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Adoration of the Magi, tempera on wood by Gentile da Fabriano, 1423; in the Uffizi, Florence. 3 × 2.8 metres. (more) If the Magician tarot card represents you in a reading, you already know that. You understand that it is a divine gift and that you are not its source, but its channel. It flows through you like a flutist’s breath through a masterfully crafted instrument, creating a beautiful melody. Having shaped yourself into this instrument, you are the one making this melody possible. Remember that the power you have been given can always be taken away. And if you abuse it, that’s exactly what will happen. Effective managers, for example, know that it’s not a good idea to constantly tell their employees how easily they can be replaced, because they’ll start looking for other jobs. While an inefficient employee may need a stern talking to on occasion, fear is a poor motivator.

If your ego is not aligned with your divine purpose, you can easily mistake a mentor or protector with a competitor – or even an enemy. The consequences of such a misunderstanding can be devastating. It is important to understand that this power is divine and that it must be used for sacred purposes. The Magician tarot is a card symbolizing personal power and the ability to influence the material world, sometimes in uncanny ways. Subsequent traditions embellished the narrative. As early as the 3rd century they were considered to be kings, probably interpreted as the fulfillment of the prophecy in Psalms 72:11 (“May all kings fall down before him”). In about the 8th century the names of three Magi—Bithisarea, Melichior, and Gathaspa—appear in a chronicle known as the Excerpta latina barbari. They have become known most commonly as Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar (or Casper). According to Western church tradition, Balthasar is often represented as a king of Arabia or sometimes Ethiopia, Melchior as a king of Persia, and Gaspar as a king of India.

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