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The Magician

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The Magician

The Magician archetype is transformative and its primary role is to “contain and channel the good of all.” The Magician is insightful, astute, intelligent, mending, and thoughtful. As an ace of innovation, the Magician realizes how to control the components.

The Magician is represented by many names such as occult, prophet, and wizard. Given that the Magician is seen as knowledgeable, the archetype is synonymous with cognition. In King Warrior, Magician, Lover, Robert Moore states that “…because he [The Magician] has knowledge of the dynamics of energy flows and patterns in nature, in human individuals and societies, and among the gods — the deep unconscious forces — he is a master at containing and channeling power.”

Magicians, however, can also use their powers to destroy and manipulate things. These are shadows of the Magician. In Robert Moore’s model, the shadow is bi-polar, meaning it has two sides, which are the Detached Manipulator and the ‘Denying’ Innocent One. The Detached Manipulator is the one that uses its powers to manipulate and control others. The Architect in the second Matrix film is the prime example of this kind of the Magician archetype. The Innocent One, on the other hand, embodies the passive kind of the archetype which uses its powers to blind people from the reality of things.

The Magician is also known as the catalyst for a purpose. In the Hero's Journey, the Magician is the stick in the inflatable of a saint's shielded life. While the Magician, in fiction, is incredible, he is frequently debilitated by a similar power, confined from helping the world.

When you're confronting an extreme choice, your considerations on which course to take are controlled by the Magician. His capacity originates from attentive reflection and contemplation. The Magician resembles an incredible chess player; the more he encounters and studies, the more he can see life like a chessboard. He imagines all the conceivable moves, and anticipates with great preciseness where those moves will lead.

One reason that a Magician probably won't be eager to chance life and appendage is that his capacity is conceived of ego. To be debased or generally devoured by evil is one of his biggest feelings of trepidation.

The Magician’s Representation in Society

Writer Joseph Campbell described the Magician archetype as “the mentor with supernatural aid” in every “hero’s” journey. For example, Neo had Morpheus, Harry Potter had Dumbledore, and every tribe in history had a shaman. The Magician plays the crucial role of the elder who blesses the younger generation with his wisdom, guiding them towards manhood (which is the purpose of the hero’s journey).

Discoveries, inventions, and all the sciences fall within the domain of the Magician. The Magician takes students or apprentices and guides them. A student is required to invest a large amount of time, energy, and money in studying and perfecting his/her capabilities to become a master of the Magician’s powers. However, there’s no guarantee that he/she will succeed. When people seek resolution to their problems, they seek the Magician’s help.

The Magician in Branding

The Magician is present everywhere around us, even in the identities of brands. Organizations employing the Magician’s traits are often very successful in acting as vessels of change. They are seen as creators of opportunities, converting difficult situations into success for all parties. Empowerment of people, teams, and networks lies at the core of these organizations.

The Magician brand fosters change in customer’s lives. This change can promise the transformation of sickness to better health (e.g. pharmaceuticals), of feelings of confusion and irritation to enlightenment and peace (e.g. churches, gurus), of inefficiency and obsoleteness to productive and cutting-edge (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, software). Hence we see major brands such as Disney, Apple, and Polaroid using the elements of the Magician archetype in their branding. Their marketing of a Magician includes a grandiose feel. Whether expansive or magnificent, imagery like a sky full of stars or a rainbow spanning the heavens is intended to evoke feelings of awe.

We can also look to Mary Kay for a case of a Magician brand. The organization advances its business as an approach to change your life – transform your fantasies into triumphs. Their products appeal to ladies who want to enhance their beauty almost magically.

An Example of Magician Branding

FedEx is a company that incorporates a wide range of archetypes in its advertising campaigns. However, they tend to rely on the Magician the most. The Magician is an amazing fit for FedEx. Think about it - the idea of a package suddenly appearing on your doorstep in a matter of days - is pretty impressive especially when the customers don’t see any part of the process that FedEx employs to get the package from one point to another.

In the "Enchanted Forest" Magician ad from FedEx, we see heavy use of fantasy related imagery. The ad lets us know that FedEx seems to care about the environment, but it also pairs the FedEx brand with fantastic cartoonish creatures. Subconsciously we get the idea that FedEx is magically efficient at what it does.

Another important use of the archetype can be observed in the logo of FedEx. Upon closer observation, we find a subtle symbol embedded into the logo itself. The white space in the logo between the "E" and the "X" forms the shape of an arrow pointing rightwards. This subliminally embeds into the customer’s mind the feeling of moving ahead or traveling quickly through space. These are concepts that suit FedEx perfectly.

Brands can hence evoke the Magician by placing subtle messages or compelling symbols into their advertisements or logos.


The Magician archetype is seen as powerful and transformative, which makes it an important tool in branding. Brands that aim to change the lives of people and inspire their customers should include traits of the Magician in their ads and logos as that will help them effectively convey their message.