The Magician is possibly the Major Arcana card most steeped in symbolism. He’s an overwhelmingly positive omen when upright, and an omen of woe when reversed.
Either a master of manifestation, or a symbol of neglected opportunities, The Magician is always a symbol of potent energy.
About the Magician
- Keywords: Willpower, manifestation, resourcefulness, skills
- Keywords (Reversed): Wasted potential, untapped skills, deceit, lack of focus or clarity
- Yes or No: Yes
- Yes or No (Reversed): No
- Element: Air
- Zodiac Sign: Gemini, Virgo
In the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot, The Magician is depicted as a young man garbed in red and white. His clothing symbolizes both purity and worldly knowledge. He also points one hand toward the sun (“As above”) and another toward the ground (“so below”).
To emphasize this, he holds a double-ended want in his right (projective) hand. An ouroboros encircles his waist, and an infinity symbol hovers over his brow — both symbols of his limitless potential.
The table in front of him is set with the symbols of the tarot — a pentacle, cup, sword, and wand. In other words, he has all of the tools he needs to manifest anything he desires.
He’s also surrounded by lush greenery, a physical manifestation of his potential for growth and fruitfulness.
The Magician symbolizes someone who’s clever and resourceful. They seize on any opportunity presented to them, and, if there aren’t any, they’ll make their own.
He’s the embodiment of the notion of making your own luck, and a reminder that you have all you need to do so — if you choose to.
The Magician Meaning – General (Upright)
Upright, The Magician is here to tell you that you have everything you need.
He’s depicted as having an array of tools at his disposal, but the secret of magic is that they aren’t really necessary — any magician worth their salt knows how to use power with nothing more than their bare hands.
This card typically shows up when you’ve begun a new project or entered a new phase of life. The Magician is number one in the Major Arcana, and that’s for good reason.
He is a reminder that you have what you need to carry out your desires, you just need to have the courage to do it.
The Magician Meaning – General (Reversed)
The Magician is a very balanced figure. He points both to the sky and the soil, his wand is double-ended, the ouroboros bites its own tail, and the infinity symbol is a perfect reflection of itself. That said, he does take on a different meaning when reversed.
If The Magician upright is resourcefulness, The Magician reversed is resourcefulness wasted. He is squandered opportunities, luck not made, chances not seized, and unfulfilled potential.
He can indicate when you’re not making progress toward your desires, and call you out when you’re using your gifts in a not-necessarily-ethical way. If you’re pushing toward a goal and using shady means to do so, expect The Magician to point it out.
When you see The Magician reversed, ask yourself what you’re missing. You have all of the gifts you need to achieve your goals, so what’s being neglected?
The Magician Meaning – As Advice (Upright)
When The Magician card emerges upright as advice in a tarot reading, it serves as a powerful reminder of your innate abilities and boundless potential.
The Magician prompts you to recognize the various tools and resources at your disposal, both tangible and intangible.
These could range from skills, knowledge, connections to sheer willpower and determination. It encourages you to seize control of your destiny and manifest your desires into reality.
With this card, the universe is telling you, “You have everything you need to succeed.” Now is the time to utilize your capabilities, put plans into action, and shape the world around you.
Harness your power, tap into your creative energy, and stay focused. The Magician’s message is one of self-reliance, initiative, and action – a call to manifest your reality through purposeful intent and determination.
The Magician Meaning – As Advice (Reversed)
The reversed Magician as advice in a tarot reading is a wake-up call. It warns against wasted potential, deception, and lack of direction.
Despite possessing all the tools necessary for success, something seems to be misaligned or obstructing the manifestation of your desires.
It could be a lack of focus, over-reliance on others, or even self-deception. The advice from this card is to look inward and identify any blocks that might be preventing you from reaching your full potential.
Consider where you might be neglecting your abilities or acting unethically. The reversed Magician encourages a reassessment of your goals and methods.
Are your intentions clear? Are you being honest with yourself and others?
Recognizing and acknowledging these potential pitfalls can put you back on the path to effective manifestation and authentic success.
The Magician Meaning – Health (Upright)
When The Magician card appears in an upright position in a health reading, it’s a strong indication of the power of will and the ability to take control of one’s well-being.
It speaks of manifesting positive changes through conscious action and making use of all available resources.
This could mean adopting healthier habits, seeking new treatments, or utilizing a more holistic approach to health.
The Magician reminds us that we have the necessary tools and knowledge within us to influence our physical and mental well-being positively.
It encourages proactiveness and responsibility for one’s own health. However, it also suggests that balance is key – it’s as important to pay attention to spiritual and emotional health as it is to physical health.
This card embodies the belief in one’s ability to determine the course of their health journey and manifest the best possible outcomes.
The Magician Meaning – Health (Reversed)
When The Magician card appears reversed in a health reading, it could signal that one’s health is not being adequately prioritized or cared for.
It suggests that you may have the resources or knowledge to improve your health but are failing to apply them. This could stem from a lack of focus, procrastination, or even self-sabotage.
It may be a call to examine potential areas of neglect or denial in your health regimen. Furthermore, the reversed Magician can also hint at hidden health issues that might be ignored or overlooked.
In such cases, it advises seeking professional medical advice rather than relying solely on self-treatment. Importantly, this card reminds us that good health requires consistent effort and conscious choices.
It warns against short-term thinking or quick fixes and encourages a more comprehensive and holistic approach to wellness.
Remember, the Magician, even reversed, signals that you possess the tools to enhance your health – it’s a matter of using them effectively.
The Magician Meaning – As a Person (Upright)
When The Magician appears upright in a reading to represent a person, it points to an individual who is highly skilled, resourceful, and possesses a dynamic, magnetic personality.
This person likely holds a wealth of knowledge and has an innate ability to utilize their resources effectively, bringing their intentions to fruition.
They are usually seen as charismatic and influential, often adept at communication and persuasion. They are the kind of people who can captivate a room with their presence and articulate their visions convincingly.
Their mastery over the elements of the tarot – the pentacle, cup, sword, and wand – suggests a well-rounded individual, balanced in their emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and practical capabilities.
It could also indicate someone who is a natural problem solver, able to use their creativity and adaptability to overcome obstacles.
However, it’s essential to remember that while they are highly accomplished, they remain humble, recognizing that their power lies not in the tools they wield but in their will and inner strength.
The Magician Meaning – As a Person (Reversed)
When the Magician card is reversed and represents a person, it may depict someone who has many talents and skills, but for various reasons, isn’t using them to their full potential.
These individuals may lack confidence or direction, or they may have become complacent, neglecting opportunities for personal growth and achievement.
They could also be experiencing a lack of focus or clarity, struggling to establish a solid plan or vision for the future.
Alternatively, the Magician reversed might indicate a person who is deceptive or manipulative, using their skills and resources for selfish or unethical ends.
They may appear charming and resourceful on the surface, but under scrutiny, their true motives can reveal a potential for deceit and manipulation.
As such, it serves as a warning to be cautious around such individuals.
The Magician Meaning – Love & Relationships (Upright)
In a love reading, The Magician retains all of his basic meaning — just applied to romance. If you’re looking for a relationship, he’s a sign that it’s time to seize the opportunity to meet people.
You’re at the stage where you’re ready to connect with someone, you just need to take the steps to do so. If you let this chance pass you by, you may regret it.
If you’re already in a relationship, The Magician can symbolize bringing the “magic” back into your love life. Now is the time to experiment. Do you or your partners have any desires you’d like to manifest? The time is right to try them out.
The Magician Meaning – Love & Relationships (Reversed)
The Magician is a clever, resourceful character, but let’s not forget magicians’ talent for sleight-of-hand. When this card appears reversed in a love reading, it’s generally a sign that someone’s pulling the wool over your eyes.
Someone — whether a new partner, or a long-term love — has you watching him or her pull rabbits out of a hat with one hand, too distracted to see what they’re doing with the other one.
On a more positive note, The Magician can point to you, yourself. If you’re putting up an illusion as a defense mechanism, or being deliberately deceptive with a partner, this card will show up to point it out.
The Magician Meaning – As Feelings (Upright)
When The Magician makes an appearance in an upright position within the context of feelings, it radiates empowerment, assurance, and possibility.
This card’s presence suggests that the person in question finds you to be a source of inspiration and empowerment, kindling a sense of capability within them that they may not have realized existed.
They perceive you as an enabler of growth and a catalyst for transformation. With you, they feel like they can unlock their potential and successfully manifest their dreams into reality.
They feel that the world is at their fingertips, and that, together, you can create magic, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.
There’s a sense of shared enthusiasm and drive, a dynamic duo effect that makes them feel invincible. Your relationship with them imbues their life with a sense of purpose and intentionality.
They feel motivated, alive, and ready to conquer any challenges that may come their way. Your presence, in essence, mirrors The Magician’s empowering energy, making them feel capable and magical.
The Magician Meaning – As Feelings (Reversed)
The Magician reversed in the context of feelings signifies a sense of delay, disillusionment, or deception.
When it comes to their feelings toward you, the person in question may feel a certain level of hesitation or ambivalence.
They acknowledge the potential that the relationship holds, but are apprehensive about acting on these emotions at present.
On one hand, you make them feel inspired and invincible, yet on the other, they’re cautious about fully committing to these feelings. There’s an undercurrent of uncertainty or even disappointment.
Alternatively, this card might indicate that they feel deceived or manipulated by you, causing them to question their initial feelings and perhaps reassess the relationship.
The reversed Magician prompts them to think critically about the authenticity of their feelings and the authenticity of yours.
This card thus represents a struggle with self-doubt, apprehension, and the fear of deceit, all causing a delay in the actualization of their feelings towards you.
The Magician Meaning – As Reconciliation (Upright)
The Magician card in an upright position in the context of reconciliation represents a strong force pulling you back towards a past relationship.
This force is so potent that it seems almost like magic, suggesting a powerful bond that can’t easily be broken.
The other party may actively be trying to manifest a reunion, employing their personal charm and power of persuasion to recreate a bond that once existed.
However, be aware. The Magician can be cunning, and it’s important to discern if the reconciliation is genuinely for the best, or merely a deceptive illusion.
This doesn’t mean that reconciliation is necessarily a negative option, but it’s a prompt to reassess and reevaluate the relationship and what led to the initial separation.
The Magician upright might signify a second chance, but it also reminds you to be cautious, observant, and attentive to the true intentions behind the desire for reconciliation.
The Magician Meaning – As Reconciliation (Reversed)
In the reversed position, The Magician card hints at a less promising prospect of reconciliation.
There may be a sense of disingenuous intent or even manipulation on the part of the person seeking reconciliation.
They might not view you as their ideal partner but rather as a temporary filler or a ‘right now’ solution, exploiting your emotional vulnerability for their benefit.
It could also signify a lack of clear, honest communication or even deceit, making reconciliation more challenging.
Reversed, The Magician advises caution, encouraging you to look beyond illusions and understand the genuine motivations at play.
This card, in essence, serves as a warning: tread carefully in matters of reconciliation, ensure honesty and transparency, and avoid falling into old patterns that led to the breakup in the first place.
The Magician Meaning – Pregnancy (Upright)
When The Magician appears in an upright position in a reading about pregnancy or potential pregnancy, it typically suggests a very positive outcome.
The Magician is all about creation, willpower, and the power to manifest one’s desires into reality. In the context of pregnancy, this could indicate a successful conception or a favorable pregnancy journey.
The card might also suggest that the querent possesses all the resources and abilities they need to navigate the path of parenthood successfully.
This could mean that they are physically prepared for pregnancy, or that they are emotionally ready to take on the responsibilities of parenthood.
However, it’s essential to remember that The Magician is also about timing. It implies that the querent must take the right action at the right time.
Therefore, in some situations, this card might be a signal to pay attention to fertility cycles and to be proactive about health and well-being, both for themselves and the potential child.
The Magician Meaning – Pregnancy (Reversed)
When The Magician appears reversed in a reading concerning pregnancy or potential pregnancy, it could indicate potential challenges or delays.
This card suggests a lack of alignment, possibly manifesting as difficulties in conception or struggles during pregnancy. It’s a call to realign and reassess, rather than a definitive no.
The reversed Magician might also hint at self-doubt or feelings of inadequacy regarding parenthood.
The querent could be holding themselves back due to fear or uncertainty, which can create emotional barriers to conceiving or enjoying the journey of pregnancy.
Alternatively, this card could signify issues around communication or misused energy.
It may be a reminder to the querent to express their feelings about parenthood openly or to ensure that they are not wasting their energy on unproductive worries or activities.
In the context of fertility, this card may urge the querent to seek advice or consultation if they’ve been facing issues. The reversed Magician reminds us that while we possess inner resources, we also need to know when to seek help externally.
The Magician Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Upright)
One of The Magician’s tools is the pentacle, symbol of the element of Earth and the energy of prosperity. That indicates that he’s a very positive omen when it comes to manifesting wealth and success. He often appears when you are — or soon will be — beginning a new venture.
The thing is, manifestation is more than simply wishing and waiting for the universe to fill your hands. The Magician indicates that you have all of the knowledge and tools you require to succeed — the decision to use them is in your hands.
He’s also a card of tremendous will. You want success, and you have the means to seize it for yourself. Will you do it, or will you allow this opportunity pass you by? Your future is in your hands.
If you’re starting a business with someone else, then The Magician may appear as a warning. As in a love reading, he may show up in his illusionist aspect.
That means that it’s time to ask yourself how well you really know this potential business partner, and whether they’re being fully honest with you.
The Magician Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Reversed)
When The Magician is reversed in a career, business, or money reading, he indicates unfulfilled potential. He still has all of the tools, knowledge, and will to succeed, but something is blocking the manifestation.
He can symbolize feelings of impostor syndrome or insecurity that keep you from fully using your skills, or even feelings of frustration or a loss of enthusiasm.
Sometimes, he may show that you have most of the skills you need, but are lacking one crucial aspect — like a skilled artisan who can’t also be a social media and marketing expert. In either case, the message is the same: Something is missing here.
The Magician: Yes or No?
The Magician is one of the clearest cards you can possibly get in a “Yes or No” reading. He represents power and manifestation — he literally has all of the tools and knowledge he needs to create the reality he wants.
When he appears to answer your query, the answer is “Yes!”
On the other hand, The Magician reversed becomes his opposite. He may appear to chide you and tell that you have the ability to get the outcome that you want, but simply aren’t doing the things you need to do. The answer is “No.”
The Magician is cunning and powerful. When he’s upright and on your side, he can be an omen of success. On the other side, he may signify self-sabotage, or even someone who isn’t fully honest.
No matter how he appears, when The Magician arrives in a reading, things are always exciting.
See also: For more Tarot Card meanings, check out our full list of Tarot Cards and their meanings.