By Joy Marshall | Instagram
Hello my magical friends! In the last blog we talked about The Fool and her journey through the Major Arcana. Now that we are moving on to The Magician, I think this would be a good time to briefly discuss what the Major Arcana actually is.
The Major Arcana
The Fool is represented by Zero; she is neither the beginning nor the end, but rather the main subject of our story. There are 22 cards in all, they are numbered 0 – 21.The other 21 cards in the Major Arcana represent The Fool’s path and parts of her journey to enlightenment. The Major Arcana reveal the big things in life, important archetypes that all people experience. These cards represent life lessons and are the structure of human consciousness. While the Minor Arcana can be considered the day to day experiences of individuals, the Major Arcana discusses the universal themes of the human condition.
The Image of the Magician
We can think of The Magician as The Fool’s first stop through the Major Arcana. As The Magician is Arcana 1, it signifies the beginning of magical understanding and represents the inherent magical power we all possess. I love it when this card shows up in a reading because it reminds us that everything we need is at our fingertips. The properties of this card are inherent to all of us and serve as a reminder that we have the power to shape our own path.
The Magician shows a confident young woman wearing red robes, a white tunic, and, in many depictions, a snake eating its own tail is wrapped around her waist. She wears a white headband, and above her head is the figure eight symbol for eternity. In one hand, she holds a double-ended candle towards the sky, and the other hand points to the earth. On the worktable are her tools; the symbols of the Minor Arcana that represent the four elements. In front of her, vines and flowers bloom and twine around her worktable.
The Symbolism of the Magician
There is a lot of symbolism here, so let’s break it down! She is a young woman, at the start of her journey. Her red robes symbolize action, purpose, knowledge, and intent. The white tunic represents purity and connection to her intuition. The snake eating its own tail symbolizes self-containment and eternal regeneration. The figure eight is the mark of infinity. The white headband indicates purity of thought. The double-ended candle pointing towards the sky connects the spirit realm and material realm. Her other hand points towards the Earth, further emphasizing this connection. This connection is often referenced by the phrase, “as above, so below.”
On the worktable can be found the sum of all worldly endeavors, the tools of the Minor Arcana and representations of all four elements. The cup to represent water, the pentacle to connect to earth, the sword to illustrate air and the wand to mean fire. The flowers growing in front of her represent our connection to nature and the ever-constant growth we experience on our journey. I included a book in this image to represent the idea that we are all students of life, constantly learning and referring to the wisdom of those who came before us.
Putting it All Together
Ultimately, this card talks about manifesting our potential by using the tools available to us. We can use the worldly tools represented by the cup, pentacle, sword and wand. We can also use our intuition, our spiritual connection. We can focus the energy of the spirit realm and the physical realm to attain our goals and dreams. Profound magic can be performed when we focus these two energies. We can grow, and learn, and constantly repeat this cycle, all the days of our lives.
This card encourages us to act right now. Don’t procrastinate, don’t make up excuses not to take the leap. You have all the tools you need right now. Don’t wait until the circumstances are “just right” to make the move. This card illustrates the force of will power, and the ability to control and shape our destinies. It’s about creating something from nothing. It’s an act of commitment and assumed responsibility for our lives. This card reminds us that we are students first and should never stop learning and that we inherently have the power to make our path exactly what we want it to be.
About the Contributors: Joy Marshall and Tatiana Pimentel are a photographer-model duo on a journey to create accessible and diverse fantasy art that tells a story and helps people connect to their own path. Find more information at The Witching Hour Photography.