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The Magician Tarot Card and What it Means

Unpacking the Tarot - The Magician

The Tarot have been used for centuries to predict the future and answer our deepest questions. The traditional deck contains 78 cards—the 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards.
While the Minor Arcana can help shed light on the actions and decisions we make every day, the Major Arcana helps us understand our life’s purpose. Each card represents situations we face throughout our journey and the lessons we all must learn.
Here is a closer look at the second card in the deck, the Magician.


Since the Fool is unnumbered, the Magician is considered card number one, the number of opportunities and new beginnings. The Magician is powerful and inspiring. He encourages us to manifest our dreams and put thought into action. When the Magician appears, it means you have everything you need to reach your goals. Now is the time to do something about it.


The Magician usually stands before a table, surrounded by flowers and foliage. Above him is an infinity sign. He wears a red cloak atop a long, white robe with a snake around his waist, biting its own tail. The Magician stretches one arm up to the sky and the other points down to the earth. On the table in front of him are a cup, a pentacle, a sword and a wand—symbols of the four Tarot suits. 


The Magician gets things done. The items on the table are all the tools he needs to reach his goals. His red cloak is a sign of wisdom while the white robe symbolizes purity. The infinity sign and snake both represent the unlimited potential before him. The greenery around him suggests the blossoming of ideas. The position of his arms is the connection of the physical and spiritual worlds.

When the Magician appears in a reading, it foretells of opportunity. It also serves as a reminder to trust yourself, believe in your creativity, entertain your curiosity, and turn your dreams into reality. The Magician has everything he needs to manifest his future and so do you. Let the Magician be the encouragement you need to take action. 

In a spread, the Magician represents the presence of ambition, confidence and skillful communication. 


If the card is drawn upside down, the Magician represents someone who strives for perfection but suffers emotionally for it. You know what you want but you’re not taking action or you’re struggling to make progress, often due to a lack of planning or misuse of talents. It may be time to re-evaluate what you truly want.
*This article is based on the popular Rider-Waite Tarot card deck. If you’re using a different deck, cards may be numbered differently and feature different images. That’s ok. It’s the name of the card and the meaning that matters.