Of course: another week, another court card in the form of the Prince of Swords as the foundational aspect of today’s reading.
As “air of air,” the Prince is a mutable, volatile, keenly perspicacious liberator of the mind and the personal will. He breaks the chains that bind him from seeing; he is a warrior of words and his weapons are his insight, his intellect, his tongue.
Unlike his younger counterpart, the Princess, the Prince’s child-like naïveté has been has been tarnished by the realisation that life is, well, complex and complicated. And, of course, he is the man to change that. His belly surges with the desire to act — to get up, get out, get shot of the entanglements that hold him back. He is driven by instinct rather than reason: as a Prince, he follows orders, and those are sometimes withheld from him on a need-to-know basis. Ask him what he’s fighting for, and you may get little more than a grunt or a throwaway phrase.
His raison d’être is simply the enactment of that directive and expression of freedom itself — a single-minded striving to align himself with the winds of change rushing through his veins. He is change.
And the Prince of Swords, as an emissary of change, is either present in your life as an aspect of you, as someone else who has recently had an impact on you, or both. In other words:
Your raison d’être recently has simply been the expression of freedom itself — a single-minded striving to align yourself with the winds of change rushing through your veins.
But towards what has the Prince been called, and who is doing the calling? The answer, my friend, is looking you right in the eyes. The Magus.
The Magus has been the archetypal energy that has been asking for your commitment to freedom — the freeing of your mind and your vision, the not-taking-this-any-longer breaking of those bonds that were forged in some distant and now obsolete agreement.
The Magus is that aspect of you that personifies the meeting point between the will of the Prince, and the Will of a higher power. The Magus is a magician because, through the alignment of personal and transpersonal will, he is able to create change — both in his outer and his inner worlds.
Magic is nothing if not transformation. It is actively working with the basic elements of life in partnership with an intelligence that surpasses our limited perspective in order to abet our evolution — in no matter which direction that evolution happens. Take two elements and make something different from them? That’s evolution. Sure, there are ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ versions of The Magus, but in reality value judgements don’t come into it.
What seeks to liberate you is also demanding the highest expression of who you are — and that will vary from person to person. The Magus is not looking selectively; each of us who comes to him, he looks at directly. There is a message just for you in this gaze, and in the subtle up-turn of his mouth. Truth manifests in as many forms as there are souls to recognise it.
And yet, and yet …
While Mercury (the planet that corresponds with The Magus) is action incarnate, in this reading he sits side-by-side with the final card, The World. The Magus is card 1, The World, as card 21, is the omega to the Magus’s alpha, and it corresponds with Saturn — an ancient, sober, limiting force that could put a dampener on The Magus’s magic, particularly with the driving foundation of the feisty Prince of Swords.
But, no. The Magus and The World here are the perfect complement. They are the archetypal magic couple for this particular act of transformation.
Why? Let’s look at it in overly-simplistic terms, but ones that will hopefully get the message across.
Imagine yourself as The Magus in your laboratory.
You have the brains, you have the charisma, you have the drive.
You’re in the process of opening up some whoop-ass magic — something particularly impressive that could have long-lasting effects. However, this, as you well know, is all experimental — any number of things could happen.
You have some sulphur; you have some saltpetre; you have a whole lot of volatile air.
And you have a match.
You look at all of these elements; you look back at the match; and perhaps in a moment of lucidity you can see some possible outcomes that, while being rather illuminating, may not lend themselves to much longevity.
Sometimes that kind of spontaneous expansion is what it takes. Sometimes a Big Bang is where the energy is being directed.
Other times, though, this kind of experimentation begs the question:
“Wouldn’t you prefer a protective suit and a test-tube with that?”
Behold the benefits of some pretty rigorous and rigid limitation.
Aren’t you glad you came prepared?
The result is no less potent — no, not at all. That single chain in the Prince becomes myriad in The World. A chain-reaction, if you will. Sometimes, less is more — and when I look at The Magus and the contained depths of his expression, I feel the truth of this.
Quantum amounts. The discipline of drawing that mutable, formidable energy close and using it economically. The knowledge and awareness of the forces of Soul that act both as initiator (Magus) and container (The World) in order to bring about permanent change.
So if things aren’t quite as ‘singing and dancing’ as you’re expecting them to be, don’t be fooled by the apparent mundanity of your circumstances. If you’re inclined towards thinking, “Okay — something just happened that let me see, but now what?” — see if you can be still, look, listen, and act with rigour.
You came looking for the light. Now, you can look with the light, knowing that you are the light.
That is magic.
Astrology Correspondences: Prince of Swords (the airy aspect of air), The Magus (Mercury), The World (Saturn)