Inspiration Consciousness Energy Manifestation
“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.” ― Maria Montessori
Our Magician stands with his feet firmly planted on the ground at the threshold between the heavens and earth, able to tap the creative energies, harness them and direct them. He is the eureka moment, the epiphany, the flash of inspiration initiating the beginning of something. He is the conduit through which energy is directed. He is the conscious mind, using his will power to shape and change nature consciously, to put its energies to creative use.
Behind him on the wall is a map that represents the inner world and the outer world, Jung’s map of the Psyche. The Fool took the first step in the journey, but it is the Magician sets us on the path, making us aware through his miracles and tricks that there is more than meets the eye. He is male Yang energy, focused consciousness, the individual intellect doing and acting in the world, one half of your true Self that you need to get to know. He has all the tools at his disposal to get the job done.
This is the beginning, a time for decision making and action. It’s the energy of inspiration to start a project and the excitement to sustain you to complete it. There is a huge reservoir of power and energy available for you to tap into and direct. By releasing creative power you open yourself up to further flow.
This all rests on your own will. A lack of will or confusion of purpose blocks the connection to that power, leading to lethargy, apathy or depression.
The good news is that the inner and outer worlds of our psyche are connected and effecting a change in one will also effect a change in the other. The power flows in both directions. Feeling depressed and apathetic? Do something small. Take a walk. Bake cookies. Make something. Get the power flowing again, even if it just starts as a trickle.
The Magician is one powerful half of the equation in our world of dualities:
Yang and Yin
Black and white
Male and Female
Animus and Anima (can you find her reflection?)
Roses and Lilies - the red and white alchemical opposites that symbolize Masculine and Feminine
Logos and Eros
Doing and Being
Inside and Outside
Heaven and Earth
Above and Below
Tarot is a story. It’s a story about you. It’s a story about what it means to be human, about navigating the world we live in, dealing with both circumstances beyond our control and those we can control and where we find the wisdom to grow.
From the moment the Fool takes his first step, the story is set in motion, the journey has begun. This is a spiritual journey, like a labyrinth that takes us deep with ourselves and then leads us back out into the world again, much wiser for the trip. As Socrates is quoted as saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living”, meaning that it is only in striving to come to know ourselves and to understand ourselves that our lives have any meaning or value. The Tarot is a valuable tool for this process.
Like following the Christian Stations of the Cross or the initiation rituals of the Eleusian mystery religions, we can follow the progression of the cards, each card connected and building on the meaning of the card preceding it and those following it, meditating on the message and meaning of each and how they relate to our lives.
“One of the goals of initiation in the mystery religions is to introduce the individual, through a spiritual journey, to the grounds of existence, that source of consciousness and energy of which we are all manifestations. So the aim is to guide us to the knowledge of this power, and the cornucopia that is symbolic of the course of our life.” -Joseph Campbell
It is fitting that the first card in the series is the Magician. Like Hermes before him, psychopomp, soul guide, the Magician is there at the beginning of the journey, getting us started in the right direction.