Tuesdays are MAGICAL, a day for the celebration of all things TACO, TEQUILA, and TAROT. Each week, we're going to celebrate #TarotTuesday by taking a deep dive into one of the cards. We've started with the Major Arcana, and last Tuesday we took some time to look at The Magician when it presents as upright in a spread. Today, we're taking a look at The Magician Reversed (Rx).
For those new to the tribe: There are two different ways to tackle reversals in the tarot, both of which I'll be covering in Interior Creature Courses this summer. In the meantime, here's the lowdown on reversals:
- The traditional way of reading a reversal in tarot is akin to taking the definition of the card and inverting it. So, for example, take the Ace of Wands: when it appears upright in a spread, it's all about potential and inspiration and creativity. A traditional Rx reading of the Ace of Wands is all about stagnation, ambiguity and creative blocks. It's like the meaning of the card was flipped upside down. A card with an overall positive connotation presents more as a warning, and a card that traditionally presents as a warning presents as an opportunity.
- nother way of reading a tarot reversal has to do with the flow of the energy of the card. In this framework, a reversed card indicates an increase or decrease of the energy of the card, depending on its position in the spread. Using the example of the Ace of Wands, an Rx'd card at the beginning of the spread, might indicate that the energy of creativity/opportunity/inspiration is building but has yet to come to fruition. If the Rx'd card presented at the end of a spread, say in a future position, it could indicate that the energy around creativity/opportunity/inspiration is dying down. Joan Bunning goes into this framework in depth in her book Learning Tarot Reversals.
For the sake of these blog posts, we're going to focus on the traditional inversions of the cards. With that out of the way, on to The Magician (Rx).
When it appears upside-down, The Magician takes on a different energy than it does when upright. Whereas the upright Magician is all about harnessing our creative potential and turning our thoughts into things in service to the greater good, the reversed Magician takes a more self-focused approach to this work.
Let's take a closer look at the symbolism on the Rider Waite deck: when this card is upright (see above) the baton is in The Magician's right hand (we just see it on the left because we're looking AT him), which represents that he's guided by a higher, heavenly, moral authority, harnessing the powers of creation in service of the light and for the greater good.
When we tip the Magician over, his right hand is pointing down to the physical, material plane, so the focus becomes adjusted inward, and is all about using our power for destructive purposes. Now, when I say destructive, I'm not necessarily talking about using our powers in service of evil. As a guide, this card has more of a Phoenix rising from the ashes type of vibe. The creative quest we're now on via the Magician Rx is one of self-fulfillment. At it's purest, it's a search to find all of the things that light you up and give you purpose in this life. It's a reminder to hold space for them and to open yourself to truly being vulnerable because on the other side of vulnerability is incredible growth and expansion as we step into our personal power.
This card can also indicate untapped potential, or frustration and obstacles along the creative path. Maybe you've been experiencing a lack of clarity around what you want to create, or you might feel like, despite your best efforts, your creation isn't being seen or your efforts aren't being recognized. It might indicate that's it's time to take back and engage in some honest self-scrutiny: What am I doing to stand in my own way? Where can I redirect this creative energy so that it serves the greatest good? (Human Design is a FANTASTIC tool to do just that!!)
This card can also serve as a warning: the material plane is where the most shallow urges of our ego live (possessions! money! power! celebrity!), so if this card appears in a spread, it's worth taking a minute to reflect: w/r/t the things we're creating, what feeds my ego and what feeds the greater good? Really get in there and have an honest conversation as to your WHY and see what surfaces.
Want to learn more about The Magician and the other cards of the Major Arcana? Are you new to tarot and not quite sure where to start? The first Interior Creature Course, "The Tarot of Transformation: Using Tarot as a Tool for Decision-Making and Personal Spiritual Growth," is LIVE and we can't wait for you to join the class! It is chock full of videos and tutorials, downloadable cheat sheets, exercises and journal pages, and is designed to jump-start your journey toward giving yourself super powerful insightful tarot readings! The course is totally self-paced and you get unlimited access! And now, for this month only, scroll back up to the top of this page, sign up for our weekly newsletter, and receive a promo code to enter at checkout to access this course ABSOLUTELY FREE. 💕💕💕
Bunning, Joan. Learning Tarot Reversals. Weiser, 2003.
Skinner, Megan. Essence of the Tarot: Modern Reflections on Ancient Wisdom. Green Frog Publishing, 2016.
Wen, Benebell. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth. North Atlantic Books, 2015.