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The imagery of the Lovers Card has been altered over the centuries by various artists to the point where you will find any number of meanings for this extremely simple but powerful card.
On some decks cupid replaces the angel; other times it is a priest. Some Lovers cards will show two women where the man has to choose lust versus family. That is an oppressive puritanical spin on the fact that love is lust, and it is friendship, sacrifice, pain, heaven, and the magic of continued breath.
For complete information on this card including how to use it to manifest your desires please try out a copy of The Easiest Way to Learn the Tarot—EVER!!
Here we have the prototypical “Adam and Eve.” (Apparently, they were both blonde—who knew?) Throw out any esoteric or occult meanings for this card; it is straight out of the Bible: burning bush (although Waite calls it “the tree of life”), snake, tree of knowledge, that “Raphael” guy, and naturally that nondescript mountain in the distant background, and sea below (“phallus and chalice”). Really . . . Can you be ANY more blatantly obvious with your symbolism Pamela?
Just for fun . . . compare this card directly to The Devil. It’s like one of those “before and after” scenes. Love is pain.
The problem with replacing one of the most important Major Arcana cards with a question of values is that it removes the single most powerful force presently known to humanity from the Tarot; thus reducing the value of this as an esoteric learning tool (and it takes away all of the fun of divination).
Besides: You try to explain to your client’s puppy-dog, hope-filled eyes, that “it doesn’t mean what you think: it means choice!” They will start calling you names and throwing things at you!
We strongly recommend that you see “Love” when you see this Lovers Card. This primal force is one of life’s greatest mysteries and will probably always be, no matter what advances science makes along the way.
No matter what your opinion on the psychological roller coaster that love is, it makes the world go around and it is the very reason we invented money (which also helps rotate the planet).
The Lovers Card is not simply about “choices”; it is about partnership. It is about bonding, and having your heart ripped up into tiny little pieces every time your boyfriend, husband (etc.) is away. It is about the bonding and sharing of ideals that changes a world of individualism into one of communalism. Without this gooey, sticky, and all-too-often bitter emotion, we would have no great monuments, no masterpieces of art, no drive to improve the world around us. This card forever changes “one” into “many,” and many into one. This is the secret of high magic.
Partnership, bonding, love, marriage, soul mates, deep lasting friendships. When you see this card in a reading, see it as a concept and look to see how it ties into other cards. Occasionally this will show up as an event, but more often it will need one or more “minor” Arcana cards to help clarify exactly what is coming to pass. This card’s energy is so vast and sweeping that it is best to interpret it through several other clarifying cards. When you are facing a client in a reading and this card comes up anywhere, the first thing they will do is point directly at this card and ask you what it means. What they are really asking, behind their hopeful expression, is “when?”
This card represents the destiny that everyone seeks. Above all else we want to be admired, loved, worshiped, cared for, nurtured, and ultimately accepted by someone whose opinion we not only value but lust after. This card may often indicate a successful business partnership or the formation of a support group, but the imagery is so powerful that it will pull the all-consuming desires for acceptance and exclusive attraction from even your most stoic querents.
Pain. Then more pain. In fact, so much pain . . . Okay, so it’s not pretty. This shows separations (of all sorts): divorces, broken pacts, false friends, job loss; it is the removal of one from the source of life and happiness. Again, it needs to be clarified by other cards to find out the how and why.
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