The Magician: Shirou Kamui

The Magician

It's really rather logical that the first card features Kamui, given that he is the one on whom the fate of the world rests (the Fool is at the beginning of the sequence but outside of it, therefore it can't really be considered the first).

This card is among the ones that follow the original imagery more closely: in both, the characters has one hand raised towards the sky and the other pointing towards the earth. Before him are the suit symbols of the Minor Arcana, which represent the elements. It is inferred that these are at his disposal. Last of all, above his head is symbol for eternity. The main differences are the lack of a rod in Kamui's right hand (the one pointing towards the sky), the absence of flowers around him, the table on which the symbols lie in the original, and the fact that Kamui is pouring water fromthe cup with his left hand.

The posture of the character: The left hand reaches up to touch the heavens while the right points towards the earth. Through this gesture it is established that the Magician/Kamui is in contact with both the earthly and the heavenly planes. This is the characteristic of man: his feet are anchored on earth while his head is in heaven. It establishes the fact that he is the axis mundi, that he is at the junction of the different cosmic planes and that in a way he is the center of the world. Rather apporpiate for the Kamui, isn't it? The posture is also a symbol for the descent of grace, light and virtue from the higher plane where they have their origin, to the earthly plane. It signifies possesion of spiritual power.

ALthough ot very noticeable in the X card, the torso is turned ever so sightly in relation to the pelvis. This movement is reminiscent of a spiral and is present in universal religious iconography. This posture symbolizes union with a primordial essence even while a process of evolution is underway.

The symbol of eternity: This is the "umbilical cord" that joins the character to the center of te universe. The symbol has the shape of a reclining eight. It is interesting to note that in gnostic tradition,the number eight is the number for the New Jerusalem and the Holly Spirit. It is also the number of Christ. But we all knew about the parallels between Kamui and Christ already, didn't we? ^^;

The (missing) upturned rod: It symbolises magical powers, authority and, once again, the axis mundi, the junction between heaven and Earth. It is the embodiment of the energy that descends from a higher plane, ray of light coming fromthe sun. In the case of the X Tarot, the rod is missing from Kamui's hand, but around his upturned hand there seems to be a higher concentration of light, almost as if he were holding a ray of light.

The suits of the Minor Arcana: As I've already expained,these represent the elements of life, and the Magician/Kamui has control over them, he is able to manipulate them. The sword is a masculine symbol, it represents authority, leadership and rational inteligence. The rod's symbolism has already been expalined, but in the case of the X Tarot, it is very clearly a caduceous. The caduceous was an atricute of Hermes, in adition to the symbolism ahtat has already been discussed, the two serpents entwined around its lenght are the symbols for the opposing and complimentary principles that are the essence of the cosmos. The golden disc has a pentacle engraved, which is a symbol for the universe, but it is also reminiscent of a coin, which iin greek literature is another link to Hermes, who was the god of merchants. Last of all, the cup represents the feminine principle, it's the vessel that carries the water of life, which, in the X Tarot, Kamui is poring on the earth.

Overall meaning: This card represents unity, the original state at the beginning of any process of evolution. It also represents the divine principle present in human beings (Kamui = "he who represents the majesty of God").

In other words, Kamui is the beginning, he is the principal player and it is in him that the actual battle begins. He not only possesses amazing powers, but upon his choice of which side to join rests the fate of the earth. The very first thing that both Hinoto and Kanoe wanted was to convince him to join their respective sides.