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Interlude–Madeline Montalban on Timing

October 7, 2013

Before going on to Miss Montalban’s treatment of the Minor Arcana from a magical angle, I would like to draw together some threads on timing. In the articles on the Magical Tarot already published, Miss M. has made several pronouncements about this subject. This is not the judging of when something predicted by the cards will come to pass. It is timing in a more general sense.

Miss M.’s method is a practical one, for she was a very practically minded occultist. She asks us to note when a certain situation began – roughly. There’s no need to be exact to the day or week. In my experience, noting the three month period in which some event happened to the best of your recollection is enough.

Then we note the kind of situation involved, and finally we make our analysis of how long something will last by looking under one of the headings below.

In this series of articles, Miss M. covered only the results of stealing, of falling under an illusion and of becoming infatuated. I have set out her pronouncements on these matters below. A.T.

Results of Stealing

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 by 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 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.

Miss M. is talking about the ordinary woman or man in the street, those who try to live upright lives but give in to temptation every now and again. The rule applies somewhat differently to, say, a person born into a Mafia family, where criminal activity is a way of life. But the rule applies nevertheless. I have no example concerning a member of the Mafia. Instead I turn to a historical figure: Hitler.

Hitler was a the height of his power in 1936 when the Olympic Games were held in Germany. Nine years later, in 1945, he committed suicide as his country was overrun from all sides; the Allied forces from the west, Russian forces from the east. This is the nine year period Miss M. speaks of showing up in the career of a dictator. A.T.


To enter through the door of the temple of illusion usually means you are bound up in your illusions for a period. This, at the shortest, can be for a lunar month, and at the longest for two years, after which the individual concerned has caused havoc in his own life and in the lives of those around him. The usual period for which to fall under the moon of illusion is nine lunar months.

This accounts for the many women who think they are going to have a baby, produce every physical manifestation in their own bodies to aid their illusion, and eventually go to bed to be delivered of nothing. This is one of the most common illusion manifestations, since the moon rules the "mother" aspect of generation.


In any infatuation, the seventh month brings into play questions of marriage and union. The Serpent-fire [of passion] begins to die down; reason slowly to return. It is now that the victim can be saved from self-destruction by the love (Venus, ruler of Libra the seventh zodiacal house) of those about him.


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