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berrieh  berrieh is offline
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Join Date: 17 Dec 2007
Location: florida, USA
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berrieh 

What a very interesting way to view The Magician!

This is a card that varies from deck to deck, for me, as The Magician can be helpful, but also harmful, and I find different decks highlight different 'sides' of this slippery figure. In this tale, he is both, in a very fitting combination, I think.

I find it notable that, at the end of the story, he informs the storyteller that "as the storyteller had in the past done him many good turns, he decided to help the storyteller out of his problems that morning." So, The Magician is trying to be helpful here. His intentions, all throughout, are nice. His methods are less nice, and they lead the storyteller into some confusion and misery, taking much from him and showing him quite a strangeness. Yet, in the end, his problem is forever solved, and he never needs to come up with another story again; so, his life is much easier for the temporary hardship.

This card brings up many recurring themes of the Magician: Trickery, storytelling, getting what you need, and plain old magic. But I think, most of all, it is a Manifestation card. The storyteller has a need, the trickster fills it. The process is unsettling and troubling, but the result is fantastic and nothing is really lost. So, it may be a turbulent road, but the destination will be exactly what you asked for and nothing will be lost. Very "Magician" like, in my opinion.

I've often seen the dark side of The Magician as more "uncomfortable" than truly bad, and I've never seen him as someone who intentionally causes others pain for pleasure---just unintentionally makes mischief while trying to be helpful or achieve a goal. So, I think this illustrates that darker side in a very interesting way.

Now, as for the card itself, I'm a little disappointed in it, art-wise. The spinning of the yarn makes a good allusion to 'storytelling' but there's nothing very magical about the goings-on in this picture. I think showing his magic tricks would have been more effective. I also miss the elements. This is one of the few cards where I'm old-fashioned, and I do like to see the elements all represented on the card in some form or fashion. I see the sword, but I can't really find good depictions of anything else. So, that lets me down. It helps me more, in this case, to think of the story than to look at the card. So, perhaps it makes my reading of The Magician a bit too logic-based, as I haven't really connected with the picture.
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