[Updated July 2021. Essay on Tarot: I The Magician]
The Magician is the first (spiritual) teacher we encounter in the Tarot. In a sense, any goal can be achieved by starting with him. He represents knowledge and know-how. He breaks the journey down into a number of steps so that we can take the first and then the next. I often say the Magician’s favorite subject is manifestation: the bringing of thoughts and ideas into physical experience.
Intention is one of the Magician’s most powerful tools.
The Magician is an alchemist and works with all four elements. He doesn’t just turn thoughts and ideas into physical things and experiences; he also transforms one experience into another. He works with whatever is available. In other words:
The Magician works with whatever shows up—not just the good and the obviously useful, but all of it!
The Magician is a magician because he works his magic on what is. He doesn’t merely wish for things to be different, he works with whatever is available and makes it different. His right hand reaches up to the heavens for guidance. His left hand then channels that wisdom down to the earth realm.
Keep in mind, working with what showed up doesn’t mean using all of it. When we cook, we often discard peels, shells, stems, and seeds. Part of the magic is knowing what to keep and what to put aside.
∆ ▲ ∆
About 25 years ago I started running into the word intention as a key component to manifestation. But what does intention actually mean and how is it different than desire?
Recently I came up with a formula to describe it:
Intention = Desire paired with Focus
Desire is passive. It is more of a state of being than an action. Focus is active. It is an action.
We desire what we desire whether we’re thinking about it or not. As soon as an object of our desire enters our view, we are immediately reminded how much we want what we want.
Focus requires discipline, especially these days where so much stimulus tries to capture our attention. To keep our attention on a task or subject, we must exercise focus and direct our attention. We must filter out the noise.
Since intention is a powerful player in manifestation, I thought it would be good to understand it as best I can. At the same time, I acknowledge that intention is not the only way to manifest.
Life is a journey. Time is proof of this. Time continues to flow monotonically forward. We cannot go backward. We cannot skip ahead. And we cannot stop it. We have no choice but to flow with time.
We can speed up and slow down our experience of time, but that’s it.
Manifestation does require some amount of time. When I say The Journey of the Fool is from where you are to where you want to be, the implication is that this journey takes time. It needn’t take a lot time. It also needn’t require traveling miles or spending dollars…although it can be a lot of fun to do both of those.
Since there are many paths, let’s discuss a few of them in general terms.
The fastest way to manifest is to pair belief with desire.
If you have a desire and you completely believe in the possibility of it, you will get there quickly. This form of manifestation happens every single hour of your life. You have so many beneficial beliefs, the desires manifest before you even recognize them as desires.
Think about it: It’s Friday night and you’re up for some fun. You text a friend and make a spontaneous plan. You get into your car, push the start button, and put it in gear. A short while later, you arrive at the restaurant and find your friend waiting for you at a table on the patio. You order a glass of wine and sit back, relax, and enjoy the company of your friend.
Do you realize how many desires paired up with beliefs to make just this much happen?
Desire is creative. (Ask and it is given.) Belief is creative. (You get what you expect.) When you pair them together, you have two forces pulling in the same direction!
It is worth mentioning this because acknowledging and appreciating this method will increase your experience of it.
Before You Know It
Positive belief pulls you forward. Disbelief pulls you backward. But there is plenty in between.
Desire without disbelief is another fast way to get what you want.
Desire pulls you forward. If you don’t specifically believe but don’t necessarily disbelieve, your desire alone will get you there. I called this “before you know it” because there is a lack of focus, and thus the manifestation of your desire sneaks up on you. One day, it pops in, and surprises and delights you!
Belief and Attention
Belief is creative…in and of itself. There are things you don’t particularly desire that happen every day. In fact, the vast majority of what you see around you are things you believe in (even subtly). The more you like what you see, the more your desire is paired with your belief. The more you see things that don’t matter either way, the more there is belief operating on its own. The more unhappy you are with your surroundings, the more your negative beliefs are creating your experience.
And now we get to intention, which is Desire paired with Focus.
Focus is creative…more or less the same as belief. You might be lacking in belief, but can apply focus to grease the wheels. Again, the focus within intention is that which is specifically toward your desire.
Recently, I was very focused on a particular project. However, my alignment (my beliefs) were scattered. I had a general belief, but lacked some specifics. When I stayed general, I felt aligned and enjoyed the process. When I got too focused on the details, I found myself looking in the wrong direction: seeing my disbeliefs more than my beliefs.
Intention and attention sound very much the same. They are aligned and related. If your attention is on things you don’t like, then your intention is not on your desires, but rather on your observations (and negative beliefs).
Appreciation, in and of itself, is another powerful tool for manifestation. Jump to this post to read more about it: The Appreciation Game.
Follow What Feels Good
And the easiest way to sort all of this out is to simply pay attention to how you feel. Keep doing what feels good and ease up on what doesn’t.
Divine Timing gets you there right on time. When you’re not having that experience, ride on time—follow the flow of time. Amplify your positive beliefs. Move your attention away from your negative beliefs and your disbeliefs. Apply focus toward your desires to increase your intention.
And have fun with it all!!!