The Magician is perhaps the most iconic card in all of Tarot (though Death can probably give it a run for its money). This card of pure power and potential is the second step on the road to Enlightenment, and is a call to acknowledge our own power and self-sufficiency, our ability to bend and shape reality. The Magician is usually the first card I look at in a new deck, simply because it has always held a fascination for me ever since I got my first Rider-Waite deck, in its classic yellow box with the Magician as the cover image.
In the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr, the deck I read with most frequently (at least over the last decade), the Magician is reinterpreted as Magic, which is represented by Isis. I love this reimagining of the card, which I think brings in a whole new set of nuances while also staying true to the message of the Magician in more classic decks. In the classic Tarot, the Magician is a message to stand in personal power, to draw on our own abundant inner resources, and to know that we can catalyze the transformations we want most. Magic/Isis goes further by asking us to be aware, perhaps for the first time, of the magic inherent in the world around us.
Isis is essentially the Queen of the Egyptian pantheon. While there are many powerful Goddesses in that pantheon, Isis reigns supreme. (In fact, some scholars hold that all Egyptian Goddesses are just faces of Isis, but that’s a discussion for another day.) Isis is the Goddess of Life and Death, even conquering death to conceive Horus. She is the patron of medicine and healing as well as of magick and spirituality, and much else of great import to Egyptian society. As such, she holds the pure potential of the Universe within her, and rules supreme over herself and all that she surveys. In this way, Isis as the Magician/Magic reminds us that we have the ability to be our own sovereign. We possess with us all the power and magick we need to affect change. And yet part of realizing our own inner magick is seeing that the entire world around us is embued with magick and power.
When Isis/Magic shows up in a reading, she is reminding us to own our power, to step into our authority. It may be a call to explore magickal teachings and spirituality in a literal sense. But I find that this card is more than that. Isis/Magic reminds us that we are magick and that we have the right to be seen and treated as the holy mystery we are. When we are aware of how full we are of magick, of the magick we bring to the world, we are able to act on the highest level and with the most self-regard and respect for ourselves and others. And this is truly a catalyst for the changes we seek.