Almost every culture records a gigantic deluge, which cleansed the earth and removed the sinners and left only a handful of virtuous human beings to repopulate the earth. Atlantis was said to be a prosperous island situated to the right of the “pillars of Hercules” or the Straits of Gibraltar, as per the account of Plato and was in the domain of the Greek god of the Oceans and Earthquakes, Poseidon.
Poseidon had fallen in love with the mortal woman Cleito, and to save her from the wrath of the gods, he had placed her on the scenic island and built her house in the midst of concentric circles of canals and land. Together with her, he fathered ten children the eldest of whom was Atlas. He thus divided the island into ten parts and the most prosperous of those parts was given to Atlas and was called Atlantis.
Atlantis epitomises the pinnacle of human achievement and virtue. It is like the other fantastical and fabulous fabled cities with roads made of gold and riches magnificent and untold. Atlantis is set apart from all other magical mythological cities, not for its legendary scenic value, or breathtakingly beautiful buildings of marble-topped up with gold and silver, or its flora and fauna, which were unique in the Mediterranean or even its rich deposits of Orichalcum, a metal native to Atlantis, which was an alloy of copper and second to gold in value, but the amazing technical feats of the time, some of which were invented as late as the eighteenth century.
The land of Atlantis was righteous and the kings ruled in accordance with the divine law. The division of society and the general populace of the land were virtuous and principled, with no discrimination among the multiple races that lived there. In time the society degenerated in its morals and values and corruption and decay set in at all levels of society. In some versions of the myth, it is said that other people became jealous of Atlantis’s progress thus the Atlantean’s created a laser weapon, which was extremely powerful and then was done in by the malfunction of its weapons. Other versions of the myth say that the gods were angry with Atlantis pursuant to the degeneration of society and that they cursed Atlantis. The island soon began to fall prey to major earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves. The lands shook and the hills rumbled and Atlantis went underwater in just a day since the inhabitants of Atlantis failed to live up to the ideals that made Atlantis great.
All versions of the myth, however, agree on the following Atlantean ecclesiastical scholars were aware of the impending doom and had begged the king to secure Atlantean knowledge so that all may not perish with the island itself. As a result, the king sent out emissaries with secret sacred knowledge. The King himself was aware that corruption had eaten through the morals of the society, and that it was on the path to destruction, but he was powerless to reverse the situation and resume the favor of the gods. It is conjectured that it was probably the Atlanteans who influenced the Pyramids and the other civilizations that rose after its fall.
The civilisation of Atlantis was brought down because the ego became too big and took on a life on its own. It is essential for us to have our perceptions and the facades that we put on for the world. However, just as water is essential as in it is a giver of life but devastating in the wrong proportion as in a tidal wave, our egos are essential since they define us but if allowed to grow uncontrollably they are as destructive as the waves that took Atlantis down with them.
Atlantis also calls to mind the destruction that has been brought on by repressed emotions. The ecclesiastics amongst the Atlanteans were deeply troubled by the decay of the moral fiber but society managed to rationalize the entire decadence by concluding that Atlantis was a civilization at its zenith and that they were untouchable by any other contemporary kingdom. They were completely insulated from their own emotions or those of the others around them.
When you draw the card of Atlantis or The Tower, it represents that phase of your life when there is a drastic change occurs and there is nothing that you can do to stop it. This card represents a destructive release of emotions that have been bottled up until a bursting point. Just as the earthquakes racked the island of Atlantis, there are major upheavals in your life. You feel as though you are completely stripped of security. The changes in your life are so abrupt that they can be compared to the earthquakes that rocked Atlantis. As the earthquakes were both expected and terrifying, so are the changes in your life. The typical situations that Atlantis envisages could be a spouse discovering that he/she is being cheated on by the other partner, which in retrospect seem so obvious, or the feeling of being betrayed by someone close to us. While the feeling of betrayal may be justified, it could also be that we are betraying ourselves with false expectations. Whatever the cause may be, we are as unprepared for the waves of change that roll over us, as the inhabitants of Atlantis were for the tidal wave that struck their lands.
It can be denial or jaded perception that led to the current situation. Sometimes in retrospect, things just seem to fall into place as though they were the missing pieces of the puzzle.
It has often been conjectured that the Greek, Egyptian, Aryan and even the Mayan civilisations drew on Atlantean wisdom, which had survived, owing to the persuasion by the priests to preserve Atlantean knowledge. Thus though the devastation and destruction seem so final and intense, this card has often been known as the hand of God by the occultists. This being the case since God loves you so much he would not allow you to live in deception. Hence the waters flow in and cleanse and purge the area. Everything of substance will survive, and the foundation that is sound will be the only thing that is left standing. Everything that is pseudo and deceptive, be it expectations, hopes dreams or any illusive fantasy will come crashing down. The goodness of this card is eclipsed because of the obvious pain and trauma that it unleashes, for this is the end of a period and the beginning of a new phase. Atlantis advises you to go with the flow since resistance is futile. Just as Atlantis was powerless to stop the deluge despite its superior technology, the waters will enter your life and bring in a new beginning.
If the card drawn by you is reversed, then Atlantis indicates that the facade has held for now, but it is temporary. It may also indicate living in denial and not acknowledging or even being aware of the denials or egos that bind us on to the flimsy ground. The change however is merely delayed, but the situation is yet giving similar trauma.
- Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. New York, USA: Warner Books, Inc., April 1999.
- Haven, Kendall and Julie (illustrator) String. Wonders of the Sea: Merging ocean myth and ocean science. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2005.
- http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/friends/ showthread.php?t=2770
- Westmoreland, P.L. Ancient Greek beliefs. Lee And Vance Publishing Co., 2007.
- Conner, N. The Everything Classical Mythology Book: From the Heights of Mount Olympus to the Depths of the Underworld – All You Need to Know about the Classical Myths. Adams Media, 2007
FURTHER READING: THE TOWER
Further Reading: Mythology & Tarot Through Myth
Images Used on The Site. Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.