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The Magician Reversed

Upright, the Magician can stand for either a person or possibilities. As a person, he's usually seen as someone with a great deal of charisma; a public speaker, maybe a doctor or healer.

If not a person, the Magician is a card of possibilities. Of having the tools available (those spread out on his table) to make something that you want or need. The Magician speaks of magical possibilities--he creates the image for the querent, what could be, and presents the tools that can be used to make that image a reality.

Putting it another way, the Magician card offers the querent the vision of a new home and the tools to make that home a reality...if they're willing to put the work into it.

So what does this card say reversed?

1) Opposites: There are negative aspects to the Magician card and a reader using reversals might simply save them for reversed cards. Negatives in this case are seeing the Magician as a "snake oil" man rather than a true doctor/healer, as a trickster rather than a shaman, as a con-artist rather than a charismatic speaker.

Reversed, possibilities become jokes; empty promises rather than true visions of what could be. This is the "music man" running off with the money rather than really teaching boys how to use those instruments and create a band.

2) Blocked: Blockage undoubtedly seems evident here. The charismatic speaker finds he can't move his audience, can't find the right words. The doctor has trouble with a diagnosis.

And there seem to be neither possibilities for the future, nor a way to achieve such possibilities. There seems to be no way to make or get what is needed. The lumber to build the house is there, but the blueprints and tools are missing.

3) Upside-down: If we imagine the Rider-Waite Magician reversed, we can see those tools falling off the table. Likewise, the Magician in that card points his wand to the sky and finger to the Earth - drawing inspiration down from the heavens, as it were to make it possible in the mundane world. Upside-down, (earth at Magician's head, heaven at his feet) we have the opposite. What was possible become impossible; a dream only seen above not below.

Likewise, the lemniscate (infinity sign) is now being crushed. It no longer floats and offers infinite possibilities. It is "underfoot" as it were.

Thus, everything the magician had to be a Magician is lost to him.

Get this reversed card meaning, plus all the upright meanings, symbols and stories in The Tarot Reading Companion eBook - download it now.

Go back to the list of Reversed Tarot Card Meanings.

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