Le Bateleur, The Trickster, The Teacher
Upright – Power, Skill, Control, Concentration, the ability to turn knowledge and resources into action.
Reverse – Manipulation, poor planning, latent abilities being misused / not used effectively.
The Magician of Rider-Waite-Smith
The Magician stands before the table, the tools of his trade laid out before him; the Sword, the Pentacle, the Cup and the Stave. Crowned with the symbol of infinite possibility and power he raises a wand in his dominant right hand and gestures to the earth with his left hand. He stands at the centre of creation, uniting heaven and earth, and represents the divine potential that lies within all of us. He is a man of ability and power, able to transform all the resources available to him into the desired reality.
The Magician has another side, however. He is the Trickster, filled with guile. He has so much skill that he can “fake it to make it”. He doesn’t always plan ahead, and he doesn’t mind if his success comes at the expense of others because the ends justify the means.
The Magician stands before a table on which three of the four minor arcana suites rest. Before him are the cup, sword, staff and pentacle. He is the master of these powers and can use each of them with equal ability to achieve his goal.
Whereas the Fool carried his pack on a staff the Magician holds in his hand a wand. This is a symbol of the power and authority with which the Magician moulds the energies of the card into something recognisable as a goal.
The Infinity Symbol
The looping figure of eight that represents the never-ending flow of energy and divine power is an ancient one the Infinity Symbol not only represents the divine power and potential inherent in all men it further emphasises the connection of the heavenly and an early realms in this case with the Magician in the centre creating a bridge between the two.
The Magician of the Arcana
In the Arcana deck, The Magician is represented by the violet-eyed fox. This animal symbolises both sides of the card, the Magician and the Trickster, and reminds us that guides to the realms of mystery and magic can be both teach us and beguile us. Around him are the four suites
Only the four suites are retained from the original Rider-Waite-Smith deck, all hints of the cards airy associations of the colour yellow and the divine element of the Infinity Symbol are both absent. That being said, the linking of above and below is hinted at in the position of the hands whilst the mystic blue fire is a reminder of the power and guile which lies behind the meaning of the card.
The Magician is one of six cards within the deck to be directly related to the main characters within the story. In this case, the Magician is associated with Asra, a magic user and apparent teacher and guide to the Apprentice. Asra is the person who guides the Apprentice through their recovery from illness and amnesia and is often on hand to offer mystical advice regardless of story route. The Magician is also made manifest within the game within a magical and illusionary realm and the interactions highlight the cards references to the Trickster as well as the ability to offer guidance and advice.