Poetry of the Tarot: The Magician

The Magician

As the poet takes her balcony seat
to see the greatest show on Earth,
the magician takes shape on stage.
Their eyes meet at the mystic table,
where each suit of divination lays
within mind, body, spirit and soul.
Merlin stands alone in white robe,
red cloaked before the table of life.

She watches him as his right hand
holds a wand raised heaven-high,
while his left hand points to earth.
“As above, so below!” he declares,
as grace, virtue and light descend,
transforming midnight into dawn.
He who quests to perfect his craft.
He who seeks spiritual excellence.

Upside-down the Magician is foul,
an evil man of charm and trickery.
His deceit breaks the mystic table,
as this snake in the grass, this fake
with his four wives and mistresses,
makes black the magic of all souls.
Alas, eternity slips away underfoot
as his magical promises disappear.

A shamanic journeying has begun,
the poet has seen her potential Self.
Above her head the sign of eternity,
round her waist circling ouroboros.
The audience reveal she’s now part
of the show where attraction flows.
For as Merlin mesmerizes this poet,
the High Priestess awakens within.

Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2016

10 thoughts on “Poetry of the Tarot: The Magician

  1. Thank you, Deborah. You captured my interest and attention in the first two lines. I sat next to the poet in the balcony and watched the show with a little detachment and distance. I love thinking in terms of Merlin rather because I’ve already had enough of the upside down Magician. But life in the US insists we deal with that every day.

    I’m still catching up from my trip to Washington where the High Priestesses made a stand against the upside down Magician. Or maybe you’ll say, “no, no, you don’t get the meaning.” I’ve been interested in Tarot but from a distance and without detailed knowledge. I transfer my Jungian knowledge about things like Magician and Trickster to understand, but you’re initiating me into the mysteries of Tarot and your own relationship with the archetypes and mysteries. It’s an honor to sit beside you.

    1. What a delight it is to hear from you Elaine! Thank you so much for your truly wonderful comment and for sitting here beside me in the balcony seats, to watch the greatest show on earth. Yes, you’re most definitely reading my upside down (trumped up!) Magician and his sickening circus well. Your perceptions, absolutely spot-on!!!

      I absolutely love studying and using the magical Tarot! Furthermore, it adds depth and richness to my Jungian studies too. Whilst looking at the Queen of Cups card one day, I heard an inner voice say, ‘write a poem for me’ so I did. Then I wrote one for each of the other queens, and so the poetry of the Tarot began.

      Thank you once more for your wonderful company on this journey, I’ve posted the next card, the beautiful, enigmatic High Priestess today. Love and blessings, Deborah.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Damyanti. I’m hoping to post ‘The High Priestess’ later today! And so, the Fool (Poet) and her journey continues …

  2. All in all, I like its structure very much. Really beautiful word choice as you touch the timeless world of the Magician.

    1. Many thanks Anna for your wonderful, encouraging words. I first began using this poem structure for my four tarot ‘queen’ poems, which can be found in the ‘Poetry of the Tarot’ category, if you’d like to read more tarot.

  3. I love the Magician – he brings to me a feeling of excited anticipation at the magic and mystical experiences that lie ahead. He conjures up all sorts of images of his character, Merlin of course but I also think of him as Gandalf in the positive and Saruman reversed! Your description is so eloquently crafted, leaving me looking forward to the transformation and next step of the poet’s journey.

    I have just noticed you have started to use colour in your images – I love the muted tones so suited to this project!

    1. Oh just the mere mention of Gandalf pricks up this poet’s ears! Yes, Saruman as dark wizard in reverse, perfect! Thank you so much for sharing your reflections and your wonderful, magical words. I remember in a dream once I was walking through a crowd when in the distance a tall man with a stag’s head on his own head appeared, looking straight into my eyes. On waking I instantly recognised him as the ‘Magician’ in the Robin Wood tarot, Cernuous himself!

      Re: Colour, I was hoping someone would notice. I decided that the magnificence of Tarot cards merited colour, monochrome just didn’t cut it. Warm winter wishes, Deborah.

  4. Merlin the magnetic mesmerising mystical magician – where would be without this trickster who keeps us on our toes – sharpening our discernment until one day we can look him in the eye and feel the encircling ouroboros –

    Thanks Deborah, may the High Priestess continue to rise.

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment Susan, love your quarternity of mmmm’s! Yes indeed, that moment when we look our fear straight in the eye and feel our power within. Last year I faced such a life-changing moment, and watched fear literally dissolve before my eyes, it was incredible.

      Sundays are perfect for posting during these (UK) sub-zero, wintry days, and so (hopefully) look out for the High Priestess next weekend. Blessings, Deborah.

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