Clow Reed is the magician who originally created the Clow Cards, and their magical guardians Cerberus and Yue. Born of an English father and a Chinese mother, Clow created a new type of magic that blended both Eastern and Western magical elements. His plan was to hand down the magic to people who would use and protect it while meeting all of the qualifications, however few people could learn his brand of magic. The character of Clow is only seen in flash backs, as he has long been dead before the series starts. Few details are revealed about his character, personality, or life.
When Clow knew he was about to die, he chose his then unborn descendent, Sakura Kinomoto, to become the new guardian of the cards and the new master of Yue and Cerberus. Clow's magical ability allowed him to foresee most of the future and plan many of the situations that would enable Sakura to succeed in taking full possession of the Clow Cards. He also deliberately made the sealing wand for the cards pink, reflecting that its future user would be a young girl. He also split his soul into two reincarnations, Eriol Hiiragizawa who had all of his memories and magic he possessed, and Fujitaka Kinomoto, Sakura's father.
In the anime adaptation, Clow only splits his soul into a single reincarnation. In the first anime film, the "Madoushi", the spirit of a woman who had fought bitterly with Clow the appropriate use of magic is introduced. After she died, she attempted to continue the feud by having used her powers to embed her spirit in a book. After Sakura accidentally releases her Madoushi, the sorceress refuses to believe Clow is dead and attacks Sakura and her friends for trying to trick her. When Sakura is able to convince her that Clow has gone, the spirit realizes that she had truly loved Clow rather than hating them as she believed. Accepting he has died, her spirit vanishes.