The Magician is the second tarot card in the Major Arcana (followed by The High Priestess) and positions himself as a channel between the heavenly and the earthly realms. He is a conduit of creativity, the earthly vessel which can give form to the dreams of the imagination in the material world. This tarot card represents the magic of crafting reality in accordance with our will.

The Magician Tarot Card Upright and Reversed Keywords
The Magician tarot card upright and reversed keywords.

The Magician’s astrological correspondences are to the element of Air and to the planet Mercury, who, in Greek mythology, acted as a messenger between the living world and the underworld. Mercury was known as a trickster and rules the domain of the mind, communication, traveling, messages, and commerce.

The Magician Keywords

Upright keywords

Reversed keywords

taking action, creative manifestation, empowerment

creative blocks, self-deception, illusion, distraction

Description of the Magician Tarot Card

The Magician is tarot card #1 or Key 1 in a tarot deck, symbolizing new beginnings and emphasizing the power of our singular, individual will to shape our realities. He is the conduit who can take the unformed potential of The Fool (#0) and channel it into material form. He is an encouragement to find the unique underlying pattern that exists within you and sculpt it into existence.

The Magician uses his conscious will to translate his divinely inspired ideas (represented by his white wand in the Rider-Waite tarot deck) into material form. His table, which signifies the field of his conscious attention, holds the tools that he’ll use, which represent the four suits of the Minor Arcana, as well as their corresponding elements in nature—Cups/Water, Swords/Air, Wands/Fire, and Pentacles/Earth.

The snake around his belt, as well as the lemniscate that appears above his head, are both symbols of transformation and renewal, indicating that his power of creative manifestation is an endlessly renewable resource. His gesture, as well as the four objects displayed on his table, are visual metaphors for the Hermetic axiom As Above, So Below, and are a reminder that man is a microcosmic mirror of the macrocosmic natural world.

The Magician Upright Tarot Meaning

In a tarot card reading, the upright Magician suggests that you’re in control of your powers of creative manifestation and possess everything you need to bring your dreams to fruition. It suggests that when you position yourself as a channel for creativity, inspiration will flow through you and take form in your life.

The Magician is the archetype of creative manifestation. He is the channel that translates the wellspring of imagination into material reality. He knows he is a reflection of the great creative force who shapes the Universe, and as such, he actively co-creates his world in concert with the larger, ineffable forces that run through him.

The Magician represents the creative vitality that exists within each of us, the sacred power we each hold to shape our world by controlling our focused attention, drawing on our natural gifts and resources, and having the courage to believe we can take an active role in realizing our full potential.

The Magician reminds us that creativity is our birthright. He asks you to draw on the resources that exist within you to give shape to your ambitions: your wit and your intellect (symbolized by the sword), your passion and creativity (symbolized by the wand), your emotions and intuition (symbolized by the cup), as well as your capacity to shape your physical reality (symbolized by the pentacle).

Upright love keywords

Upright career keywords

communication, creative connection, active pursuit of a relationship

abundance, creation, taking initiative, willpower

Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)

The upright Magician signifies that you are taking an active role in pursuing what your heart desires and have the capacity to call into being the love or the relationship that you long for. It can signify that creative expression, wit, and intelligence are of utmost importance in a relationship, and these qualities are necessary to sustain a spark between yourself and another.

Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)

In a career tarot reading, the upright Magician signifies that you have the resources you need within you to successfully generate the abundance that you desire. It is a reminder that your conscious and active participation in this process is necessary to bring your dreams into material form. You can create financial success by being proactive, taking initiative, and creating opportunities for yourself.

The Magician Reversed Tarot Meaning

In the reversed position, The Magician suggests that there’s a disconnection between your thoughts and your actions. You may have become distracted, scattered, or detached from your creative life force. If you feel disconnected from your capacity to take action towards your goals, The Magician wants to remind you that you can reconnect to your innate vitality when you focus your attention on what wants to grow within you.

When the Magician appears reversed, you may be struggling with feelings of self-doubt, powerlessness, or a lack of self-confidence. This can be a powerful illusion that impedes the natural flow of your life force, leaving you feeling scattered, distracted, or disempowered. This placement suggests the need to reconnect to your innate power and to your belief in yourself as an agent of creative manifestation.

In the reverse, The Magician can also suggest that you’re feeling blocked or creatively frustrated and that you may benefit from returning to the drawing board. You may need more time to develop a skill or talent, or you may need to draw on different resources to forge a clear path forward.

Reversed love keywords

Reversed career keywords

creative blocks, self-deception, illusion, distraction or procrastination

self-doubt, miscommunication, deception, confusion

Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)

In a love reading, the reversed Magician can signify that you are feeling disconnected from your powers of magnetism and charm. You may need to work on your feelings of self-confidence and worthiness to attract what you truly desire in a relationship. It can also signify that a partner is not being completely honest or direct, and this is causing confusion within a relationship. Engaging in a straightforward and open dialogue is the best strategy for discerning the truth of the situation.

Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)

If The Magician appears reversed in a career reading, it can be a sign to pause and reconsider your plans before taking action. If your goals are not coming to fruition, it may be because you’ve lost touch with your original motivation or vision or because you’re overly motivated by material gain. It may be wise to recalibrate and reconnect to what initially inspired you, and you may benefit from spending more time nurturing a skill or talent.