Like the qigong practitioner the Magician becomes a bridge between heaven and earth. Central life force energy (chong qi) is described in ancient Chinese texts as the whirling emptiness that unifies yin and yang opposites into oneness. The number one in Chinese symbolism represents unity and in ancient times was represented by the sacred symbol of the spiral.
The qigong practitioner is also an internal alchemist. The colors red and white of the Magician’s attire are associated with alchemy in both the East and West. Inner alchemy simply represents the transformation of the self. Clearing out the blocks and limitations an individual can return to and maintain physical, emotional and spiritual health. The Magician works this so called magic by strengthening and clearing the energy of the body that feed all the cells, tissues and organs of the body. Healthy energy flow translates into enhanced transport of oxygen and nourishment for the physical body and removal of waist.
The snake spiraling around the waist in this card represents the spiraling movement of the transcendental central qi within the body, particularly the Central Channel. The Central Channel is the most important energy channel of the body according to Chinese Medicine. It can be thought of as a hollow tube running vertically through the center of the body. This channel flows through the top of the head and down between the legs at the perineum. Like the double ended wand in the right hand of the Magician it is a means to connect heaven and earth within.
The Belt Channel is another major energy channel that encircles the waist just like the snake does in the Waite Rider illustration. The Belt Channel controls the vertical flow of energy in the body and governs the collective karma of the individual. Flowing freely as depicted with the movement of the Ouroborus self devouring snake in this card it represents the purification of obstacles to health and prosperity. The individual in this card having completed inner alchemy is now an open channel. By pointing downwards he guides the celestial energies to earth. This supports the Asian concept that through purification and balance we can help bring harmony and order to our world as well as ourselves.
Lao Tzu explains in the Tao de Jing that the number one represents inner awareness (you). By emptying the mind we awaken our innate intuitive gifts. Qigong is a practice for enhancing the quality and quantity of dreaming. As we clear and purify the energy flowing through the body we become more receptive to the divine guidance of our dreams and the essence of our being. We remove the shadows that filter out the light of God. No wonder that the renowned psychologist Carl Jung felt that the alchemists had discovered the unconscious. Recording, deciphering and following our dreams leads to knowledge of virtues (de), spiritual maturation and direction to fulfill our individual destiny. As Lao Tzu explained we also become more aware of the trinity and synchronicities behind waking life as self imposed struggles we have manifested simply disappear.
Through emptiness (wu) and inner awareness (you) Lao Tzu explains that the gateway to the Golden Secret of All Life (xuan) is attainable. The individual in the Magician card has an infinity sign above his head. Through emptiness and inner awareness the infinite and transcendental can be personally experienced. Accomplished through the ultimate development of the Golden Immortal Body an individual can achieve eternal life in Paradise discovering that the elusive Holy Grail can only be found within oneself.