1. The Magician

Our second-tier Tarot resources weigh in on the the Magician as follows:

993ar01Stephan Hoeller writes:

“As understanding reaches into the heart of divinity, supreme illumination and boundless power become the experience of the soul. . . . Transform me oh magical lord of my soul!  Bring into my personality the flash of divine lightning, so that I may awaken to the consciousness of my authentic nature” (The Fool’s Pilgrimage 113).

Amber Jayanti writes:

“The magician’s hand gestures communicate the ancient hermetic axiom, ‘As above, so below; as below, so above.’  Each human personality or ego is a vehicle, medium, or channel through which the one divine spirit manifests itself.  The magician is your conscious awareness of yourself as and individual” (Tarot for Dummies 76).

Joan Bunning writes:

“[The Magician] represents the active, masculine power of creative impulse.  He is also our conscious awareness . . . the force that allows us to impact the world through a concentration of individual will and power. . . He symbolizes the power to tap universal forces and use them for creative purposes.  Note his stance in the picture. He acts as a lightening rod – one arm extended up into the Divine for inspiration, the other pointing toward Earth to ground this potent energy. ” (Learning the Tarot).

And A.E. Waite writes:

” 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 . . . In the Magician’s right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, while the left hand is pointing to the earth. This dual sign . . . 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. . . . 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 . . .” (The Pictorial Key to the Tarot).

While all of the forgoing descriptions might be interpreted in a way that is generally consistent with Tomberg’s understanding, Hoeller’s treatment– while not uninsightful –might seem (from the perspective of Tomberg) to give off at least a whiff of inflation, in the Jungian sense (or, at any rate, it may pose an inflationary hazard to unsuspecting readers–inflation being yet another of the perils of The Fool which will be discussed in Letter VII on The Chariot).  

Additional second and third tier materials may be added from time to time…  Click here for the primary study guide on The Magician.

preview 01. The Magicianpreview 02. The High Priestess

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