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78 Weeks: Bateleur / Magician

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spoonbender's Avatar
spoonbender  spoonbender is offline
Join Date: 08 Jan 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 1,041

I decided to also link every card of the week to a mythological figure, as I think it will help me understand the card better.
I would link the Magician to Odysseus. Unlike the Iliad, where everyone is inferior to the gods, in the Odyssey, every person has individual responsibility, and, while the gods still play an important role, they can take their fate into their own hands. Odysseus was called “the man of a thousand ruses” – he is cunning, clever and inventive (he was, after all, the originator of Trojan horse) and doesn’t give up when he has his mind set on something. Odysseus can convince anyone with his honeysweet words... The father of Odysseus’ grandpa was Hermes himself, which fits in quite nicely with the general association with Hermes.

Top   #31
Darla's Avatar
Darla  Darla is offline
Join Date: 11 Dec 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 457

Since I decided to join you in the 78 week study, here is what I discovered in the two decks I'm gonna use (Hudes and Gothic Vampires) about the magician.

The Magician is sitting on a desk. Behind the desk there is a wall which is covered with mechanical maps. On the desk there is an open book with alchemical signs. There is also a knife (swords), a cup with a plant, and in his hands he is holding a compass (pentacles) and an astronomical model (wands). Above his head floats the symbol of infinity.

The Magician is determined to understand the world consisting of the material world (maps) and the spiritual (elements, infinity). He combines his knowledge of both worlds in the alchemy. He wants to learn both and has self-confidence and willpower to achieve his goals. In order to learn he uses logical thinking and rationality as well as spirituality.

The vampire is holding a young woman tightly who is totally under his spell. She throwed her head back which exposes her neck. Her eyes are closed and she gave up all control and is willing to surrender. There is erotic and lust. The background is colored in black and blue and there are skulls.

The Magician enjoys to use the power which he has over people. The woman is caught in his magic. He aspires power but he also aspires knowledge because everytime when he bites a human it brings him closer to his own nature which he is desperate to understand later in his journey. The skulls are a symbol for the death that goes along with his magic.
Top   #32
wildinthemist's Avatar
wildinthemist  wildinthemist is offline
Join Date: 13 Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 30


Sometimes I have an 'er duh!' moment ... which could be translated into an 'ah ha!' moment depending on how silly I feel. It goes like this - The Magician - > Mercury - > Hermes - > The Emerald Tablet of Hermes - >As Above, So Below - > er duh! of course ... how come it took so long to see that connection!!!!!
Top   #33
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Phoenyx*  Phoenyx* is offline
Join Date: 17 Jan 2004
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 667

January 18, 2003 - The Magician.

Rider-Waite Deck
  • The basic background color is yellow, a very bright strong yellow.
  • A man stands behind a wooden table. He wears a white robe, cinched at the waist by what looks like a metal (silver?) belt in the shape of an oroborous (a snake consuming its tail), a white headband around his forehead, with a red stole hanging over the white robe over both his shoulders. His right arm is extended upwards and holds a white wand vertically (? not quite sure what that is), his left arm is extended downwards, his index finger pointing diagonally towards the ground.
  • The table in front of him is wooden, a natural material of the earth, crafted by man's hands into something that a person can use. The legs of it are black (though it could be wooden as well, and that is just the shadow, haven't figured that out yet). On the sides of the table surface are symbols engraved: a upwards facing bird (dove?), a symbol I haven't quite been able to figure out what it is, and waves of water, possibly from a lake or sea.
  • On the table are four objects: a pentacle, most likely made of the same material as the chalice (gold?), a chalice whose top is round, and bottom is square, made of the same material as the pentacle, a sword, possibly made of iron (definitely not made of the same material as the oroborous), and a wooden staff.
  • In front of the table, and thusly the man, is an overgrowing, wild garden, with roses and lilies in it. Above the man completely are hanging roses.
  • Hanging above the man's head, and seemingly not of the same plane of existance as the table, flowers, and objects, is a lemniscate (infinity symbol). It seems to me that it comes from something within the man.
Top   #34
wildinthemist's Avatar
wildinthemist  wildinthemist is offline
Join Date: 13 Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 30

I read somewhere ... and I can't for the life of me remember where .... that the yellow skies in the RWS were symbolic of a 'golden dawn'.
Top   #35
CreativeFire's Avatar
CreativeFire  CreativeFire is offline
Join Date: 07 Jan 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,815

The Magician

Have almost now caught up on the cards I missed in the 78 week study as I started a few weeks late ... so here are my quick notes on the Magician.

Have used the RWS and the Sharman-Caselli together as a comparison. They are very similar images but with some subtle differences.

The Magician wears a white robe - indicating purity of intentions, with a red cloak over the top - indicating passion and desire. He wears an ouroborous as his belt (a snake eating his own tail) which is a symbol of eternity.

He has one hand holding a wand pointing up towards the sky and the other hand points down towards the ground. Makes me think he is like a conduit or bridge between the two. Like he can draw on the powers above and direct them towards the earth / material world. In the RWS he holds the wand in his right hand but in the Sharman-Caselli he holds it in his left hand. Left for creativity - right for action. This seems to me to fit more with the Sharman-Caselli hands.

He stands behind a table with his "tools of the trade" on it - symbols of the four suits of the Minor Arcana - Wands, Cups, Pentacles, Swords - also symbolic of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. This could indicate that he can apply magic or powerful direction or guide in the areas of material path (pentacles); emotional path (Cups); Intellectual path (Swords); creative path (Wands).

He has a leminscate floating over his head in the RWS deck - symbol of infinity. In the Sharman-Caselli deck there is no symbol over his head but the table has a pattern around the edge of leminiscates. He stands in a garden with red roses (passion and desire) and white lilies (purity of spirit). Here is the same combination as the white robe and red cloak indicate. They must indicate a balance of some sort or that you need both purity of spirit and the desire and passion to put creative power into action to create. A composite of innocence and experience.

The Magician sometimes reminds me of a traffic cop or airport runway guy with the round things (sorry can't remember what the correct term is for this job). This is a bit of an abstract association as you don't see these guys running around in white and red robes, but it makes me think of someone using their knowledge and giving directions, guiding you in the correct path or direction.

Another impression from these images is that he is ready for action and has all his tools laid out ready to create something. It just needs your imagination to figure out what will be created or what new opportunity will arise. Conscious action and creation. The idea of manifestion / magic - out of the elements of life - making something real. He is able to harness and direct the energy power or magic.

But can this guy be trusted? As the name suggests he is a Magician after all (from the dictionary: magician ~ a person who practices magic, uses supernatural forces and practices to change or influence normal events; a conjuruer.) Is what he creates real or just an illusion. Does he create or send us in the direction of what we want or what we need but may not know it - makes me think of "be careful what you wish for". In the Sharman-Caselli, in particular, he looks quite a handsome, charming man which immediatley puts me on guard (apologies to the handsome, charming men out there who may be genuine/sincere . But it makes me think that he is almost too good to be true, this man standing in a wonderful garden, with all the options on his table and the power to magically create or direct you on your path of life. Thinking of the Fool here and that this can be sometimes thought of his first stop on his journey - how could he possibly know what is wanted or needed so early on in his journey or is it just showing him that there are all these different options and that you can have the active power to manifest these into what is required for that particular cycle. Am probably going off on this tangent as he came up in a reading yesterday as the final outcome for a friend who wanted to know what direction her career would go as she does not know what she really wants to do - he seemed to be indicating that she has the power and the creativity and the will to direct her energies but made me think she needs to be careful to what she applies this drive and energy. Am really rambling now .... so will go off and give The Magician some more thought.

Will go and read the other posts now which will no doubt give me further insight and ideas.

Top   #36
tmgrl2's Avatar
tmgrl2  tmgrl2 is offline
Join Date: 15 Feb 2004
Location: NY, US
Posts: 8,368

I just started yesterday with the Fool and know that the study is ahead of me....but will progress and catch up a bit...
Magician: My journaling brings forth images of Gandalf from LOTR, one of my favorite characters...or Dumbledore (Harry Potter)since RW has a "goody-two-shoes" look that one poster described. I agree ...I think it does. I see this as the power of our creativity through action. The wand channels the energies through us as we start this action or new project (for me the Tarot). Since the card isn't reversed (I think that would be the trickster, or the misuse or abuse of power) I, as the Magician, have been given all the tools I need (each on the table representing each, emotions/love, mind/intellect and "down-to-earth" hard-work...
The infinity above The Magician's head, I see as infinite possibilities and outcomes here, available to me as long as I continue to channel (through wand) my energies into action
(the earth, the other hand pointing toward earth.)

The beauty of flowers around Magician suggests the beauty of
the creative nature we have...the power to create beauty
the power of the positive...I like the "good" Magician, but feel ready to read the Magician reversed....just not during the study.
This is a great thread, Luna...thanks again..I'm a bit behind, but will do some work and maybe catch up...
Top   #37
inanna_tarot's Avatar
inanna_tarot  inanna_tarot is offline
Join Date: 28 Jan 2004
Location: Devon UK
Posts: 5,233
Talking my Magicians

Hey all-
i've decided to tag along here to! Heres my work from looking and thinkin about the card today!
Tarot of the Old Path
- The setting is outside, at night with a full moon, the traditional "night of magick". The lightening bolt adds to this atmosphere. It's definitely a special night given to the Magician by the Lord and Lady, and the Magician takes full advantage of it for magick and divination.
-Standing stones - a cycle of using ancient methods in new ways, you can practice low or high magick but its does the same thing at the end of the day! Stonehenge is an important site even though its covered with mystery and no one knows why it is really there, but people use it as a place to perform modern rituals strange to its time. Which is reflected with the inverted triangles meaning God and wisdom - the picture of God has changed over the centuries but many still believe in a Divine, different religions and rituals but they all to the same enlightened path at the end! Also the Pagan god is ever changing as he lives, dies and is reborn.
- The unicorn symbolising the purity of mind and intent, but also the unicorn is a beast of myth and mystery, adding to the atmosphere to the card, and that even though the unicorn isnˇ¦t believed to exist, it is still a powerful symbol of purity, hope and potential!
- The wolf reflects the magicians use of his senses and applies them in his work/survival! Being near to the fire shows the raw energies and instinct of the wolf and the magician. The magician is separate from the wolf- meaning he uses his senses and instinct but also his rational mind.
- In his right hand the magician holds the sword ˇV a symbol of air and intellect but also itˇ¦s a commanding tool, perhaps commanding the gods to show the answer to his question in the runes (thrown in his left intuitive hand). Maybe he is using divination to check the influences around a magickal act ˇV conscious of cause and effect.
-The furs and antlers show his affinity with the stag and the God. A man that's rational but emersed in the energies of nature and instinct.
- Around the magician are the elements; fire - the burning sheaf, air - the sword he holds, water - the chalice/cup, earth - the stone the cup is placed on.

Barbara Walker Tarot
- Tree to the side of the magician is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. Trees are also linked with the idea of "As Above, So Below" with deep roots and high reaching branches.
- The green background shows the potential and fertility or possible growth from the Magician of ideas and practises.
- The hat brim makes the infinity sign, again concious of cause and effect of his actions.
- The hat top makes a triangle, and the cloak pin makes an inverted triangle - showing balance and perhaps how the magician is "in between the worlds".
-The use of red and black with the hat and cape. Black on the outside for protection, mystery, and red on the inside for passion, raw energy like the elements, which are on the inside of the cloak to show they are hidden or undercontrol for this magickal act?
- Yellow waistband around the solar plexus for intellect and covering/fueling a main chakra for energy.
- Blue trousers - emotions are on the lower half of the body, untamed emotions, still there but controlled.
- Black boots are with the protective, grounding uses of the black hat and cloak.
-Table has a chalice (red ˇV maybe a symbol of menstruation?), pentacle and sword (both yellow for intellect, solar energy). The wand is in his head which is red also (a phallic symbol to go with the chalice perhaps).
- Standing outside, on the raw earth, grounding energy shows consciousness of actions for magick and change.

just my two penny worth
Top   #38
BlueLotus's Avatar
BlueLotus  BlueLotus is offline
Romantic Fool
Join Date: 06 Dec 2003
Location: La La Land
Posts: 41,265
Magician - The Cosmic Tribe

I quote from the accompanying book:

"The Magician creates the conduit between the cosmic mind and earthly reality. The glowing golden wand at the center represents this conduit. With sleight of hand, the Magician conjures the elements with his wand : air butterfly, water fish, earth flower and fire-spirit mushroom suddenty appear in the circle of his moving hands. They each have eyes to remind us that all is not as it appears to be. We can be tricked into thinking that the wand creates the elements out of the cosmic ether. But it could just as easily be that the energies behind the elements creat the wand. Is it this or that? Neither or both? Perhaps he is signaling some force in another of those realms beyond our common understanding. the Magician awes us with the mysteries of an omnipotent universe...."

I would say that the Magician seems very confident in his own skills and dexterity. He is usually likened to the Gemini sun sign personality and I see the resemblance clearly. Both use their hands liberally, and their minds spin at 1000 spins a second. No one can quite follow, let alone achieve, as much as the Magician in record time. For me, he has the brain, stamina, the swiftness of air ( intelligence, trickery ) to achieve and reach his goals. It would be to the benefit of everyone to use these qualities for good ends.
Top   #39
inanna_tarot's Avatar
inanna_tarot  inanna_tarot is offline
Join Date: 28 Jan 2004
Location: Devon UK
Posts: 5,233
pathworking with RW magician

Hey all, heres my first ever results from pathworking!

i brought up the image of the magician in my head and it kind of shimmered (yeah likein the movies) and it was real in my head!
The magician was outside in a field, doing his pose (arm up, arm
down etc) with his tools on the table, chanting some magic words,
and then he was very busy with the things on his table.
I walked up to him and said hello how are you etc (very politely)
and he was really really busy! So busy he didnt notice i was there
for awhile. He only had eyes for his little project.
I asked what he was doing and he mentioned something about studying, starting to put his interest and knowledge into practice.
I asked why he was outside, because he can get more done out here than indoors - why - because theres far too many distractions and negative energies in the house for the project to go right. I gathered he and his project (perhaps an alchemist) are highly sensitive. He mentioned more about people not understanding, so he sneaks off to learn and experiment.
All the time he was talking to me, he was fiddling with things on
his table. There was a cauldron on the table resting on a pentacle, the wand he was using to stir the pot, and the sword, well long knife was being used to cut up the bits and pieces for the brew.

What do you reckon of that?!

Top   #40



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