I can’t believe I’ve been writing this blog for months now, and I’ve not even mentioned one of my all-time favourite cards:
Card number one: The Magician
Exciting, clever, sexy magician with her clear, focused gaze and miracles popping out of her fingers. The Magician looks you square in the eye and says ‘You. Make it happen. You have the power.’ Holding one arm up high she acts as a conductor, willing lightening to strike, harnessing all the powers of the universe and shooting them down to the ground on which you stand.
The Magician, by Julie Hagan Bloch, from the Artist’s Inner Vision Tarot
The Magician is the card of will.
Manifestation of will. It ain’t all robes and magic wands and floating infinity signs. It’s about knowing what you want, and focusing on making it happen. The Magician says you have everything you need to do this, pointing to your resources which are laid on the table before you. You hadn’t even noticed they were there until now, but here they are: your emotional intelligence and your physicality, your intellect and your inner fire. You combine these with a little extra power from Out There and blammo. You got your magic.
So what the devil is this universal power thing? A very strong coffee? An energisingly sunny day or gorgeous clear night? Possibly. But it’s also about concentration, and intent. It’s about knowing, truly knowing, what you want. It’s about a particular type of self-confidence, the sort that I guess you see on things like The Apprentice and in stories of people who made it big because they really believed in what they were doing. It’s amazing how far that self-belief can get you. When you want something so bad and you really believe you can achieve it, you sort of block out the noises and voices and thoughts that tell you you can’t, you focus right in on that task and you don’t let anything hold you back.
Not that I’ve ever experienced this – I’m just guessing here. Well, maybe I have. The best example I can come up with was when I trained as a teacher recently. When I first began I was terrified – I felt like a fraud. I can’t stand in front of people and, like, tell them stuff, who am I kidding?! But I told myself I could and told myself I could and worked really damn hard and pulled out all the stops and didn’t have a social life for quite a time and bingo! I qualified. Top of the class 🙂 Now that WAS a kind of magic.
Irritatingly, like all cards where you achieve something by actually doing stuff, this one gets put in the ‘masculine’ camp.
It’s like, when people aren’t busy saying that The Emperor is the ultimate masculine thing, they say it’s this card. Even good ol’ Joan Bunning calls The Magician ‘the archetype of the active, masculine principle – the ultimate achiever.’
WTF? Why can’t we stop at ‘the archetype of the active’? Why must activity always be about masculinity, or masculinity be always about activity? Knowing far more female miracle-workers, manifesters of will, or magicians if you will, I never fail to be astounded by the stupidity of the masculine/feminine active/pasive dichotomy. I know I’ve rambled on about this before but it really does drive me doo-lally.
So for your enjoyment, I’ve compiled a little gallery of lady-like magicians for you here:
From the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tarot by Paul Lee and Rachel Pollack
From the Crimson Tarot, by Kirsten Desdemona Bramstedt
From The Goddess Tarot, by Kris Waldher
By Spudsonfire on Deviant Art
By Christine D Folkers
From the Silver Era Tarot, by Aunia Khan and Russell J Moon
From the Barbie Tarot by Michelle Erica Green
This last one is actually The Seer from the Wildwood Tarot (illustration y Will Worthington). This card is aligned with The High Priestess. But she looks like a magician to me and she sure seems to be embodying that active principle so I’ve popped her in for your viewing pleasure.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.