easy tarot lessons


The Lovers

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. The image most used in modern tarot decks is based on Waite's conception and Pam's illustration to the right.

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The Lovers Card Description

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”). Just for fun . . . compare this card directly to The Devil. It’s like one of those “before and after” scenes. Love is pain.

Esoteric Interpretation

This card is all about trust. The essence of nudity—especially in the versions with an angel lording over the naked pair of humans—is a visual allegory that these two hide nothing from each other, including judgment and disdain. That implies no disdain, even though the fact that "no one is perfect, or without flaw" is reinforced by the point that the humans displayed are the world's "original sinners."

The metaphysical message here is that these two stand tall, with all flaws visible to anyone and the eyes of "God," knowing they will not be humiliated or mocked. Out in the "real world" (away from the idealistic world view of the tarot), this level of trust and comfort is found only in the best of teams or partnerships. This makes this image a statement of profound trust, compatibility, companionship, and harmony.

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. This card shows us what it is like to be so completely comfortable with someone that we can stand naked in front of them ("warts and all") fearless of being judged harshly. It goes further, and states (through allegory) that our trust is rewarded with a synchronicity that empowers us to be a part of something greater than ourselves without losing ourselves to the collective. 

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. Thus, this card can be used (in projection, or manifestation; and also in reception, or divination) to indicate a sacred space created by the right chemistry of people working together in synchronicity, which is only partially chemistry, but also backed by willful action to enhance balance and teamwork. 

Traditional Meaning

The Lovers – Pink Aquarian Tarot Deck

The Lovers – Pink Aquarian Tarot Deck

Partnership, teamwork, 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. 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. While this card can, and does, often refer directly to a relationship (a new one, one that exists, or one from the past—this all depends on the card position, and the question asked of course), it speaks more of the state of affairs in the relationship. It reveals that one, or both parties involved in an engagement (partnership, relationship, or interaction) truly desires this to work. They believe deeply in the union, and will back that belief with action. Whether this belief is well-founded or not needs to be revealed in other cards, or deduced in other ways. 

Traditional Reversed Meaning:

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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