The Magician is the card of the skillful and wise. It is a card of using your tools correctly to do what must be done. There is also an element of connection between Midgard and the divine realms of Yggdrasil. I associate this card with the wisdom of ᚨ (Ansuz).
On the table, you see the four suits, all under The Magician’s control. It is tempting to think that ᛇ (Eiwaz) is the wand, because it is literally the rune of a stick, but ᛇ is really closer to the sword in its meaning. ᛃ (Jera) is a better analog to the wand. ᛈ (Perthro) is the cup, and ᚠ (Fehu) is as close to the pentacle as The Runes come.
The Fool’s Journey
Odin has set off on his journey, making his foolish mistakes. His first stop is to acquire wisdom from a master. The Magician represents Vafthrudnir, a giant of great wisdom. Odin challenges Vafthrudnir to a contest of riddles and gains great wisdom from it. The Magician is both Vafthrudnir. And, because he was able to defeat the giant, The Magician is also Odin himself.
The magician has the sign of infinity over zir head, marking zir connection to the divine chaos that existed before ᛁ (Isa), the mists of Niflheim, met ᚲ (Kenaz), the fires of Muspelheim, to form Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds. In zir right hand is a wand, pointed up to the sky, and zie points the index finger of his zir hand at the ground. You are probably familiar with the saying so common among Wiccans and ceremonial magicians, “As above, so below.”
The Thoth and Gilded Tarot decks do not show The Magus/The Magician in front of a table. Rather, he is in a void. His implements float before him, ready to be used. Behind him is radiant light (Muspelheim) and before him is darkness (Niflheim), the forces of creation which he can use along with the symbols of the four suits/elements.
The Aquarian and Pagan Tarot show a more disorganized Magician. Given that The Magician is sometimes described as The Great Organizer, this is surprising. Compared to the neat and orderly arrangements of the implements in each card we have examined above, these two don’t appear quite ready. The Aquarian Magician looks tired, with his arms at his sides, his implements strewn across the table. The Pagan Magician has the wrong hand up versus down, and appears to have forgotten her wands. Even the light is barely sufficient.