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The Magical Tarot –The World

September 29, 2013

When Your Cup is Full

by Madeline Montalban

Tarot Trump No. 21, commonly called the World, has several meanings. Firstly, it represents success and the attainment of one’s own personal world. To some this may signify a happy home, a loving spouse and children. To others, it can mean gratified ambition.

Whatever makes your own world, whatever you most cherish in life, is represented by No. 21 in the Tarot.

scan0011There have been many pictorial expressions of this idea, but the one I like best is the flowing Cup of Happiness, which represents everybody’s private world. The special thing each one hopes to attain.

But just as a cup can be filled to over-flowing, so it can be overturned, and the over-turned Cup represents the loss of the World, which again must be interpreted according to what makes up the world of the querent.

At some time in our lives we do have our own little world complete. Maybe only for a short time, maybe for longer, our own cup of happiness is filled. At such a time we should realize that other people have not attained theirs, or perhaps have overturned their cup and lost it. While we are enjoying our own happiness, we must spare time and effort to help others who are not so fortunate.

Yet, to work as hard as we can to fulfil the obligations of our own happiness is no guarantee that our own world will not turn upside down some time and be lost to us. Occultism does not say: “Do this and be safe”; it says: “If you do this, and do the right thing, you will be safer.”

Again there is the strange, occult message of the World card. “Beware if you spill the Cup of Happiness of others for selfish ends, for then will your own Cup surely be over-turned.”

None of us, whether we are occultists or not, can only think of what we want ourselves and take it without considering the rights of others. If we do we may obtain a temporary illusory happiness, but the vengeful force set in action by disregard of the rights of others begins to work against the selfish taker. The World of Illusion speedily passes away, to be replaced by regret and the bitter ashes of vain remorse.

Nobody can achieve lasting happiness at another’s expense. Nobody can build a world of love on somebody else’s broken heart.

Nobody can take what is not theirs in order to achieve their own private, selfish world without losing not only that illusory world, but any right they had to their own real one.

If you take the lover or spouse of another (represented by Venus on the card), or steal the material goods of someone else, in order to make up your illusory world, you, in the end, will be the loser, and suffer far more than your victims. Money and goods are represented on the card by the sign of Jupiter, and also by the sigil of what looks like Pisces, but which in this connotation refers to the waxing and waning of the Moon.

Whether it be love or goods you steal, from the moment you selfishly take what you want you are governed by the Moon, which begins its inexorable law of repayment, week by week and month.

Stolen emotional happiness shows its faded tinsel within a lunar month, and as the months pass the fake gold gives place to the leaden hue of Saturn. When three lunar months have passed the rot is really in, for the thief begins to lose self respect, the respect of others and, gradually, his own soul. The world in general may not know of the theft, but the thief knows, and is condemned and brought to judgement by his own guilt.

The same applies to the theft of money or goods to build up your own illusory world.

The Moon gives and takes away. What she gives is ephemeral, but what she takes away she takes over the months and years, even to a nine-year period.

The end is represented by No. 9 on the card – the solitary Hermit, or lonely one, this time looking for his lost illusions by the flickering light of a lantern, and perhaps for his own soul, too.

At some time or other we have all fallen into the trap of trying to gain our own private happiness (or Filled Cup) at the expense of another.

Invariably, we are left alone in the hermitage of dust and ashes, looking for friends and helpers by the flickering light of the caged will-o-the-wisp. In vain we tell others that we have been hard done by, although in our hearts we know we have done the thing ourselves. We are our own judge and jury.

Those who take what is not theirs to take cannot profit for long. Ill deeds, like birds, come home to roost. And they are not merry, chirping sparrows, or even homely chickens; they are vultures . . . the eaters of flesh and spirit of the occult . . . harpies that snatch the feast from a starving man.

And the builder of the world of illusion loses his soul’s inheritance, that guiding inner voice that warns and helps. Folly is piled on folly, until at last the crash comes, the overturned Cup; the loss not only of the illusory world they tried to create by taking from others, but also, of the personal world that they might have had, or built, had they not been sidetracked.

The harpies first, then the furies, then the dust and ashes, and the long weary road back to find self respect, and the respect and love of others again, with only a dim lantern to guide.
[Prediction, May 1964]

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