of your life as your true self to look like. This for LGBTQIA* people is when the magic starts happening.

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Specific applications of The Magician in a queered-up reading would look something like this:

The querent came out awhile ago, and has been dating around a lot, but nothing has really clicked. They ask about relationships, and The Magician shows up. For many querents this would indicate that chance meeting or attracting the partner we want through magic and will, but for a queer person, this can mean that only now are you even ready for a relationship, which certainly explains why nothing has clicked yet. This is extra true for someone who is kinky or polyamorous, as those identities take a lot of trial and error to figure out what works best for you as an individual.

The Magician also shifts when we look at gender identity. Transitioning can be a long process, upon which significant transformations have obviously taken place, and it’s once the querant is comfortable with those changes that they can think about other areas of their life—like new romance, in this example. The Magician wouldn’t show up when one is ready to live as a man, but when one is ready to date as one.

Even if the question isn’t about a new relationship, a queer person still has to feel ready and secure in themselves and the journey they’ve undergone to think about succeeding or attracting good things. The Magician will show up when a client—queer or not, is ready to embrace those good things.

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5 comments

  1. Scott says:

    Really enjoying this series of articles, Cassandra!

    I’ve had the Magician pop up in readings where the querent asked about dating, and then identified a desire to engage in sex-magic. It wasn’t an association I made until that point, but it always flashes into my conscious brain now, when the Magician shows face!

    I love that you identifed the Magician as being that jump from the state of readiness to finding its place of expression in the world!

    Thank you!

    • Cassandra Snow

      Thank YOU for your comments and insight. I haven’t worked with any clients who’ve brought up sex-magick but thank you so much for calling that idea or thought to my attention in case it does come up in the future!

      Blessed be.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Interesting post Cassandra.

    Originally, the Major wasn’t numbered or in any particular order. It became ordered in the RWS. I feel it might be better unordered because that gets rid of notions of assumptions about stages of evolution. We often have to go back and relearn things over and over. I just don’t think it’s as clear cut as–you start out as The Fool, move on to The Magician, and end as The World.

    I like what you said about transformation. It’s magical and powerful to transform the conditioning, negativity, and internalized messages of society within ourselves so we can live as we truly are. That’s magic!

    • Cassandra Snow

      Hello! There are indeed many wonderful approaches to tarot–it is fairly common now to take the Major Arcana as “The Fool’s Journey”, and while I agree with you to an extent and don’t always use this approach in readings, it has helped and informed my understanding as I write about the tarot. Additionally, it helps me keep things in order so I don’t forget which cards I’ve already written about. :P

      Regardless of our differing views on the journey, I thank you for your insight, and hope you’re able to take the larger message of the column as useful. Blessed be!

  3. chloetarot says:

    Really enjoyed this! Had to laugh at the line about being ready not just to live as “a different gender”, but to date as that gender. So much to think about… Thanks, Cass, for sharing your experiences and perspective.

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