“If it were possible to collect, interpret and write down all the mysteries concealed behind the symbol-graph called the Tarot, we would be in possession of the true Book of Thoth, or Book of All Wisdom.”
~ Madeline Montalban
Madeline Montalban was a 20th century Astrologer, Tarotist, occultist, teacher and writer who I have always felt a strange connection to – almost as if we are somehow related. While referring to herself as ‘Pagan,’ she is reported to have gone ballistic when someone called her a witch.
Her faith was Luciferian and she refers to Lucifer as the Angel Lumiel in her writings. She saw Lumiel as a benevolent force that helps humanity evolve. Her magick, like mine, was based on working with the seven Archangelic rulers of the Planets, as well as Lumiel and a few other Archangels.
Madeline Montalban was born with the name Madeline Sylvia Royals on 8 January, 1910 in Blackpool and she died on 11 January 1982 from lung cancer. You can read more about her fascinating life HERE.
Madeline Montalban made a name for herself by appearing regularly in Prediction Magazine, where she wrote articles on various occult topics. Her Tarot articles were often illustrated with images of cards from the Thomson-Leng Tarot:
The Thomson-Leng Tarot
I can’t remember exactly when I first learned about the 1935 Thomson-Leng Tarot deck but I do recall reading about it on the Aeclectic Tarot site and feeling the strongest pull toward a deck I had ever felt. I knew I had to have this deck, even before being aware of the connection with Ms. Montalban. It turned out I had to wait for nearly ten years before it popped up at an affordable enough price in an eBay auction.
Nowadays, you can also buy facsimile copies of the Thomson-Leng but they sell for more than I ended up paying in the eBay auction! When the deck I arrived, I nervously counted all the cards – It was complete and I felt so lucky!
As you can see below the front of the box is quite torn and tatty but the LWB, the cards themselves and the extra card are all in mint condition.
In the eBay listing, the seller used the name on the side of the box rather than calling the deck the Thomson-Leng, which is probably why I managed to pick it up for the price of eating out in London.
The cards are small, 9 x 6 cm and this is what the backs look like with the deck fanned…
And below you can see the Thomson-Leng ‘extra’ card…
While I haven’t been including the extra card in readings, I can totally see this being done and may well experiment with it myself. Who cares if you’re not meant to, right?
I’ve had this deck for a couple of years now but haven’t gotten around to doing a deck interview with it yet. I’ve felt almost felt as if I respect this deck too much to muster up the courage to chat with it… but things are changing. I’m owning my magician’s hat these days and I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to meet as equals, so here it goes…
Thomson-Leng Tarot Deck Interview
1. Describe yourself in three words or less – 8 of Swords
TLT: Under-stimulated, mentally agile
Me: I should apologise. I have kept you tucked in your drawer for too long!
TLT: Apology accepted
2. How would your best friend describe you using only three words? – The Chariot
TLT: Succesful and on point. (Mind you that was back in the day. My friend doesn’t really move with the times.)
Me: Well, I’m sure your bestie is right!
3. What gift do you bring? – Knight of Cups
TLT: True love. Don’t be afraid – Embrace it and let’s have some fun together!
Me: I want too! I’ve definitely be afraid to bond and work with you but the love is there for sure!
4. What do you expect in return? – The Great Priest (trad. The Hierophant)
TLT: Learn from teachers of the past. Remember that you stand on the shoulders of giants.
Me: Thank you for the reminder. I do want to learn and carry the tradition forward.
5. How can you help me serve? – The Sun
TLT: I can help you serve better because our connection energises and inspires you to shine your own light brightly in the world.
6. Is there anything else you would like to tell me about yourself? – 7 of Cups
TLT: Actually, no. I like to keep a bit of mystery. There are some things you simply are not ready to know about me…
Me: OK, I accept that. It’s not like I have a choice. Besides, I think it will keep our relationship more exciting. Thank you so much for letting me interview you!
TLT: You’re welcome.
Reading about Madeline Montalban Connection
I wanted to finish this post with the little reading I did for myself with the Thomson-Leng Tarot to try to figure out why I feel such a strong connection with Madeline Montalban – besides both of us being Capricorns and preferring to write articles over books.
I’m a bit blown away by the cards above. I feel as if they are saying, ‘I am guiding you from the other side of the veil and we are part of the same soul family.’
Incidentally, I found out recently that Madeline Montalban taught a system of correspodences almost identical to what that I have been using for years now. It’s spooky in all the right ways!