The Magician in the Smith-Waite Tarot

Tarot Tips and Tricks for absolute beginners to the card deck created by Pamela Colman Smith and Arthur Waite.

If you are curious about the Tarot deck created from two Golden Dawn members in 1909, begin by looking at the way the cards were used back then – no reversals – and the wealth of astrology imagery tucked away in the drawings.

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4 thoughts on “The Magician in the Smith-Waite Tarot

  1. Hi Jessica, I’m new to your work and I have to admit I am really enjoying your website.
    I found your idea of using the tarot cards as images capable of being intuitively manipulated an interesting one.
    Given your in-depth and creative use of asteroids in your work I’m left wondering what you see when you read astrological charts. I don’t mean to be invasive as not everyone likes to discuss their process. I guess I just have this image of a chart in your mind playing out as it’s own kind of movie script or theatre performance. I have to admit I find the idea inspiring as I feel sometimes astrological descriptions or tarot card descriptions for that matter can come across as a bit dry.

    All the best, Lucy.

    • Thanks so much Lucy. I read astrology charts rather like a film editor cutting scenes together. The most important clips are those where the stories are directly joined (so, matching degree aspects). In your own personal birth chart, the film of your life is really about your Ninth House, ruled by Sagittarius, where you have a lot of factors. So it’s a story about travelling and travelling in the mind. Taking journeys but also taking intellectual or spiritual journeys. Mercury, Saturn, Uranus and Vesta have leading roles. Ops is also a player. There is a family relationship here because Saturn was married to Ops in Roman mythology so there is a hard-work story in the film – a really challenging plot. It may be linked to a particular nationality or a pin on the map across the world. Maybe there is a subplot about emigrating, or a gap year, or just a work or personal relationship with someone foreign to you. You can direct the film yourself, rewrite the script and so on! Hit Search to find out more about these players, Sagittarius and your Ninth House.

  2. Thanks so much for your reply. I enjoyed the analogy. I was surprised to find your comments on my chart and I appreciate them a lot. A Saturn dominated focus in my life makes a LOT of sense as anxiety disorders have pretty much touched and at times nearly ruined almost every aspect of my life. My understanding of the other placements are beginning to come together for me and you’ve given me a lot to think about.


    • Lucy, Saturn is worth researching further. The planet itself tells us what he is about. Saturn is pale yellow – the colour our complexion turns when we experience fear. He is surrounded by rings which seem to protect him, the way a nest protects eggs, or a wall protects people inside a castle. Defence and protection, anxiety and fear, are all part of his story. Some astrologers have written quite brilliantly on Saturn – Liz Greene and Sue Tompkins spring to mind.


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