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Join Date: 26 Aug 2002
Location: Deep East Texas
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Maat Tarot Study Group The Magician


The Magician

In contrast to the dramatic, archetypal qualities of birth that we saw in The Devil, The Magician, which treats more or less the same theme seems almost ordinary. Or better to say, some ordinary things are to be seen. There’s a bed and linens; I think I see a pillow on her left. There’s a table upon which rest some interesting and fairly ordinary objects: a bowl of water, a knife to cut the umbilical cord, a pencil (I think) and a birth chart. At the end of the table is a green sprig valiantly forming new leaves in midwinter. That plant must issue from a bulb.

And is that a stylized lily pattern on the bowl and on the knife? Very apt, if so. Certainly everything looks clean, bright and quiet: purity rather than passion rules. The shadows are soft, and the light, glowing opalescent and almost sourceless, looks as if it came from a shining pearl. Around the mother’s neck a golden scarab hangs like a tiny sun rising just above the infant’s newly cut cord. The infinity sign presents here as an analemma, just as we saw in the Strength card. Mother and child face each other now. The mythical moment between the demise of the old sun and the birth of the new has passed. The mother holds her perfected work—ten lunar cycles worth—in both hands and lovingly blesses it with a kiss. The infant with eyes still shut against the unaccustomed brightness touches her face.

The analemma and the scarab are clues that this birth is cyclical. The scarab is an Egyptian symbol of life, the sun and resurrection. The analemma is the annual declination pattern that the sun creates on the earth’s face throughout the year—a daily kiss, perhaps, of growth energy. Then, from out of the earth, the potential for new beings arises, but it takes a Magician to convert something from a potential state into an actual state of being. In RWS we see the Magician attempting conversion with a wand in his raised right hand and with his left hand pointing to the ground. He acts as a conductor, bringing to solid earth something that was elsewhere and invisible. In the Maat we learn that every mother is a magician (for she does the same) and that every year is a magical gift to us from earth and sun.

Mother and child are still very close, but they are separate, now—something for would-be magicians to think about. One’s works have a life of their own. Never carry any despicable work, let alone give it birth. Instead, form each work well and bless it. It will touch you in return.
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