Card number six of the Major Arcana, The Lovers stands as a unique example of deeper meanings. One of the few cards in the deck often disputed over, The Lovers is symbology at its best, the more dense roots of divination becoming clear only to those who open their minds to see.
When we talk about the meaning of the tarot or the symbols they “should” allow the card reader to see, in the beginning when you first start out, it’s best to begin with instinct. Let your psyche connect to the deck you choose before ever attempting to learn the book meanings. This way, you know your connection to the cards has not been swayed by the author’s signified interpretation of them. Although there is usually a consistent across-the-board meaning for the deck, many authors delve into their own experiences with them, enriching our complete picture even more fully.
Considering that the Tarot began in our known history of it (incomplete though it may be) as a card game, somewhere along the line, people began using it as a tool for divination. Although many use a regular deck of playing cards these days, perhaps someday, humans will look on the hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds as revered in the area of psychic work. I know more than a few readers who love using a basic deck of cards. With the regular decks being four suits like the Minor Arcana of the Tarot, many feel there is no question of the decks being related somewhere in history, the Tarot likely coming first, considering its four suits.
Many of the more common meanings for this card include – “The struggle between sacred love and profane harmony. Refers to love, relationships and marriage. Sexual urge and desire.” and “lovers, marriage, union…” and the male representing conscious mind, while the female holds symbology over the subconscious mind.
Many interpretations leave out the connection between the Head and the Heart in this card’s meanings. Usually favoring the more direct approach of a union of minds, hearts and paths, many readers neglect to mention the really apparent connections and disconnections between our Logical Brain and our Emotional Brain. While each has its valued contributions to our lives, The Lovers is directly telling us that we need to stop, take a look at what’s going on in our life and take a moment to listen to our inner voice, to see with our inner sight.
As a reader, let your client know that drawing The Lovers is a sign of good roads ahead, good choices to be made and love received, if one uses their heart and head with equal force. To have an imbalance between the two steers us into unbalanced relationships and partnerships (this can also mean financial partnership) and thus leave us feeling unfulfilled.
Let The Lovers card talk to you as though it had voice. Let it show you the elements it shadows so well. With the standardized Rider-Waite deck you’ll see the symbols of woman looking at the messenger of God, man looking at woman and you’ll hear different interpretations. This however, perfectly illustrates why the Tarot should be taken at meaning rather than picture. The Morgan Greer deck shows the Lovers entwined in each other’s arms. When I read, I read the different cards in the same way, but if you were to be of the belief that the angel presents a significant symbol in the one, yet is missing in the other, then you will read different decks differently. Not a bad thing, but it can present a confusion for readers of little experience.
With Orange ruling this card and Gemini associated, we can’t help but think of passion and love (orange being the color of the sex chakra), yet when you read, keep in mind the more subtle energies of The Lovers card and let those subtleties flow from you to enhance your readings.
© J. Thompson