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The 7 of Cups

December 31, 2012

Initiation and the Tarot

The Key To Occult Power

by Madeline Montalban

In case you should think that the word “Quetzalcoyotl” is some supreme type-writing error, I’ll tell you now it is the name of an ancient Mexican god who had as his special symbol the swastika.

The swastika is nothing but four figure sevens laid out north, south, east and west, with their ends touching in the middle. As we have now come to the study of the four sevens in the Minor Arcana, and as there is much to say about the true significance of the swastika, or the Key to Power, each of the cards must be dealt with in a separate article.

I’ll begin with the Seven of Cups. In divination this card means “an unexpected stroke of good luck; success that was not anticipated, or success in love”. When reversed its good indications are not much minimized, for it still means “good fortune and benefits”. Esoterically, the Seven of Cups represents the Eastern leg of the swastika, and this leg indicates occult or psychic power. That is why the idea arose that the seventh son of a seventh son (or the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter) had natural psychic gifts. In fact, this is more likely to be true in the case of the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, for occult power comes through the feminine line. But the whole idea of inherited power being connected with the number seven is as old as time.

I found the explanation of it in Mexico, on the top of a ruined teocalli, which is a Mexican step pyramid. But true occult knowledge is widespread, and you may find it anywhere in the ancient records, just as you will find the swastika, for this is one of the most ancient symbols in the world. Carved into the ancient stone of the Mexican pyramid was the figure of the god Quetzalcoyotl, represented as clothed only in an outspread “aura” composed of hundreds of tiny humming-bird feathers or iridescent multi-colours; he was holding in one hand a swastika, and in the other what looked like a figure seven on its side, but was the Eastern leg of the swastika. Thus was Quetzalcoyotl identified with the dawn, for as the sun rises it paints the clouds in multi-colours. The humming-birds are the first to waken in those parts, and the noise they make is said to be a faint echo of the noise made by the world spinning on its axis and revolving in space.

So, we put all the symbolism together. Seven of Cups is a “fortunate” card – it represents the Eastern leg of the swastika. It is connected with the dawn (and the god of the dawn is also allied with wisdom) and with the “aura”, which is coloured, and receives and sends vibrations, thereby linking up with the humming-bird. It follows that if we want to attract to ourselves the nice things indicated by the Seven of Cups – happiness and success – we must become the kind of being who has a clear, big aura. An aura through which the occult forces can work to guide us into the right paths that will bring happiness and affection. In other words, “we walk into the dawn”.

To use our time, talents and efforts for worth-while things is “walking into the dawn”, and therefore using the right-handed swastika, which is the Key to Power. That power represents not power over other people, but power over yourself, which is obtained when you do the thing in life you are best fitted for; and that is for you to find out. To be content to do any old job, hoping for the best and muddling along, is using the swastika the wrong way round, for it then becomes the key of non-power. And to have no power over yourself means you are constantly setting in motion a series of events that can only lead to troubles in the future.

If anybody asks me what is the most important thing in life I would say “congenial occupation”, for we all have to work, and the greater part of our lives are spent in work. To work in the field you want to work in is more than half the battle, for then work ceases to be irksome. You meet the kind of people who share your interests, and happiness follows almost as a matter of course. But to do a job just to bring in money will never do anything real for you, for you will spend that money trying to buy amusement and happiness. And happiness cannot be bought, so you get into a squirrel’s cage of muddle.

Few of us are lucky enough to hit on the job we really want to do at first, but inside us all is something that inclines us to one thing or another, and the thing you want to do is the one you would do best. If your life is a continual muddle – if you know only frustration – then the work you are doing is not right for you. If you really want to work things out for yourself, you must make every effort to get into the occupation best suited for you. You have then a permanent interest, and against that all minor troubles and irritations are apt to dash themselves to pieces.

Many of you write to me and say you have always wanted to do certain work, but few of you admit that you have never really made an effort to do it. You may have inborn talent for writing, painting or music, but that talent cannot thrive and benefit you if you don’t work at it, cultivate it, and train it. However strong your inborn talent may be, it needs to be trained. It’s not much good saying “But I have written a lot of things that haven’t been accepted”, if you have not bothered to take any training in journalism, and are just expecting “results” without true effort.

If, for instance, you are working as a saleswoman, and you feel you would like to be a musician, ask yourself what steps you have taken to get into your desired field. Have you inquired about training? Have you practised and studied? Then, by your own honest answers to yourself, you will find out just why you haven’t succeeded. There is always room for capable artists, musicians and writers, but seldom room for the untrained hopefuls who expect their inborn talent to be recognized without having taken the necessary training to learn how to present these talents!

The same applies to occult and psychic power. So many of you feel you have it in you and ask: “How can I start?” So few of you are prepared to spend time and money in the necessary study that will prove or disprove your talents. To say you haven’t time is just not true. We can all make time for the things that are really important. If we don’t, they cannot really be very important to us. The happiness and success that is foretold by the Seven of Cups is usually that which has been earned in some way, or contributed to by your own efforts.

If you are lonely and lack love, look around and ask yourself if you are making any effort to meet congenial companions that share your interests. Also, ask yourself if you have any interests to share. To achieve all by doing nothing is just not possible. If we want to attract love, or happiness or success, we must work towards it in some practical way. By doing so we “clear our aura” of the clogging, muddling effects of unnecessary occupations and the feelings they arouse, and let in the light, just as the rising sun lets light on to the world.

To try and then fail is not one half as dispiriting as never having tried at all. If you do fail, time and time again, you are still learning something. If you never try, you never learn anything, and so can achieve nothing. You can attract success and love to yourself by using your own Key to Power, true effort to bring about what you want, and by spending your working hours in a congenial occupation. You are never too old to re-model your life. You are never too old to try, in some way, to achieve what you want. Where we all fail is in waiting for somebody else to do the work for us, to make the efforts we are either too lazy or too foolish to make for ourselves. The power that lies within a human being is unlimited, for when we try to achieve something, the occult forces rally to our aid and push down barriers for us. But they will not do so without effort on your part.

You are here for a purpose. You must fulfil it, whatever it may be. The occult powers will help you fulfil it, if you try, but they will not do it for you. It is your life, to make or to mar, and if you set about making something of it, the occult forces are more than ready to help.
[Prediction, January 1959]

  1. Auntie,

    You’ve got your dating wrong. The 8 of Swords and Cups article is dated December ’58. The 8 of Wands and Pentacles article is dated April ’59 and the 7 of Cups article is dated January ’59. If the articles are consecutive, there’s an error here. 😉


    • Hi Walt,

      A gold star for being so sharp eyed!

      The article on the 8 of Rods and the 8 of Pence was printed out of sequence. Miss Montalban seems to have overlooked them. When she was well into the articles on the sevens, and it was apparent that the two cards had been skipped over, letters began to come in bemoaning the fact that information about the 8s of Pentacles and Wands was missing. The oversight was then corrected, before Miss M. continued on to the sixes. In order not to break the flow, I have reprinted the articles sequentially.


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