The Magical Tarot – The Lovers
The Mystic Lovers
by Madeline Montalban
Many correspondents have expressed surprise that the Tarot is a book of magical instruction, since they were only acquainted with it as a means of prediction. Perhaps it is for that very reason that the occult secrets behind the cards have been forgotten for so long.
Take Trump No. 6, for instance, known as The Lovers. It is commonly assumed that this trump has to do with love affairs only. Yet, in actual fact, it reveals the meaning behind any emotional hesitation, indecision or instability, for when our minds are disturbed by emotions of any kind, be it love, sorrow, fear or even hatred, we are unable to think straight.
For this reason, No. 6 is one of the trumps that are governed by Thoth of the Egyptians, Hermes of the Greeks, and Mercury of the Romans; otherwise the power of mentality.
In this ancient illustration of Trump No. 6, you see a man and woman being instructed by the winged Mercury. The picture of two people caught in emotion, unable to listen clearly to the promptings of the mind, is thus made clear. The whole illustration is a visual lecture on the age-old theme of emotion versus reason. Because emotion springs from physical causes, it can and does disturb the mind. The person caught in fear-emotion is depressed and downcast: in love, perhaps exalted out of proportion; in hatred, too often impelled into foolish action. Emotions are by their very nature ephemeral. That means that time can exhaust them, or tone them down to manageable proportions.
The mentality, on the other hand, is limitless. The more you use it, the bigger and more powerful it grows.
The theme of No. 6, The Lovers, is emotion versus reason, or the physical versus the mental. We have all experienced those emotional times when we do something knowing full well we should not do it; when we love too strongly, and impossibly, or sorrow for what is lost.
We can all hate, but fortunately few of us let hatred influence our actions. When we do, it is disastrous.
To continue doing these things when our minds tells us we are doing wrong, or when the situation is hopeless, is to let our physical-emotional nature overrule our mental powers.
This puts us on the level of animals, who act from instinct, or desire. That is when we can do ourselves harm, unless we take time to allow the winged Mercury, or power of mind, to guide us.
Others can often advise us because being outside the problem, as it were, they see it in proportion, unswayed by emotion. But if the problem is something we don’t want to confide to others, how can we let reason talk to emotion?
Perhaps you might like to try an old and very simple way of getting your mind clear. All you need are some black-and-white counters and two bowls.
First, you resolve your problem, and then decide to be absolutely honest with yourself. Let us assume that it is a love problem that bothers you, though the system will serve for any emotional situation.
The matter concerned is the loved one. The white counters represent “For”, and the black “Against”.
Begin by placing a white counter in a bowl for each thing you like about the other person. Then, in the other, put a black counter for everything you don’t like about the person (or situation).
If you feel you are making most of the running, add three black counters, since in any affair the chaser is at a disadvantage.
If the other person is doing the chasing, add three white counters, but also add one black one for every reason you have for not letting him or her catch up with you.
If material considerations on either side prevent the love affair from going ahead, add three black counters. Continue so for every point “for” and “against”; then, at the end, count whether you have more white or black counters.
If black predominates, the situation is hopeless and should be abandoned. It may not be generally realized, but no love affair, when one party is against its culmination, can ever be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
If the white counters predominate, the situation is in your favour and you can turn it the way you want. This is where the tricky bit comes in. We often think we want to do a thing, but basically we fear to do it because of some unexpressed or unrealized fear.
With white counters predominating, only you can obstruct the affair.
Indecision, and inability to make up one’s mind, come from conflicting emotions, often unrealized.
This Tarot Trump No. 6 is given the zodiacal rulership of the sign Gemini. It represents emotion versus reason.
In mystic Astrology (which was more tied to magic than it is today) emotion is represented by Venus in Gemini, in that particular degree where frivolity and superficiality, fickleness and diffusion of interests, are greater than clear thought.
Mercury, Lord of the Card, is represented at the caduceus point of Gemini, meaning shrewd, unbiased judgement (when the God of Mentality can get through to you). But refuse to face facts, or shut your ears to his counsel, and the result is the reversed caduceus, or shallow judgement due to over-hasty reactions of obstinate and selfish determination.
If we calmly consider an emotional problem instead of enacting it, it is immediately reduced by half.
But when deeply involved, few of us can do this. The calm voice of the mind is too often drowned by the roar of emotion’s tide. Let it be; and you will fail. This is the meaning of The Lovers, for mind and body are indivisible.
[Prediction, March 1963]