Renaissance Tarot (Jones / Lyle) - The Magician I

Sulis

Wow this one is packed full of symbolism.
The Magician wears a red tunic with a sun symbol on his chest.
Red and the sun are both masculine symbols and make me think of passion and driving force.
He stands on a raised platform of some kind with the suit emblems carved on it.
2 staffs with intertwined snakes are either side of him - Caduceus(s) maybe? The symbol of Mercury or Hermes the messenger of the Gods.
This makes me think of healing and also of communication (as do the wings on his feet and on his wrist).
The staffs are topped with a crescent moon and also with a ball - maybe a globe, maybe a solar symbol).
He has a lemniscate above his head showing infinite possibilities.
He stands in the classic Magician pose with one hand pointing towards the heavens and the other to the ground.
He is capable of channelling power and making it real.

But I'm puzzled by whatever that is hanging from his right wrist.
Any ideas anyone?
 

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Emily

Hi Sulis,

The book does mention the pouch hanging from his wrist

Quote"The Magician raises one winged arm up towards the heavens, while the other points towards the earth, weighted down by a heavy pouch."Unquote.

I think it might be there to keep him grounded, because the book also mentions the wings on his arm and leg - giving him the ability to ascend to worlds above or descend to worlds below.

Its an interesting card because it seems to focus on the Magician being more of a shaman but the aspects of the traditional Magician are still there too.
 

Enchanted

For me this Magician card is very much Hermes. Hermes is known to be recognised by the caduceus, winged ankles or sandals and carrying a purse or a pouch.

I have had a quick look around, but have yet to find the significance of the pouch and what is said to have contained. For it cannot be empty. In this card it looks heavy and like a ball or orb of some kind.

As Hermes is a messenger between Gods and humans, I would agree with Emily that the pouch probably serves to ground him or even makes it possible to return to the earthly plane.

I think the wings on not only his hand but on his ankle as well, serves to emphasise that Hermes not only communicated with the Gods, but was also one of the few to be able to travel to the underworld and return.

As I am seeing all the Hermes connections with this card, for me it emphasised the communication aspect of this card. Also the grounding of ideas in reality, higher purposes, spiritual teaching, as some kind of guide during times of transition.

But as you mentioned Sulis, this card is loaded with symbolism and I have taken but one angle. I think in reading this card I would see which symbol I am most drawn to, or look for connections in other cards to see what aspect of it is being referred to.
 

Sulis

So we don't know what's in the pouch...
Maybe it's some magic dust :)
 

Mariana

Enchanted said:
I have had a quick look around, but have yet to find the significance of the pouch and what is said to have contained. For it cannot be empty. In this card it looks heavy and like a ball or orb of some kind.

To me it looks like a ball and chain in a bag - as if it's there to keep him grounded, to counteract the wings that would raise him up. So he's pulled upwards and downwards at the same time, keeping him balanced in the middle.
 

Sulis

Mariana said:
To me it looks like a ball and chain in a bag - as if it's there to keep him grounded, to counteract the wings that would raise him up. So he's pulled upwards and downwards at the same time, keeping him balanced in the middle.

Now that's what I call good thinking :)
It does look like it's there almost to weigh him down doesn't it?
Makes me think of those cartoons where the character is carried off by balloons filled with helium.
Thanks Mariana - you're theory makes a lot of sense :)
 

Mariana

I don't know if this adds anything, but it made me think of Plato's metaphor as well: man as trying to control a chariot with two horses that try to go different ways - one horse representing the soul and the other the body. Hm, this would link the Magician to the Chariot, with the black and white horses (or whatever the animals are here, griffins?), wouldn't it?
 

Enchanted

It would make sense to link the Magician with the Chariot in some respects, if you see the Magician as "will" and the Chariot at the control of that "will".

That weighted pouch could then serve as a "control" feature perhaps, as you mentioned Mariana keeping him in the middle.

I'm gonna keep hunting around to see if I can find out what was in Hermes pouch or its purpose, if I find anything I'll post back here.

One other thing that occured to me when I looked at the card again was that I saw that this Magician could also be seen as female. Anyone else see that?
 

Mariana

Enchanted said:
One other thing that occured to me when I looked at the card again was that I saw that this Magician could also be seen as female. Anyone else see that?

Yes, the gender is very hard to tell there. Same for the Hermit, by the way - he/she doesn't have a beard, so it could be a woman as well. I really like that.
 

Sulis

My daughter, who's 8 said that she liked this card and she said she particularly liked 'the lady's pretty dress'.