In Magician and Fool, Pamela Colman Smith starts her career as an artist in the Edwardian world of the Lyceum Theatre, where she grows from innocent empath to seer and channeler; creating her now world-famous deck of tarot cards. Introduced to the cult The Golden Dawn by Bram Stoker, the second in command at the Lyceum Theatre, she is commissioned to create flash-card type medium for the members to use in their quest for magic.
Pamela creates the Fool and Magician card and realizes they are manifested from real life people and these transformations, once completed can lead to worldwide dominance. Her celebrity surrogate father, the actor/manager Sir Henry Irving, becomes the role model for her ‘Magician’ tarot card. William Terriss, the matinee idol of the day, becomes the ‘Fool’ role model, but both men are endowed with the gifts and markings of each card’s aspects.
Pamela learns that the Golden Dawn’s most evil member, Aleister Crowley, becomes obsessed with unlocking the mysteries of the Tarot. His obsession peaks when he sees the power of her deck; realizing he can create a rival deck, he attempts to manifest magical power to harm each of Pamela’s incarnates of her cards. Each card’s human incarnation has a special gift, for example, lightning, levitation, paralysis, etc, that will aid that person in completing the directive that each card instructs. The race is on for Pamela to complete her tarot deck before Aleister uses The Golden Dawn’s resources to create his own evil deck.