After the Fool emerges The Magician. He represents conscious forces, action and creation.
He holds the wand (that The Fool carried so nonchalantly on his shoulder) high above, aware of its power. His left hand points to the ground. His stance is as though he is a channel to ground the energy, a lightning rod. He draws the energy through him and grounds it in reality.
In front of him, on the table, are the 4 elements of magic, the four suits of the minor arcana. He stands surrounded by flowers to remind us that we need to remain grounded if our emotional and creative power is to have any value.
In the west we tend to see wizards as tricksters. This is partly their own fault, but is also because they deal directly with the spirit they compete with the church. And we know how the church has dealt with competition through the centuries!
A better concept of the Magician is the Shaman or medicine man. They are healers, teachers and spirit guides. They, like wizards, have undergone much training. Also, they use their power purely to serve others. They are fully aware of the danger that this great power could easily destroy them were they to try and use it for their own benefit.
In readings, the Magician stands for action and conscious awareness. First, awareness of the power in your life or someone's power affecting you. Great forces of creativity are yours if you can tap into them. The card is a signal to act now. The Magician also stands for will power and strength that you can use to achieve your goals. Rather than react to events, act, direct your strength, use your will to achieve what you want it to.
Reversed, the flow of energy has somehow become blocked. This can lead to confusion and weakness. Another meaning is the abuse of power, someone using their will to subjugate another. Finally, The Magician reversed can mean mental issues, hallucinations and fear, especially the fear of going mad.
Think of our attitude to madness and lunacy. We have tended to lock them up, either physically or with drugs (or both). In more nature based cultures, these same people are selected to become shamans. They learn to channel their experiences into useful directions.
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