I made something just in time for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. More to come.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… someone did something that made another thing happen.
Do or do not. There is no try.
There are a lot of magicians in the Star Wars Universe. They all have cool laser swords, awesome beards or even gnarley looking horns. Any one of them could fit this archetype, but let’s talk about why I chose Qui-Gon Jinn a little later.
We started from zero and now we are at “1”. We started from “nothing” to “something”. A long time ago, George Lucas took a blank piece of paper and wrote on it. He took a perfectly clean, pure and virginal piece of paper and soiled it with his ink and his words and his ideas. How offensive is that?
Well if you don’t think that’s offensive at all, consider the graffiti artist or the tagger. He sees a blank wall and its just a shame. That wall should be something, his something. And usually the wall will boldly state his name.
How dare he?! That’s vandalism! Its a crime! He should go to jail! What gives him the right?!
The Magician doesn’t necessarily work with the rights he is given. He doesn’t necessarily work with the “the law”. He bends the law, the unspoken laws of society, or the laws of limitations. He makes reality bend to his will so something can change. He invents the airplane or he installs the cable. He makes peaceful protests, proclaiming his dream. No matter if he waves his wand with a grand gesture or if its the wiggle of Samantha’s nose from Be Witched, something has changed. Something intentionally happened. Back at the number zero, nothing was happening. Everything was potential energy. Now there is something and that something consciously happened.
This is what Qui-Gon is doing in the card. His hand is extended, using the Force to effect the world. It takes a lot of knowledge, concentration, and WILL to do this. He’s taking this raw energy that already exists everywhere and wills it into something useful. And he does it with little effort.
Above Qui-Gon’s head, a lemniscate glows like his green lightsaber. It is the mathematical symbol for infinity. Its also a symbol of eternity, eternal energy or, if you will, the Force. The Force is with him all the time, even in death. In his death, he teaches Obi-Wan Kenobi how to come back from the dead.
He’s in a garden, of sorts. It contrasts greatly from our last card where Luke, in the Fool card, is on Tatooine. On Tatooine, nothing happens. Its all just open, empty dessert. On Naboo, everything happens: art, culture, technology, politics, war. He’s in a refined and civilized place. And refined and civilized places cannot exist without imagination and will. There are roses and lilies in this garden. This is taken from the Rider-Waite deck. Lilies traditionally mean purity. Roses can mean a lot more things. But doing research online, it can also mean “A New Hope”.
On the Khabbalistic Tree of Life, The Magician is often associated with the path between Kether and Binah. Kether is the highest sphere on this map of consciousness and creation. It is God in the highest. Binah, meaning “Understanding” in Hebrew, is where form starts to take place. So it takes a Magician to make something appear from thin air.
When I was designing this deck, I decided to use Roman Numerals in this faux Star Wars Language font. I had the choice of using modern digits or dots in an alien language. This card made me decide to use the Roman Numerals because the number one looks like the letter “I”.
The Magician is about the “I” or the ego.
“I wrote this.”
“I painted that.”
“I am the one who imagined this story.”
When we were babies, or actually, when we were fetuses, we had no self. He had no concept of the self. But as we developed into toddlers, everything was “mine”. Everything was about “me”. Everything was about what “I” want. And at this stage of a child’s development, you’re running around and breaking things. You’re drawing on the walls and making a mess. You’re making things happen. Not necessarily good things, but you’re doing something. Newborn babies don’t do anything to intentionally effect their world…. except cry.
I always find it surprising when people are amazed that I can draw. And not just draw as a hobby, but draw at a professional level. I’m like some kind of f#cking wizard. I’m magically spewing shapes and forms which, to me, is just so obvious. But people gush over it as if I’ve done the impossible.
Sometimes I feel like a charlatan. You might as well be amazed by my breathing or brushing my teeth. I’m doing what I’ve always been doing and always will been doing. It makes praise uncomfortable at times. But the difference between my drawings and, say, a teenager who just uploaded their first webcomic, is that I’ve been doing this for a long time. And I am aware that my skills as an artist has made my view of the world different than others.
Your focus determines your reality.
I’m sure that a surgeon’s view of the world is different because they are a surgeon. A monk’s view is different. A scientist’s view is different. Their experience made them. Their jobs initiated them to grow. And they grew with their career. The Magician isn’t just about doing things. Any Fool can do something. In fact a Fool can be victorious by completely f*cking up their plans. But the Magician is confident. The Magician is skilled and trained. He’s so trained that doing something, like drawing, comes second nature to him.
So, why Qui-Gon Jinn? I found another Star Wars Tarot project where the artist followed the Fool’s Journey. Its a story inspired by the Tarot. The Fool meets the Magician and the Magician starts him off on an adventure. That’s a good interpretation of Qui-Gon as The Magician. But the interesting thing about Qui-Gon’s role in the entire Star Wars Saga, is that everything directly or indirectly happened because of his decisions. If Qui-Gon left Anakin on Tatooine, the Jedi wouldn’t fall, Luke and Leia would have never been born. If Qui-Gon didn’t die, he would have trained Anakin, Anakin might have never become Darth Vader. Who knows? He used his skills to make these decisions. And in the long run, they weren’t the best decisions. But he willed it into being. He started the plot. And without plot there would be nothing, just an idea in George Lucas’s head.
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it’s done so far.
But it was a good idea. This idea was so great that George Lucas had to take it somewhere. First he put his imagination on paper, and then he willed it into being. Not just using everything he learned in Film School, but everything he learned working in Hollywood. He played his games with producers and execs. Those keepers of the status quo all scratched their heads, skimming over a screenplay and trying to figure out what the Hell a Wookie was. A lot of people didn’t believe in him. He had to create a special effects studio because no special effects studio could do what he wanted. And in the end, he took this raw energy from the Collective Unconscious and his I/MAGI/NATION and made a film. A film that changed how Hollywood works, how films are made, how the toy industry works, how our popular culture works. George Lucas made this all happen. I’m not saying it was all him and he’s the great nerd Messiah we never asked for. Maybe the Stars were aligned in the right place and post-Vietnam War America hungered for his kind of escapism.
But the important thing is, is that he made magic. It was movie magic, but magick is still magic.
May The Force Be With You.
More resources on The Magician: