Did you know that each tarot card is associated with a deity? In this article, we will discuss the deity related to the Magician tarot card and how you can use this knowledge in your magical practice.
Which deity is associated with the Magician tarot card?
Hermes, aka Mercury, aka Thoth, is the deity associated with the Magician tarot card.
Who is Hermes?
In one of his many moments of infidelity, Zeus fathered Hermes with Maia, daughter of Atlas.
Hermes gave proof of his abilities from birth. In fact, as soon as he was born in Thessaly, he stole a flock from his elder brother Apollo and walked it backward around all of Greece. He sacrificed two of the animals on his return to Arcadia.
In the same period, with a turtle’s shell, he created the first lyre. Hermes is curious, communicative, plus he immediately knows how to profit from any situation. However, as the story shows, ethics is not his strong point, nor is his sensitivity.
This aligns with his Romanic equivalent, as Mercury is a planet of air and as such it is responsible for communicating, interacting, establishing contacts, but not “feeling”, a quality that belongs to the water element.
Apollo, once he realized his flock had been stolen, went to Olympus to protest with Zeus and the king of the gods ordered his newborn son to return the flock to his brother. Hermes, however, could not compensate the two dead animals, but Apollo, enchanted by the sound of the lyre, contented himself with that and let Hermes keep the remaining animals.
This episode left his father Zeus amused, and he decided to make Hermes the messenger of the gods. The god was also protector and guardian of the streets and travelers, patron of merchants and, thanks to his first adventure, of thieves. He was also the one who led the souls of mortals to hell.
He had many children, among the most famous Autolico, who inherited from his father the passion of theft and was king of thieves, as well as Pan, god of music.
Hermes has a set of wings on his head, indicating quick-wittedness and mental agility, the ability to see from above, and also wisdom. The symbolic analysis of this attribute could be infinite. The wings he has on his feet indicate his light movements, the agility and the ability to change direction, but also, his wonderful ability to move from one world to another with ease.
His equivalent among the Romans was Mercury.
The Egyptian version: Thoth
God of writing, messenger of the gods, patron of all areas of knowledge, Thot was the wise and cunning god par excellence, so much so that the Greeks equated him with Hermes. All books and treatises fell under his protection: he became known as the “lord of books”. The “houses of life”, or the libraries and schools attached to the temples, had Thoth as their patron.
Thoth was also the personal secretary of the sun god Ra and was always by his side. Without him, Ra could not have made any of his decisions operational: he was like a vizier capable of carrying out his will.
The divinity also represented the heart – for the Egyptians the seat of thought – of the sun god, making him “the strongest of the gods”. As an expert in magic, he knew secrets unknown to all the other gods, and was the author of a mythical book that would allow the deceased to become enlightened spirits in the afterlife and to become more powerful than all the gods: the Book of Thoth.
During the weighing of the heart, the process which the soul of the deceased was subjected to in order to decide if he could go to the afterlife of Osiris, the god Thot was always present: standing with the scribe’s palette and a sheet of papyrus. He is often depicted as deep in thought, intent on writing the trial’s verdict with a thin river reed.
Why this card and this deity are connected?
The Magician represents the planet Mercury, the planet of intelligence, the planet of the mind and of communication. Hermes governs perception and reason, memory and the ability to speak and write.
He also controls the functions of the nerves, arms, hands and fingers. Mercury, often depicted with winged shoes on his feet, presides over both movement, understood as physical and mental mobility, and over all communication processes: the mercurial subjects are the communicative characters par excellence.
Mercury often has a dominant position within astral planes in which the abilities of writing, dialogic exchange, training, interpersonal relationships and marketing are among the talents of the person.
The Magician, like Hermes, has the tools to explore the unknown, learning all he needs to improve himself but also to learn what’s hidden. Because of his knowledge and learnt wisdom, he is able to descend into the world of shadows, into the “dark side” that we all instinctively try to avoid. It is, however, a very important world to have access to if we want to work on conflict resolution.
Hermes is a builder of communication bridges because he speaks the language of the gods, but he knows the hearts of men. He is able to read people for who they are and he talks to them with respect for their woes.
How to work with the Magician and his associated deities?
To work with Hermes/Mercury and Thoth, there are a few things you can do:
- Cast a communication spell
- Learn new skills and gain more knowledge
- Chant a prayer for Hermes or Thoth while keeping the Magician tarot card between your hands
- Create an altar with elements of both Hermes/Mercury, Thoth and the Magician