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The Magical Tarot – The Queens

November 20, 2013

Four Fateful Women

by Madeline Montalban

The meanings of the Four Queens of the Minor Arcana in any spread are quite simple. Each has an alternative meaning, one describing the complexion of the woman, the other her possible effect on the inquirer.

Queen of Cups stands for a fair-haired woman who could be the subject of a male inquirer’s affections or, alternatively, for an elderly white-haired lady. The Queen of Pentacles can stand for a wealthy, slightly darker woman who leads a retired life. The Queen of Rods is a brown-haired woman, prudent, level-headed, possibly a wife and mother, while the Queen of Swords represents either a very dark-haired, olive-skinned woman or one who could have an unfortunate effect on the destiny of the inquirer.

So much for the outer meaning of the cards. Now for the more important inner, or esoteric meaning. In occultism, the Four Queens represent four women in anybody’s life who can have fateful (which means important, rather than fatal) influences on one’s destiny.

scan0009Occultism maintains that in any life four women will have opportunities to exert their influences at some time. These influences bring various reactions and experiences, which is why the pictograph to this article (representing the arcane influences of the Four Queens) has the Fleur-de-lys, or Flower of Light, the soul’s experience symbol in its centre.

The Queen of Rods represents the mother of the individual, and her symbol is the Fish, which is on the left of the pictograph. As all life on this planet originated in the sea, it is easy to see why this symbol was chosen. So the Queen of Rods corresponds both to the mother, and to Eve, and all motherly manifestations. At her best, she is loving and protective. In her worst aspect she can be possessive and all-devouring of her offspring. The kind of woman who will not let her children live their own lives, and keeps them away from experience.

The Queen of Cups is any beloved woman. She can be sweetheart, wife or lover in a man’s life, a dearly-loved and faithful friend to a woman. She helps the development, materially and psychically, of the individual, bringing out fine qualities through mutual experience. At her best she corresponds to Mary, to creativity of all things; at the worst, to frustration in creative life, or bigotry of ideas. Her symbol is the clasped hands and heart.

The Queen of Wands has the Torch of Knowledge as her symbol, which is also the Flame of Inspiration. She corresponds to the Sophia, the woman of ideas, inspiration and mental and spiritual uplift. She has a great and powerful influence on other lives. She can be an ideal, or a teacher. Her functions are educative and inspirational. She represents wisdom; a spiritual guide and the source of real strength and knowledge.

Gift of Inspiration
She brings out hidden talents, for she sees beneath the surface. She has wisdom to a greater degree than any other woman who may be encountered in anybody’s life span. Her effect is terrific, uplifting, success-making, and never demanding. Such a woman can never be replaced. Some meet her in life, respond to her good influence, and perhaps move away from her through force of circumstance or natural changes in life.

Once lost, the Sophia can never be found again. She may sigh for her lost pupil, but she replaces him (or her) with another who needs her unique services. Her function is to develop mental and spiritual qualities. For this reason she is known as the transmitter of the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit . . . the great developer.

To those who remain open to the influence of the Sophia come knowledge, success and great wisdom, for she works through the mind and intelligence; the talents and the aspirations of her pupil.

The fourth fateful woman is represented by the Queen of Swords, whose symbol is the Entangling Octopus. She corresponds to Helen of Troy, the fatal lover. She is the concept of Eros. At her best, she is a loving, but a clinging, entangling vine. At her worst, she is the kind of woman who wrecks lives through her compulsive romantic attachments.

She can be both siren and vampire. She is never the friend of her own sex, for whom she has fear, contempt, hatred or condemnation. She is the Rape of the Personality, which means a bad influence in the life of all with whom she comes into contact. She can be the “other woman,” or the false friend.

She is always ardent, deceitful, selfish, even cruel. These things she hides under an outward guise of “powerful love,” or an aspect of devoted (but utterly false) friendship.

Just as Helen of Troy caused the tragedies of Troy, and betrayed her husband, Menelaus, for her lover, Paris, so this woman is a betrayer, an entangler, and a bringer of bad luck.

Femme fatale
Men often come under her influence because she rouses their baser instincts or inflates their vanity, and they are corrupted by her and the experiences she brings. She spells mental, spiritual, and far too often material, ruin, for she has no higher ideal than herself, to whom she sacrifices everybody.

Women encounter her influence in the “fascinating” woman friend who dominates their life (and manages to keep love and good fortune from them in consequence). They never suspect her falsity, but regard her as their best friend, until one day, in a flash of dreadful illumination, they see her for what she is. This can often be too late. Sometimes they have already lost lover or husband, worldly goods, hope of the future, or youth itself.

Helen of Tray is fateful and fatal, the Queen of Swords, who entangles through a kind of demoniacal possession of the mind, which leads to the control of the body (or actions) of the other person.

She can even conduce to effeminacy in man (if her influence begins early in life), or to an alteration of the personality (the rape of the finer instincts) if encountered in mature years. The 32nd-42nd years are the dangerous times for men of intellectual abilities. For others, this octopoid Helen (whose influence is always fateful) can turn up at any period of life, though usually just when the man has his life and career settled.
[Prediction, July 1965]

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