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The Two of Cups

February 15, 2013

Initiation and the Tarot

Cups of Happiness

but not for “Misers in Love”

by Madeline Montalban

“Love discouraged or rejected. When reversed, reciprocated love, wealth but miserliness.” Such is the exoteric, or outer meaning of the Two of Cups in a Tarot spread, for the two cups represent two people, each with their Cup of Happiness. And this can be full or empty according to whether each individual has a “wealth of understanding” or suffers from “a miserliness of feeling”. Yet, behind this meaning is a deeper truth, and one which, properly understood, can save love affairs or marriages from disintegration.

“It is very hard to love the rich” is an old saying, and one of the greatest tragedies of the well-to-do is their inability to accept genuine love for themselves without the question: “Is it I whom this person loves, or my possessions?” Just as the wise person never looks for generosity from the rich, so they cannot expect a “wealth of understanding”. The possession of real riches from birth often prevents the holder from learning, from first-hand experience, many of the sorrows others must endure. There are notable exceptions, of course, but in the main, the person who has always been financially fortunate suffers more through his own emotions rather than through the vicissitudes of life.

Each of us learns from life, by our own sorrows and ordeals, the understanding of the troubles of others. It enables us to give help and sympathy. But a person who has always been able to buy everything he wants, to have the wheels of life oiled by money, can be spared many ordinary ordeals and troubles. Not having experienced them, he cannot understand the sufferings of others, or fully sympathize with them. If a person has never been hungry, he cannot understand the agony of hunger; if he has never known ill-health, he cannot help or sympathize with those who do. We can only learn by experience. Equally so, a person who has never known love will never be able to give it.

Most of us accept the fact that somebody loves us for “ourselves alone”. It is easy for us, because we know that they cannot love us for our worldly possessions. But no wealthy person can free his mind from that suspicion. So, when real love comes his way, he doubts it, and tries to “prove it”. In trying to prove it he dissects it, and causes suffering to the other person and to himself.

Sometimes I think that the agonies the rich go through when up against the inevitable, in a situation where money cannot help, is greater than most of us have to bear, for they get so little sympathy, and have so little experience to fall back on.

Yet riches must not only be counted in material possessions. Some people are rich in their ability to attract the love of others easily, and these too can be “misers in love”. They accept love as their due, but do not give it in return. Never having had to strive to win love, they don’t think it is worth striving to keep. These are the people who cause heartbreak for others; the flirts, the congenitally unfaithful ones, the chasers after every new face. They who have a wealth of love sent their way are miserly in giving any return for it.

Much the same applies to over-indulged children, or parents who are adored by their children. All these types are miserly in the giving-out of love to others, but they often demand it as their right. The net result of all this is that, just as they have caused havoc in the emotions of others, so, some time, they must endure deep hurts to their own feelings. Country people have a phrase for this, they call it the “come uppance”.

The first time I heard this phrase was from a farmer’s wife whose daughter had been badly let down by a heartless young man who was a notorious flirt. The mother said to her heart-broken daughter: “You will get over this in time. You have had your tragedy, but he will get his come uppance.” The phrase intrigued me, and I asked just what it meant. She said: “There’s some folks that can do others down time and time again and seem no penny the worse for it themselves. They forget what they have done each day, but the things they have done don’t die. They live on, and some day they come up and make them suffer, and that’s a come uppance. We all get our come uppance sooner or later.”

Matters of love, especially, are subject to this law. If we love and lose the one we love, is it not better than never to have known that love at all? If we love in vain, despite the dreadful heart-ache, we have learned something from the experience. What most of us do learn is that we cannot get the moon just by crying for it. We cannot expect to have love reciprocated just because we ourselves love a certain person. Just as we cannot always return the love of those who love us.

I don’t think there is anybody in the world who has not known the agony of rejected love at some stage of their lives, just as they, too, have been unable to reciprocate the love of somebody else. Each one of us must know the agonies of rejected love, and in turn, at some stage, be the rejecters. It is all part of the pattern of life, and yet so many people imagine that it has never happened to anybody else but them.

So many letters to me ask: “Why should my love affair have gone wrong?” Or “Why should I love somebody who does not love me?” The only answer I can give is that they must have something to learn from the experience. If we are wise, we learn it, and it is this. That love from others cannot be commanded, but must be earned; and that love has many phases.

If you cannot be beloved by the one you love, you can, if you have the right temperament, become a staunch friend. If not, you can build something else on the ashes of your dead love. But if you over-dramatize it, then danger lies ahead, for you are but placing yourself in the star role of a bad melodrama that is real only to yourself, and a great bore to others.

The sad truth is that other people’s love affairs and emotional agonies do not interest any but the people concerned. People who spend their lives being heartbroken over a love disappointment are demanding an excess of sympathy and understanding from those around them which is quite unfair. We all sympathize with people in the first agonies of rejected love, but we cannot be expected to sympathize and understand, year after year, when the sufferer is obviously dramatizing the whole thing out of its proper perspective.

It is really the child howling for the moon. All the screaming in the world won’t give it the moon to play with. All the fretting will never revive dead love, for it is the deadest thing out. All the wanting in the world won’t create love from somebody who does not love us. Love cannot be bought, but it can be earned. If you love the other person enough, and are content just to love without demanding love in return, you can be happy, for you are “wealthy in your love”. But if you dole out love measure for measure, and want equal proportions back for what you give, then you are a miser in love. You love yourself more than the other person, and you will be the Two of Cups upright, or “love discouraged and rejected”. If you are given the ability to love without demanding a return, you are “wealthy in love”. If you resent loving and not being loved, you are a miser in love, and your “come uppance” will be to be rejected time after time until you learn better.
[Prediction, October 1960]

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