Thursday, 18 December 2014
The little companion book to this deck says that the figure depicted here is the Sufi mystic, Rumi. His name was Jalal al Din Rumi, and he lived in Aghanistan, 1207-1273, a mystic and poet who wrote in Persian, and whose influence is far-reaching. The general thread running through Rumi's works is the longing for connection with the All, or as Rumi called it the 'Beloved'. He believed strongly that ritual music, poetry and dance could help with a pure connection to the 'Beloved', and it's from these ideas that the 'whirling Dervishes' emerged.
So, on the card we see a man dressed much like one of those whirling Dervishes (and looking a lot like a fairy tale wizard, too), standing in the middle of a wagon wheel, apparently pulling tarot cards down from the heavens and directing them towards the earth, while basking in a blazing sun.
Deck creator Lisa de St Croix writes, 'The Magician is the root number of the Sun which radiates above and the Wheel of Fortune on which he stands as it spins over a vast desert. The elements are represented on the tarot cards which he brings forth from the Great Mystery and circulates out toward us. His robe indicates the cosmos and the symbol on his cap refers to the moon phases.'
The tarot cards looming at us in the foreground are the ace cards, showing the elements: fire, earth, water and air (wands, pentacles, cups, swords). The figure's arms are raised in an as above-so below formation, so this card is not that different from the traditional RWS Magician. The meaning is also traditional: 'Through focused energy we are able to harness the means to create our destiny.'
It's probably no secret that lately I haven't been feeling like I have much hand in creating my own destiny. I think sometimes we misread the Magician card, and say things like, 'The Magician has everything he needs within himself to manifest all his desires.' But if that's so, why wouldn't the Magician have his hands over his heart, or have them thrust forward with lightning bolts emanating from them? No, we always see him drawing down power from above and manifesting it below. He is a conduit or channel for something. His Higher Power.
'Love came and it made me empty.
Love came and it filled me with the Beloved.
It became the blood in my body
It became my arms and my legs.
It became everything!
Now all I have is a name,
The rest belongs to the Beloved.'
The Magician is not bending energy from the Universe to his will. He is not commanding and directing the elements. He is rather completely infused with the Universe. He is in submission, he has surrendered entirely to it, and this is where his power comes from. It's not his power. It's the Higher Power.
When we don't feel that we have much hand in creating our destiny, it's a sure sign we are living by Will and Ego and resistant to the flow of the Beloved (or the All, the Universe, the Higher Power, Goddess, or even God -- whatever you want to call it.)
Reminders come from all directions.