Probably the easiest cards to understand in Tarot are the Aces. We are all very familiar with the symbology of the number 1 without any knowledge of Numerological symbology. To be called number 1, to be 1st, to take the 1st step, a new beginning. Each Ace in the Minor Arcana focuses on it's elemental beginning. The Magician is the Ace of Aces. In general Tarot decks depict The Magician with all four elements in some form. The Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck has a Cup, a Sword, a Stick and a Coin engraved with a Pentacle lying on a table in front of the Magician. His right hand holds a wand pointing at the Heavens and the left points at the earth. Above his head a halo of infinity. This is a card about creative power. To be able to combine the 4 elements into a sum great than it's parts he calls on the eternal where heaven and earth meet. True creativity, art and inspiration don't come from merely a process of thought, that would be the Ace of Swords, it comes from the soul, the ghost within us, the silent watcher that is consciousness itself. When we quieten our minds and bring together all that we have in front of us (the table & it's objects) we can begin to achieve wonderful things. The Magician is there to remind you of your divine gift of creation. Don't squander this opportunity to start bringing something truly wonderful into this world.
The Magician is the first numbered card in the Major Arcana. It's numerology is important as this card is a card of power as well as creativity. The Magician has the power to creative something from nothing. The Magician also has the power to transform. Power however can corrupt. Surrounding cards may indicate warnings of the misuse of the power that this card points too. They can also point to channels for good use of this power. Whatever the situation the person has the abilities to take control, create the new or change the existing into something better.
This card also comes with a warning to be wary of tricksters. Surrounding cards that point to hidden plots and activities may indicate that The Magician is someone not to be trusted.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
A youthful figure in the robe of a magician, having the countenance of divine Apollo, with smile of confidence and shining eyes. Above his head is the mysterious sign of the Holy Spirit, the sign of life, like an endless cord, forming the figure 8 in a horizontal position . About his waist is a serpent-cincture, the serpent appearing to devour its own tail. This is familiar to most as a conventional symbol of eternity, but here it indicates more especially the eternity of attainment in the spirit. In the Magician's right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, while the left hand is pointing to the earth. This dual sign is known in very high grades of the Instituted Mysteries; it shews the descent of grace, virtue and light, drawn from things above and derived to things below. The suggestion throughout is therefore the possession and communication of the Powers and Gifts of the Spirit. On the table in front of the Magician are the symbols of the four Tarot suits, signifying the elements of natural life, which lie like counters before the adept, and he adapts them as he wills. Beneath are roses and lilies, the flos campi and lilium convallium, changed into garden flowers, to shew the culture of aspiration. This card signifies the divine motive in man, reflecting God, the will in the liberation of its union with that which is above. It is also the unity of individual being on all planes, and in a very high sense it is thought, in the fixation thereof. With further reference to what I have called the sign of life and its connexion with the number 8, it may be remembered that Christian Gnosticism speaks of rebirth in Christ as a change "unto the Ogdoad." The mystic number is termed Jerusalem above, the Land flowing with Milk and Honey, the Holy Spirit and the Land of the Lord. According to Martinism, 8 is the number of Christ.