Here is a post from my Tarot Journal dated back to 2006. It includes a comparative between some of my favorite decks.
The Magician: Power. This guy has what it takes to make things happen. He draws his power from above, and his resources from the earth.
Some Key Words: Power, self assured, well equipped, confidence, intense, leadership, unlimited resources.
Symbolism/things I notice: The snake around his waist is eating its own tail. I can’t help but think of the phrase, “biting off your nose (or tail) to spite your face”. I guess this means that The Magician can be vengeful if provoked.
The wand in the air looks like a candle with a wick on either end. Like the fire is burning on both sides. The fire would be his inspiration. Comes from above and below.
There are flowers above him and below him, but only the white lilies are below. Lilies remind me of Easter, so rebirth or new life, Roses speak of passion. ok, I am going to put this together now…our passion for spiritual matters enable us to give birth to things here on earth. As long as our intentions are pure. Oh, just noticed, even his clothes are white and red, like the flowers.
All the symbols of the Minor Arcana cards are on his table. I take this to mean he has mastery over them. Them being his feelings (Cups), his material concerns (Pentacles), his mental thoughts (Swords) and his passions (Wands).
I wonder why he has that head band. Also the infinity symbol over his head. Maybe it means he is in touch with the Universe. The infinity symbol meaning his inspirations are limitless. The headband covers his Third Eye Chakra so maybe he is less psychic and more energy driven. Hence the wand.
He does look rather crowded in with the canopy of flowers all around him. The wooden table has a dove flying straight up on it. His clothes are loose and comfy looking. The symbols representing the 4 elements sit on his table waiting to be used.
My thoughts: The answers are right in front of you. Unfold your talents. What is now a vision will soon become a reality. You are well prepared for a new venture. You have good leadership skills and confidence.
The Magician can combine the spiritual and the worldly and reap the benefits. He knows his purpose in life.
According to Waite’s Pictorial Key to the Tarot, the snake around his waist is symbolic of wholeness.
For some reason, The Magician reminds me of Jesus. Must be the robes and the headband. Notice the little dove engraved on the table. A symbol of Jesus too. The Dove of Peace.
The Magician teaches us by putting on a show. Doesn’t he look ready to perform? The things on the table are props for his show. The flowers above him and on the ground kind of frame the stage.
If this card were reversed, I would take it to be a ‘know it all’ kind of person. You know the kind who thinks they know everything, but really knows nothing.
• Mental aspects – well thought out. Unclouded thinking. Able to integrate the spiritual and science. He is the kind that would invent the time machine.
• Spiritual – he just lets the knowledge flow from above. He is not much into feeling his spirituality. He is more the explorer. Creating things would be a spiritual experience for him.
• Emotional – Can be a little intimidating. Calm, quiet, his passion smolders inside him and then he manages to channel it beautifully.
• Physical – You will find what you need if you use the tools correctly. A builder. Reminds me of my brother Dave. Started his business with a beat up van and borrowed tools and now he has a huge construction company.
• Soulful/the Soul’s Journey – The person has learned to be more careful and responsible in life. They have mastered the skills for the road of life, now it is time to walk the path.
• Business and Career – This guy has what it takes to get the job done. He is the project coordinator. He may tend to be one of those arrogant managers that get caught up in their own ‘greatness’
• Relationship – A teacher/ mentor role is waiting here. This guy is definitely the leader in any relationship he is in.
• Problematic – Can tend to be arrogant or intimidating. Power or skills have gone to ones head.
• Beneficial – Highly adaptable to any given situation. Surprises are handled with ease. Confidence.
The Tarot of Prague and the Blue Rose Tarot both show their Magicians with masks and flowered hats. Sometimes the Magician is not what he seems to be. The hats with the flowers indicate to me inspiration from above. Both also have a wand through which they work their magic.
The Blue Rose Tarot by Paula Gibby:
From the Blue Rose’s Magician’s wand flows a rainbow. From his divine inspirations, beauty and joy, good fortune can be created here in life. On his hat are red flowers that for the passion his divine work invokes in him.
This Magician reminds me of one I saw when I was a child on a school trip. My Mom still has the picture I drew after the trip that shows me sitting in front of a stage with all the props and no Magician. You see I was a little frightened of him. That painted face and big false smile made me uncomfortable. I did not want to be tricked. Yet at the same time I was completely mesmerized by him. i was amazed by what he did with so much ease! Yet I was afraid of his power and how can we ‘read’ them when they wear these masks that cover their true intentions.
The particular Magician shows the trickster side of the Magician more than any other I work with. Mostly because of my own experiences.
The Tarot of Prague by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov:
The golden, flowering crown of divine inspiration sits on his head. Flowing down from above to bloom through our lives here on earth divine wisdom flows. What we do with it no one knows. This Magician wears a mask telling us what we see is not always what we get.
Mercury, the messenger is in the background swift and sure. Aside from the tools on his table, there are game boards. The chess board remind me that this magician sees life as a came, but not a game of chance, but a game of skill and cunning. BTW, nice body! The magician keeps his body in shape because it is a tool from God that can be used to achieve his purpose.
I notice also that there are many masked carved into the legs of the table. We all have many masks don’t we?
So, what do we get from this magician? Someone toned, skilled and using his mind and body to achieve a higher purpose. He is dependable. This person is highly skilled physically and mentally. There is also a side to him we can not see. He keeps his emotions from us. We can not read him. Perhaps the mask also means he is closed minded.
The World Spirit Tarot by Jessica Godino & Lauran O’Leary:
The Magician in this deck appears to be a shaman or Voodoo Priest. He looks South American to me and appears to be in a tropical climate.The hut has some kind of tapestries ? on the walls one with a picture of a heart. The magician in this card wears no mask. The top of his head is covered.
In his hut he dances within a circle while juggling the symbols of the elements with ease. candles are lit all around him and offerings from the earth are on the ground before him. This displays an important aspect of the Magician to me. His groundedness (juggling the elements and the offerings) and his spirituality (his dancing). What skill and concentration! amazing focus.
At the bottom of the card lemniscate showing that he is aware that his possibilities are boundless. also in the background are two drums. Drums to me are the instrument that helps set our spirit free.
The Merryday Tarot by Louisa Poole:
The Apprentice: Initiate, dare. The man is holding his wand of inspiration up towards the heavens and points with his left hand down toward Earth. He gathers knowledge from above and uses it here on earth.
Covering his 3rd eye chakra, the chakra of intuition, is a white bandana. White standing for purity. His throat chakra, the chakra of communication and expression is covered as well with a red scarf to me meaning he communicates with passion. The heart chakra is covered with a necklace which to me represents loyalty and love to one’s self. THe 2nd Chakra or artistic chakra is covered by a belt that looks as though it might be the snake biting it’s tail, but hard to be sure.
As far as chakras go, what stands out to me most is the large red boots that he wears. Red is the color of the root chakra and the fact that he wears them shows me that he is firmly grounded.
All of the suit symbols are in the card and their positioning is interesting. The Pentacle and the Cup sit before him. The Wand is in his hand. Wand being the suit of ideas and inspiration and the fact that hie holds it in his hand leads me to feel this is a dominate trait of the Apprentice. The Cup and Pentacle before him portray the feelings of emotions and the material world as his primary concerns. The sword is behind him saying that the Apprentice may have a tendency to act first and think later.
He appears to be in a cave or dense part of a forest. You can see the beautiful and spacious lands he has yet to explore waiting for him. Is he ready yet? Will he go out and journey them? You bet! “ready or not, here I come!” is what I get from this card. Hope he doesn’t forget his sword.