Key Phrase: There is a master within.
Symbolism: The physical unit is mature, healthy, and strong. Lemniscate above (your Spiritual Ego) and below (your Bodily Ego) indicate a strong connection with everything properly aligned. The figure stands tall, aligned, confident, and proud. Palm pointed up, palm pointed down, the master implements the Divine Plan and completes The Great Work. Highest Self united with self. Bodily Ego merged with Spiritual Ego and aligned. That which is in Consciousness above reflected perfectly in matter below. The Soul has arrived in an open, receptive, healthy, and mature Physical Unit. United as one, they manifest physical creation in the direction of light, love, and magic.
New Energy Narrative
This archetype is an extension of the Joyful archetype. This archetype provides an elaboration on the big questions “Who am I” and “Why am I here.”
As you learned with the Joyful archetype, in the new energy, you are here with a purpose and your purpose is to complete the Great Work so that the planet may graduate. This archetype extends the Joyful narrative by presenting you as a master of creation. You are an “old soul,” as are we all. You have incarnated in a Physical Unit many times and have gained much experience on your journeys. Now, you will use this experience and the mastery it has provided to manifest and complete the Great Work.
Please take note, you are no passive receptacle.
You are no mere vessel.
You are no empty conduit.
You are no passive lamb.
You are no simple servant.
You are no fallen angel.
You are no descended ape.
You are not here to “learn your lessons.”
You are not here to “find your place” in the castes and classes of this world.
On the contrary, you are a caretaker, nurturer, and gardener. You are the architect, the will, and the way. You are a master of manifestation and creation. Having incarnated into a body thousands of times, you are an expert at the thing that you do. You have a special purpose and you are here to implement a special plan. Heal and reconnect. Awaken and take your place. Open and expand your connection. Find and embrace the master within.
Old Energy Narrative
In the old energy, the message of the Magician is mostly the same as the new energy message of the Master. In the old energy, this card also represents a master (here conceived as a magician) as someone with control over creation, someone who has “creative mental power.”1 In older energy narratives, this power derives (as it does in the new energy) from your Highest Self, your “superman” or Atman.2 Here, you are shown as a “channel through which the energy of THE FOOL is organized” and manifests.3 essentially the same idea. The difference between the old and new energy is provided in context. When presented from an old energy frame, the magician is an exclusive character. This is someone who has completed the fool’s journey and consequently finds their place amongst a superior group of men. As Madame Blavatsky notes, “Our incarnating Ego was a God in its origin, as were all the primeval emanations of the One Unknown Principle. But since its “fall into Matter,” having to incarnate throughout the cycle, in succession, from first to last, it is no longer a free and happy god, but a poor pilgrim on his way to regain that which he has lost.”4 What is this superior group? Ther are, according to Papus, four groups, all represented by the symbols on the table before the magician.
…these symbols correspond with the four great human castes.
The men of Yod, or the Inventors, the Producers. The Nobility of Intellect.
The men of He, or the depositaries of the great truths discovered by the men of Yod: the Savants, the Judges. Professional nobility.
The men of Vau, or the guardians and defenders of the former: the Warriors. Nobility of the sword.
The men of the 2nd He, the multitude from which the other classes are continually recruited from the People.5
The key to understanding this archetype in the old energy is the suggestion that only some people can attain to this magical mastery, only some people enter the “nobility,” only some people are worthy of reward, the rest are little better than trash. Israel Regardie suggests that while magic is all about connection, “very few in life … can attain to the full realization of their divine origin and nature.”6 Madame Blavatsky says it best.
Firstly, the perversity of average human nature and its selfishness, always tending to the gratification of personal desires to the detriment of neighbours and next of kin. Such people could never be entrusted with divine secrets. Secondly, their unreliability to keep the sacred and divine knowledge from desecration. It is the latter that led to the perversion of the most sublime truths and symbols, and to the gradual transformation of things spiritual into anthropomorphic, concrete, and gross imagery — in other words, to the dwarfing of the god-idea and to idolatry.”7
There is little awareness in this elitist view that the elites themselves created exoteric institutions designed to keep the masses ignorant of basic spiritual truths, and emotionally and psychologically off balance.
In the old energy, the magician is all about social class, privilege, and exclusion. While the old energy archetypes does reflect a spiritual truth, this truth is corrupted by elitism and elite attempts to justify power and privilege. Thus, flow purification here involves dismissing elitism and the justification that attend it. To accomplish this dismissal,
- Watch out for suggestions that your purpose is to prove yourself. Reject this notion, and expect others to do the same. Understand, you are a spark of Divine Consciousness incarnated in a physical unit. You do not have to prove anything to anybody. You only have to align with and serve your own Self.
- Watch out for ideas that you are here to “learn lessons,” pass tests, or otherwise grow and develop. It is true that your physical unit needs to mature and strengthen to accommodate Consciousness, and it may need training (voice lessons, music lessons, education, etc.) to be able to properly express its full potential, but that’s not You, that’s your body. If you want to accomplish something in this life, do what it takes to train the physical unit to manifest your powerful soul, but always strive to connect and express the joyful and powerful master within.
- Watch out for ideas that have you bowing to authority or submitting to another’s will. Watch out for intimations that submission is required. God/Spirit never requires submission. God expects only joyful participation and responsible co-creation. It is OK to follow a competent and connected leader, but submission to authority is another thing altogether. You do not have to submit to another’s will, pass tests, or endure judgment to prove yourself worthy. Remember, you are already a powerful spark of incarnated divinity. Start acting like the thing that you are.
- What out for suggestions that there is a difference between your will and the will of Consciousness. There isn’t. Your only obligation is to align with and serve your highest Self. Note that this does not mean selfish and self-serving action. This means a compassionate and inclusive commitment to the Divine/Evolutionary Plan, which is to uplift and connect all creation.
Group study questions
- Our societies constantly give us the message that we are limited, undeveloped, impotent, sheeple. We often hear that only a few people are special, and only are few are “chosen.” The message is repeated often and is supported by reward systems and ceremonies as small as commencement and as big as the Olympics. On this world we worship the winners but consign the losers to poverty and obscurity, trying never to think about them again, and putting them down if they complain about their lot. After reading the above, what thoughts come to mind about your life, your workplace, etc.? Share your thoughts, positive or negative, with the group.
- Think back to your own childhood. How did it feel when you were in the “losers” circle? Did being in the losers circle motivate you to do more, or did it demotivate, suppress, or even depress you? Do you remember what happened if you complained? Share your thoughts with the group.
- Privately, read through the poetic entry for the Book of Keys. What sorts of thoughts run through your head as you read the words from the Book of Keys? How does reading the affirmation make you feel? Write those thoughts and feelings down (in the margins, if you like) as you experience them. Do these thoughts/feelings empower you, or do residual fear, doubt, and unworthiness creep in and interfere with the flow? Share your thoughts and feelings with the group. As a reminder, to overcome these negative thoughts, focus on the iconic imagery of the card and remind yourself of who you truly are.
1Wen, Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth.
2P. D. Ouspensky, The Symbolism of the Tarot: Philosophy of Occultism in Pictures and Numbers. Mineola (St. Petersburg, Russia: Trood Print and Pub., 1913).
3Robert Wang, The Qabalistic Tarot: A Textbook of Mystical Philosophy (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1987), 241.
4Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy: A Clear Exposition Based on the Wisdom Religion of All Ages.
5Papus, The Tarot of the Bohemians (Wilshire Book Co, 1978), https://sacred-texts.com/tarot/tob/index.htm.
6Regardie, The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic, 7.
7Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy: A Clear Exposition Based on the Wisdom Religion of All Ages.