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Helping Yourself to Health

November 26, 2012

Initiation and the Tarot

The Tarot and Health

Remedial secrets of Trump No. 11

by Madeline Montalban

“There is no such thing as illness. No such thing as pain. It is all imaginary – all of it!” announced the woman in the train, as she watched me lower myself gingerly into a seat and wince as my strained back made itself felt.

Her remarks were, presumably, addressed to the man beside her, but her glittering eyes were fixed on me.

I did not rise to the bait. I studied her feet. On the left little toe was the bulge of a corn. I sat quite still, fought with the demon of temptation – and lost.

The woman leaned forward, touched my knee, and said: “You are not in pain, you only think you are – Ouch!” The last was a yell as I stamped hard on her corn.

“Go on,” I said sweetly, “do tell me what you are imagining now.”

She fell into a silence, while I mused what harm these dogmatic fools can do. Of course there is such a thing as pain; and illness, and death, too. They are the common lot of humanity, and to pretend they don’t exist is to be as great a fool as to pay them too much attention.

Our bodies are like machinery. They need rest and attention now and then. The ancient Egyptians knew this, and that is why the Tarot trump called Strength, No. 11, was always represented in their ceremonies by a woman lying prone on a wheeled bed and being drawn either by oxen or lions. The symbolism of the card has altered somewhat down the ages, but its secrets are still there for those who look for them.

In divination, the card represents invincible strength and dauntless courage, with victory to those who know how to direct their wills into the right channels.

Originally it was one of the Great Arcana of Healing – self-healing with the aid of an archangel, which power has now come to be called Raphael. As many of you write inquiring about health problems and what you can do to help yourself, it might be helpful to reveal some of the secrets that lie behind this card.

Suppose you were an ancient Egyptian who was suffering ill-health. You would not go to a doctor, but to the nearest Temple; for some of the priests and priestesses always specialized in medicine. Your complaint would be diagnosed and you would receive medicine and advice.

The advice was completely occult. It told you how to put yourself into the hands of the Healing Archangel. In ancient Egyptian lore every archangel was a power for something. The one known as RA-FA-EL was in charge of all the lesser healing angels, and these, according to the ancient Egyptian faith, were appointed by the Supreme God, Ptah the Creator, to help man to heal his own ills.

So the sufferer was taught to write mystic hieroglyphics that would “call” the angel to him, and told the hours of the day and night over which the Healing Archangel had rulership. In these hours the sufferer was to lie down and practise certain mental exercises – which were as follows:

Every ill from which man suffered had its own little secret symbol and was revealed to the sufferer by the priest. Perhaps a man had an ailing liver. If so, the symbol was that of a tiny, stagnant pool located in the liver area of the body. The sufferer was told to lie down “in the hour of the Angel” and imagine that little stagnant pool in his body; to re-create his ailment as a symbol.

Then he was to “call” the Healing Angel by either writing the secret hieroglyphs of the angel’s name, or handling a little scarab on which the sacred name was engraved. Then he waited for the angel to manifest, and this came as a warm glow spreading over the body, a flashing light before his eyes, or a feeling of the body being raised from the bed. Note the word “feeling”. The body was not actually raised, but it suddenly felt light.

Then, over the ailing part, the sufferer was to make a certain sign, to “open the body” and let the healing ray of the angel penetrate. This healing ray would dry up and wither the source of the illness. Not all at once, of course, but day by day. After each healing session the sufferer “closed the opening” with another sign.

With time, the illness passed away. So said the ancient Egyptians – and why not? Just as ills have psychic as well as physical causes, so must remedies have psychic causes too, for “as above so below” is the rule on which this universe is founded.

The sufferer was playing an active part in his own cure. He believed in the presence of the angel, of the invisible healing rays, and “his faith made him whole”. And I believe it too, for though doctors can do much to help us, they can do nothing without our own belief in the possibility of cure. In fact, if we are convinced we can be cured, then cure seems to follow as a matter of course.

It is the secrets of Strength, mental, physical, and spiritual, that are hidden in the arcana of card No. 11 and, studied far enough and deep enough, it reveals the psychic causes of all ills, and their physical and psychic remedies.

The aura, or body of light that stretches round each of us, is the medium through which the healing powers work. They cure first of all that darkness in the aura that reflects the physical ill; and from the healed aura comes, in time, the healed body.

For each “symbol” of illness there is an opposing symbol, that of the particular healing angel that has power to dispel that particular form of suffering. Healers of ancient Egypt worked by teaching the patient the secrets of self-healing and of communion with the power that would help his particular ill.

Absent healing was not practised very much, for the will and co-operation of the patient to be cured was considered all-important. Priests who healed without the patient’s co-operation did so by absorbing into their own bodies the evils of the patient’s ills. They became the sufferer, and then dispelled the evil from themselves by the methods I have referred to previously. This method seemed to be only for sufferers past helping themselves.

We can all help ourselves to health, for the healing power is always willing to help as soon as called upon. It is knowing how and when to “call” that is the greatest secret of Strength, which is – victory over ills.

[Published in Prediction, October, 1957]

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