So miss Innowen and I had discussed doing a Majors card-a-day countdown to BATS this year, but I’m off to a late start. Instead I am doing 22 cards from today to the day after BATS. The last being a recap of the event.
And what better card to start with than The Magician? Now, I’ve written about the Magician before (see the Magician: The Demiurge), but its always good to revisit an old writing and see how it holds up years later.
From zero to hero, the Magician represents in my mind the journey from ignorance to empowerment. Now in my essay on the Magician as the Demiurge, I explored the Magician as a story of intentional evolution and self-bootstrapped empowerment. The Minor Arcana are what they are because the Magician made them so. In his search for understanding the Magician brought order out of chaos and thus defined the Minor Arcana for himself (and everyone else).
But what about the alternate? What happens when the Magician becomes what they are through external factors? It’s a common trope in popular fiction and fantasy: the accidental or unintentional hero thrust into greatness by the circumstances of his birth and heritage. Harry Potter was the fated one the day he was born. In this case, the Minor Arcana are the trials and tribulations on their journey to empowerment. Much like the Monomyth described by Joseph Campbell, for this kind of Magician the Minor Arcana are a gauntlet and a road map for their nascent hero’s journey. The would-be Magician must experience loss and gain, defeat and victory; Such is the price for the power and wisdom he will gain.
So then, when the Magician shows up in readings, consider the minor arcana that also appear in the reading as the challenges the Magician must face on their personal journey to enlightenment and power.
Tomorrow: the Strength card!