1. The Magician

Intention becoming manifestation

Where the Fool showed us unformed potential, the Magician brings shape, intention, direction. This is the movement from zero to one. From nothing to something. This is the other half of beginning: where the Fool showed us surrender, the Magician offers will.

The Magician represents the pulling together of those disparate, intangible ideas and feelings. Where the Fool says “I don’t know where I’m heading, but I’m ready to go”, the Magician is getting clear. This is about knowing your ‘why’, setting intentions, consciously choosing a direction in which to head, and focusing your energy that way.

The power of setting intentions cannot be overestimated. Intention is the foundation of spellwork and ritual (for the Magician is a witch and a wizard, too). Intention is the foundation of any serious project. Setting an intention means making a declaration that you intend to do a thing. In doing so, you invite in the energy of the world around you. Where the Fool said “I trust you. I will step forwards”, the Magician says “Here is what I want to do. Will you help me?”

That’s why the Magician card so often shows a figure holding one hand up to the sky. They are reaching high and drawing down divine power, universal energy, magic, and channelling it through their human body. The other hand, pointing down to the ground, earths that energy, turns it into something real.

The hand to the sky is intention. The hand to the ground is manifestation. Fire, becoming earth.

…everyone has access to power and energy and magic, and the variables are only how they affect us, how we choose to access them, and what we do with them.

– Oliver Pickle, She Is Sitting in the Night

Very often, this card will show the emblems of the four tarot suits (pentacles, cups, swords and wands), or symbols representing the four elements (earth, water, air and fire). Because this is about access to all the resources you hold within yourself. As we’ll see later in the course, each of the suits and their corresponding elements represents an area of your life: your physicality, your feelings and intuition, your intellect, your inner fire, and as such they represent the resources you have within yourself. Any or all of these resources may be needed to accomplish your goals. You have all you need.

Advice from the Magician

As you can imagine, this card is encouraging you to set your intention. Don’t be wishy-washy with what you want to achieve. Don’t have a vague direction. Take the time to get clear about where you want to go, what you want to do.

Speak your intention. Declare it in a mural or a post it note. Declare it to your friend. Shout it to the sky. Shout it to the sea. Shout it from the top of your apartment block. Whisper it in prayer. Create a ritual to really set your intention. You get the idea.

And then… actually do it! The Magician is a card of manifestation, not just ideas. It demands commitment. It wants you not only to step forward, but to step the heck up. Intention gives you direction. Intention set? Great – now, get moving. Actions speak louder than words, and now is the time for action.

The Magician can call you to a position of leadership. If you’re working within a partnership, team or group, it may be that someone needs to take hold of things and corral everyone together. Maybe energy is being directed all over the place, or folks aren’t sure of their direction, or there’s some other kind of confusion. The Magician encourages you to step up and lead, by helping everyone get clear, focused and energised.

When the Magician appears in your readings, it reminds you that you are powerful. It reminds you that you deserve to accomplish your dreams, whether big or small, and that you have all you need to do so. If you see obstacles in your way, find solutions or find a different way.

It also – like the Fool – reminds you that you are not alone. Whether you are a solitary Magician or part of a team, the Universe is on your side. There is power and magic available to you.

Key words and concepts

  • Setting intentions / being intentional / declaring your intent
  • Directing energy consciously
  • Willpower
  • Being dynamic
  • Putting thoughts into action
  • Making something tangible
  • Getting started
  • Having all the resources you need
  • Being powerful
  • Leadership
  • Success

Some common symbols

  • Four suits or four elements (access to resources)
  • Magic wand (channelling ‘magic’ energy from the Universe)
  • Pointing to the ground (making something tangible, earthing your energy)
  • Lemniscate / infinity sign (transcendence)
  • Flowers (growth, visible manifestation of life force)
  • Yellow and red colours (passion, life, energy)