Flowers frame the card by means of tree branches above and vigorous bushes below. These hand in the immediate foreground as a plain table is set to the viewer’s left. Half obscured by standing behind the table is a man in tunic and robe. His belt resembles a snake biting its tail as he faces the viewer. His left arm is slightly outstretched and points down to his left while his right arm is raised up to vertically hold a double terminated rod. A lemniscate (the infinity symbol) is above his head. A band is tied around his forehead and is partially obscured by his hair. On the table lie a platter marked with a pentacle, a tall cup, a wide hilt sword, and a long rod.
Of all the catchphrases and keywords used to describe the Magician, “humble” is not among them. This is the person willing to challenge the flow of the universe. The tools could be magical or mundane, esoteric or scientific, or a wonderful mixture of both. The Magician challenges gods and gravity, attempting to change the fabric of reality in accordance with the Magician’s will.
The Magician is a Trickster and using more than supernatural means to obtain a goal is expected. Not for nothing was this character derived from the mountebank, the corner charlatan playing sleight of hand tricks to separate the audience from their coin. Why use force which can be easily countered, when a few choice words spoken in unsuspecting ears can grant the Magician so much more! Only personal scruples keeps the Magician from being willfully malevolent to her surroundings and those on whose behalf she sets workings for.
As a standalone card, the Magician is a challenger. She doesn’t settle for the status quo, and is always looking for the opportunity to pinch, pull, or knot the fabric of spacetime. It can be a call to arms, a notice that the Querent should stop allowing things to just happen and start making them happen instead. It can be a warning, that the Querent’s hubris is about to overtake their sensibility and place them in a compromising position. If the card appears as force working against the Querent, it indicates someone is actively attempting to bring harm to the Querent, if not by magical means, then by subterfuge and manipulation.
The Magician card can be an adjective to the noun of a court card, indicating the means and temerity by which the person represented by the court card is going to use. It can be the adverb to the verb of a minor arcana card, indicating how the action or flow represented by the minor arcana card is going to express itself in the Querent’s life. It can be a standalone card, or it can be a direct challenge to the Querent. However it appears, do not underestimate the myriad ways the Magician can express itself. Its character specializes in recreating the world, after all. Why not start with you?