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The Magical Tarot –The Sun

September 24, 2013

[Toward the end of the section of this series covering the tarot Trumps, individual articles sometimes carry the header ‘Forgotten Secrets of the Tarot’ and sometimes the header ‘The Mystic Tarot’. A.T.]

Lord of Success

by Madeline Montalban

The Tarot trump No. 19, commonly called The Sun, was known to the ancients as the Lord of Success, and this card represented every kind of success that could take place on the material plane, and has a subtle connexion with No. 6 in the Tarot. Astrologically speaking, it is ruled by a combination of Sun-Mercury-Jupiter forces, and these are expressed in the particular illustration to this card shown here.

successIt must be remembered that once all Occultism was tied to Astrology, and that they were regarded as interconnected studies rather than separate arts. Now, though there can be competent Tarot readers who know nothing about Astrology, and excellent astrologers who know nothing at all about the Tarot, there cannot be a genuine occultist who has not had to study the correspondence, or inter-connexion, of stars, Tarot, planets and philosophy. So the less usual Tarot packs have some unusual methods of expressing the power of a trump card.

No. 19 represents success of any kind, but, on balance, it can be said to represent material achievements more than any others. Note the word achievements. It does not mean “goods or riches”, though they may come to the individual through the pursuit and arrival of a particular success.

One of the bugbears of Occultism is the superstitious idea that one must not use forces or knowledge to help oneself. Just how this idea arose (and it is recent . . . a matter of a few hundred years) is a matter for conjecture.

In the olden days it was assumed as a matter of course that any student of the mystic arts, or neophyte of the Mysteries, would indeed help themselves by the knowledge of the mystic arts.

This idea that it must only be used to help others is obviously absurd, because one cannot help others until one has tried out the formulae on oneself . . . the only person one has a right to experiment on!

Now, though associated with the study of the occult and the manipulation of occult forces there are all manner of mysterious-looking squares, circles, incantations, scripts and symbols, they are no more than picture-writing to express ideas.

Picture-writing is the oldest known international language. Astrological symbols, for instance, are understood by astrologers all over the world. So are the occult symbols to occultists. They are a language of their own.

Many people are inspired to study the occult because they feel they are failures in life. They have the good sense to look to higher forces for help, and when that is done, a wonderful wealth of knowledge unfolds, for right from the beginner to the adept, step-by-step guidance is given. None of these occult secrets has been lost. Many of them have been concealed, to keep them out of the hands of fools and vandals, but they are still there, and are still used today.

It has always surprised me that, out of a welter of correspondence, I seldom receive a straightforward request from anybody asking how they can study the occult secrets and formulae to help themselves! I find it very sad, because I can do so little to advise those who write and say they want the knowledge to “help others”. Because, the first rule for occult study is that you must learn to help yourself first.

Helping others can sometimes be meddlesome, for you cannot really know whether or not a trouble that has fallen upon somebody else is not meant for a given purpose; to teach them something, or to play a part in re-shaping their lives. But you can judge of your own problems, which is why the beginner should start with himself before trying to play an “angel on earth” role to others.

The symbols of success are the winged wands (thoughts) of Mercury, the endurance and regularity of the Sun, and the expansive traits and rulership of Jupiter. In the Roman calendar this card was ruled by Apollo, Mercury, and Jupiter, in the Greek by Phoebus, Hermes and Zeus, and in the ancient Egyptian by Amen-Ra, Thoth, and Ptah the Creator.

When would-be applicants for success entered the study course of the Temple of Success they were told, to begin with, that the whole key to success was contained in three words. They were: “apply yourself constantly”. Which meant that whatever bit of success you were pursuing had to be pursued continually, with all other considerations put temporarily in the background.

They were then taught the occult powers that would come to their aid if they learned that forces of good and material benefit were theirs if they called for help. They were told and taught how to call: and these were the mantras, rituals and diagrams of the success school.

First, they were taught to think correctly (Winged Wands of Mercury). Next, they were taught to think hopefully, or expansively (the sign of Jupiter, or Zeus, king of the gods), for this student would be a king in his own success. Thirdly, they were taught to apply themselves constantly (the Sun, in its regular risings and settings, and its constant path).

Then, with knowledge, optimism and application they would become as the Moon in the earthy sign of Taurus, which is material success, or success in any required field.

But how can you teach anybody to be a success if you are a failure yourself? We can only teach from our own experiences. No good asking a pauper how to make a million; better to ask a millionaire. He will tell you, quite cheerfully, but you may not be able to do it, because you have not been taught all the things he knows about finance.

So Success is not a matter of just being told how to do it, but of learning, step by step, of the many things that ensure success.

Success in anything never come as a fluke. The thing called “luck” does . . . sometimes; but success in anything at all comes from learning, application and constancy in pursuit of the desired end.

This is the arcana behind No. 19, the Sun card of the Tarot, for it represents the Sun among men, the centre round which others revolve. It is the trump of the one who has attained, and also of the one who wishes to attain, and who is prepared to study laws and methods for removed from everyday maters.
[Prediction, March 1964]

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