The Magician Archetype of Masculinity

The magician archetype is a masculine character who relies on power, deception and trickery to achieve his goals. There are many different types of magicians throughout history – from the evil sorcerer in classic tales to the heroic wizard in fantasy stories. They have historically been seen as heroes or villains depending on how they were portrayed by society.,

The “magician archetype examples” is a term that is used to describe the masculine archetype of magic. The magician archetype can be found in many different cultures, including the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Vintage magician putting out rabbit from hat illustration.

This is the fifth installment in a five-part series on the archetypes of mature masculinity based on Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette’s book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. If you haven’t previously done so, I strongly advise you to start from the series’ introduction. Also, bear in mind that some blogs are a bit more esoteric than our usual fare, and are intended to be thought about and pondered.

Growing up, many a lad passes through a magical era. He picks up a few card tricks and maybe visits a local magic shop to look for more sophisticated tricks. It’s exciting merely to go into the shop, and it’s much more exciting to show off freshly acquired techniques to one’s family and friends.

Most guys outgrow their passion with magic, but not necessarily their pastime. Even the ranks of professional magicians, however, are dominated by males.

So, what is it about magic that attracts men?

The male fascination with magic stems from a source far deeper than the capacity to extract a rabbit from a hat. Rather, it is based on the power that comes from mastering a hidden knowledge and the capacity to utilize that knowledge to manipulate tools in order to control particular aspects and generate desired consequences. The desire to harness and own that power is what drives the Magician archetype, and it’s an energy that every man should seek out, whether or not he plans to saw a woman in half.

In Their Entirety, the Magician’s Characteristics

Intellectually Curious/Holder of Secret Information

“The Magician is the Knower,” as Moore puts it. What exactly does he know? “All types of secret and hidden information.” While this kind of information may seem to be arcane, Moore is merely referring to knowledge that is “not immediately evident or commonsensical.” It is a kind of knowledge that is acquired by degrees, mastery of which requires a tremendous deal of work and dedication, and the result is the ability to live in a world that the typical man does not have access to. According to Moore,

“The Magician energy is in charge of all information that requires specific training to attain. You are in the same position as the apprentice shaman or witch doctor in tribal societies, whether you are an apprentice training to become a master electrician and unraveling the mysteries of high voltage; or a medical student grinding away night and day, studying the secrets of the human body and using available technologies to help your patients; or a would-be stockbroker or a student of high finance; or a trainee in one of the psychoanalytic schools. You’ve invested a lot of time, effort, and money in order to get access to the rarefied regions of covert power. You’re going through a test to see whether you have what it takes to master this ability. And, as with other initiations, there is no certainty that you will succeed.”

You probably don’t feel like you’re functioning in a “realm of concealed power” while you go about your studies or your professional tasks. Take a step back and think about it: whether it’s how to set a bone or fix a carburetor, you can definitely perform things that others find absolutely mysterious.


Master of Science in Technology

Nikola Tesla holding light bulbs illustration.

Tesla, Nikola

I purchased an iPad a few months ago. It’s fantastic. I felt like I was using some kind of magical gazing glass the first time I swiped across its screen, giving me access to a limitless quantity of information right at my fingers. I may be reading a Winston Churchill book one minute and then watching a free video lecture on Churchill on YouTube the next. The iPad, like other tablet gadgets, exemplifies Arthur C. Clarke’s third law, which states that “any sufficiently sophisticated technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

The Magician is, in fact, a “master of technology.” Magician energy is accessed when mankind acquire the hidden knowledge of how the world works and utilize that knowledge to harness its laws, energies, and forces in order to turn them into useful tools and systems. “Masters of technology” include inventors, scientists, and even plain tinkerers. It’s interesting how we frequently bestow nearly supernatural traits on our most renowned innovators and artists. Newspapers labeled Thomas Edison “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” stories arose around Nikola Tesla’s control over electricity, and recent obituaries for Steve Jobs often referred to his inventions as “nearly magical.”

It is not necessary to design a gadget like the iPad to become a technological master. Instead, we must just create. The objective of man should be to live the principle of “as above, so below,” according to the Western esoteric tradition of Hermeticism. It reminds me of Christ’s command in the Lord’s prayer to “create on earth as it is in heaven.” There are other meanings of “as above, so below,” but the one that I favor is that it implies bringing our nebulous ideas, fancies, and ambitions to life. To do so, we’ll need to use all of the information and tools at our disposal. In other words, we must learn to master technology.


The Warrior is the action archetype. The Magician, on the other hand, gives him commands. This is the source of healthy introspection’s vitality. When you’re faced with a difficult choice, the Magician can help you decide which path to choose. The Magician is like a great chess player; the more he experiences and learns, the more he is able to understand life as a chess board, envisage all the potential movements, and forecast with high accuracy where those moves will lead. This capacity is also responsible for a man’s hunches and gut sensations, as well as the quick judgments he takes in a crisis.


The karate kid and Miyagi applying wax on car bonet.

In today’s world, knowledge has been considerably democratized, and people expect everyone to have access to all that is known. When you tell someone that some information is holy, hidden, or just too sophisticated for them to comprehend, they are usually angered and suspect you’re trying to anything nefarious. Great instructors throughout history, on the other hand, recognized that knowledge and truth must be imparted “precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Effective learning must be done in stages, with each step requiring mastery of the preceding one. Each thought builds on the previous one until a person has complete knowledge.


Those who attempt to swim without first learning to swim risk drowning. As a result, those who have access to Magician energy are cautious about giving their knowledge, only sharing it with the devout student who consistently demonstrates himself worthy of the information he wants.

Life’s Alchemist

Joseph Wright studying in lamp light illustration.

Antiquity’s alchemists tried to figure out how to transform basic ingredients into gold. And the Magician’s desire to convert a sow’s ear into a purse is a critical channel in his energy flow. When the Magician archetype is fully integrated within a man, he seeks for methods to convert negative experiences and setbacks into chances to learn, develop, and improve.

Mediator of the Spirit

“Understands the relationship between the invisible realm of the spirits–the Divine World–and the world of human people and nature,” Moore says. The Magician, as the link between various realms, has the capacity to convey complex spiritual concepts in a manner that others can understand. That was the Magician spirit at work if you’ve ever spoken to a buddy who utilized a simple metaphor to address your worries.

The Modern Obstacle to Obtaining Magician Energy: Initiation

Vintage men organizing magic ceremony in field.

The initiate and the initiator are the two fundamental roles through which the Magician’s energy flows. Or, to put it another way, the mentor and the mentee.

Magician energy, as we just stated, motivates us to seek for secret knowledge. Contrary to common belief, skilled magicians never divulge their tricks, a man really inspired by the mature Magician archetype is ready to turn around and teach others what he has learnt. He wants to bring the serious and sincere seeker up to his level.

This is why, in today’s society, the absence of magical energy is at the root of many of the problems that men face. There aren’t enough mature guys who have gone through the rite of passage and are willing to introduce new men into the “hidden knowledge” of masculinity. Dads and grandfathers, uncles and cousins taught their sons and other young men how to act, dress, and behave like men. However, many guys these days have grown up without such a mentor and consequently feel lost, directionless, and adrift.

This is true not just when it comes to being initiated into masculinity, but also when it comes to a man’s career path. The days of guilds and personal apprenticeships are mostly gone, and trade schools have declined in favor. Because men are fiercely competitive and just care about themselves, there is frequently no one prepared to launch a guy into his career. Apprenticeships have been supplanted with internships, and instead of being introduced into the profession, interns are forced to perform the unappealing grunt labor of others before being let go after their brief assignment is through.

The increasing popularity of pick-up and seduction artists who offer to teach initiates the secrets to scoring lots of females for a few hundred or thousand dollars demonstrates that many guys have an unsatisfied need for initiation into some type of hidden knowledge. And many guys who can’t find mentors any other way are prepared to pay a lot of money to employ them. On the surface, the PUA movement’s success stems from a desire to be good at picking up women, but I believe it’s actually an expression of a deeper desire to be initiated into a hidden world, to know things that others don’t. This type of terminology is actually used in a lot of PUA forums—people speak about the many degrees of knowledge you get, and how only 10% of people who study the topic really grasp it, and so on.


I know a few of men who have benefited from some of these workshops and books. They’re mostly acquiring fundamental social skills that they didn’t acquire as children. For a variety of reasons, I don’t believe that the pick-up artist scene can adequately satisfy young men’s need for initiation into masculinity.

To begin with, most PUA gurus are nothing more than internet marketing con artists that profit from a young man’s sexual insecurities. Many PUA trainers are occupied by the Magician’s shadow, the Manipulator, rather than being in touch with good Magician energy. These gurus’ initiations into masculinity lack the seriousness and depth of initiations given by men who have completely evolved the mature masculine inside themselves.

Second, PUA followers’ manliness is continually defined in terms of women–they are preoccupied with thinking about women, including how they think, how they can be controlled, how to communicate with them, where to meet them, and so on. However, masculinity has nothing to do with women. Look at any great guy in history–none of them prioritized women. Instead, they focused on learning a more important topic of secret knowledge, one that would leave them with a true and enduring legacy. Their success brought women to them organically, without the need for any gimmicks.

The magician sign chart illustration.

The Magician Archetype’s Shadows

The Manipulator Who Isn’t Attached

In his completeness, the Magician wishes to introduce other men into his wisdom, raising them up from degree to degree to become greater and happier men. The Manipulator Shadow impersonates the Magician in all of his glory, teasing would-be initiates with the promise of knowing his secrets, but he does not reveal all of his knowledge to them. To feed both his ego and his wallet, he withholds things from them. Shadow Manipulators charge a lot of money to their students with the promise that they can become just like them, but they don’t tell them the real secrets to doing so, especially the secret that they can’t always become just like them because their own success was due to x,y, or z factor that won’t happen to anyone else.

An army of Shadow Manipulators has emerged as a result of the internet. Hucksters abound, offering you the keys to bedding ladies, decreasing weight, and generating money online… if you’ll only pay $200 for their eBook.

On our cultural stage, shadow manipulators also play a significant role. Wall Street bankers, politicians, marketing firms, and media commentators are all masters at gaining a following by giving just part of the narrative.

The Manipulator’s cynical detachment from other people is another facet of his personality. Too frequently, I see this Shadow in men. They’re the ones who would say, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” when faced with their inability to commit to anything, be enthusiastic about anything, or have any joys in life. Moore aptly outlines this man’s problems:


“This is the guy who thinks too much, who observes his life but never participates in it.” He’s stuck in a web of advantages and disadvantages concerning his choices, and he’s lost in a maze of contemplative meanderings from which he can’t get out. He is terrified of living, of ‘jumping into conflict.’ He can only think when sitting on his rock. The years go by. He is perplexed as to where the time has gone. And he concludes by lamenting his sterility. He’s a voyeur and an armchair explorer. He is a hairsplitter in the academic world. He takes no decisions out of fear of making the incorrect one. He is unable to share in the excitement and pleasure that other people enjoy in their lives due to his dread of living. He will soon feel alienated and lonely if he withholds information from others and does not share what he knows. He has shut himself off from living relatedness with other human beings to the degree that he has damaged others with his knowledge and technology—in whatever area and in whatever fashion.”

The Righteous One

The Innocent One is the bi-polar shadow’s passive pole. A man possessed by the Innocent One shadow desires all of the power, glory, and prestige that comes with fully embracing the Magician archetype, but he is unwilling to put in the effort or accept the responsibilities that comes with such power, glory, and status. They witness another guy doing something amazing and decide to do the same thing. These are the guys who are ecstatic about a new hobby, faith, or career path–their enthusiasm is palpable–but once the fun part is over (naming the band, buying a skateboard, designing the start-logo), up’s they realize how much “dead work” is required to get really good at the cool thing, and they give up. Men who are tormented by the Innocent One’s shadow want to be rich, but are unwilling to toil and strive for years to accomplish it. They aspire to play guitar like Django Reinhardt, but after just a few weeks of tuition, they quit. They want to be spiritual but don’t want to go through the motions of praying, meditating, or studying the Bible.

The Innocent One’s shadow conduct, however, does not end there. Because a man in touch with the Innocent One can never accomplish or fulfill his objectives due to sloth, he does not want others to achieve theirs. Out of jealousy, he becomes a stumbling barrier for others. A guy possessed by the Innocent One resents other people’s success and tries all he can to undermine it. This was a sort of individual that Theodore Roosevelt detested. “One of those cold and timid souls, who know neither triumph nor loss,” he said of a man possessed by the Innocent One.


How to Get in Touch with the Magician Archetype

  • Make a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Meditate
  • Produce more while consuming less.
  • Work with your hands if possible.
  • Participate in a rite of passage ceremony.
  • Look for a mentor.
  • Become a mentor for others.
  • Become a member of a fraternal organization such as the Freemasons or the Knights of Columbus.
  • Make a holy place for yourself in your life. This, in my view, is the most important essential to gaining access to the Magician archetype. There is no distinction between holy and profane in contemporary man’s existence. You’ll need an entrée to that higher world if you want access to the thoughts, energies, and ideas that exist on a level above your regular, day-to-day existence. Sacred space serves as a portal. Create a ritual for yourself, a time or physical area when you are not disturbed and others are not aware of your thoughts. Maybe it’s listening to Bach after the kids have gone to bed in your study. Perhaps it’s going to a beautiful, lonely grove in the park to contemplate. Maybe it’ll be a morning stroll in the woods. Maybe it’s going to Mass without your family on a weekday morning. Draw a line around whatever it is and make it sacrosanct in your life.

Introduction to the Mature Masculine’s Four Archetypes Part I of The Boyhood Archetypes Part II of The Boyhood Archetypes The Admirer The Heroic Warrior The Sorcerer The King of the Universe



The “guy archetypes” is a term that has been used to describe the different types of men in society. The “magician archetype” is one of the most popular and well-known archetypes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the magician masculine?

A: The magician is not gender specific. It could be a man, woman or child playing the magician character in Beat Saber.

What archetype is the magician?

A: The magician is an archetype that relies heavily on magical abilities.

What are the four masculine archetypes?

A: The four masculine archetypes are the Warrior, King, Magician, and Fool.

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