Card Meaning: VI The Lovers

The Lovers
Element: Air
Zodiac: Gemini
Hebrew letter: Zayin, ז


  The Lovers is the card that narrates about connective tissue of the Universe, or one can say, connective force that bonds all there is in one conscious unity. The Lovers is the modern name of this card, in some historic decks name was "The Amorous One". The card is about you or someone else fall in love with something. May it be a job, person, new apartment or anything else that seems to be destined for you. This is the union of opposite but essentially compatible things. Love and sex are also possible subjects and themes of this card. The urge for union in this card is so strong that the angel is blessing the couple. It is interesting that this is the first card in Major Arcana that we actually see real, existing human beings and not some antropomorphic symbol of divine principle. This card is also about crossroads and choices that everyone have to pass through. Often this card symbolizes some sort of the sacrifice, choice between duty and the heart's desire, spirituality and sensuality. The echo of this choice and sacrifice can be seen is some decks where the men was portrayed between two women, having obvious choice to make. The Hebrew letter of the card is Zayin, meaning sword, indicating some sort of mental discrimination that this card brings.


In the Marseilles deck the man was portayed as the prince Paris of Troy standing between Helen and Aphrodite. Cupid is above him aiming at him with his arrow. On the another version of Marseilles deck a man is portrayed between two woman, one ready to reject him and other holding his hand on her heart. Man is looking toward the rejecting one, symbolizing desire for things one can't have. The name "The Lovers" is modern. In the Flemish deck by Vandenborre it is called L'Amour  and in some decks today it is called The Twins, the obvious reference to astrological sign of Gemini.


 The beuty and love are at work here. Some kind of harmony could be expected to enter the scene. The ties between you and the object of your desire are strong. Some kind of initial impulse is possible where you will attain some goal or maybe see new opportunity with which you will "fall in love". On contrary this card might represent an important choice that you must resolve before you can move on. Maybe your heart wants to go where mind is afraid to go? Break some bonds and attachements and go forward. Dissatisfaction or sadness are potential dangers. Unfulfillment in relationship is maybe at hand.

two trees, the serpent, the Sun, winged angel, Adam and Eve

  This card is a step over the threshold, going from childhood towards adulthood. Energy in this card transforms us with intense impulse and affinity towards next step in our determination as individuals. Sometimes this impulse is just a raw desire and sometimes one's purpose in life. The cross sum of number fifteen is six, the number of the card The Devil, indicating possible source of an impulse of the action in this card. This situation can be regarded as an exit from the Garden of Eden. Thus, we see Adam and Eve standing naked in the Garden, behind Eve there is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil with the serpent coiled around it and behind Adam we see the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life has 12 branches, a familiar reminder on 12 signs of the Zodiac and Biblical 12 tribes of Israel. The fruits on the trees are intoxications of material world. Behind Eve there is the serpent. Beside famous intepretation of the serpent in the Bible, we can connect a concept of Kundalini to a picture as an additional detail that connects this card with a possible sexual tone. The sexual energy that is harnessed as we go downwards with the Kundalini through the spine can be seen as a source of original sin and the reason why there is an angel in the picture, forbidding the re-entry of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The serpent in this card is not depicting sexual energy as evil, but indicates that spiraling downwards is a path of separation from the Creator and emergance of the Creation. We see in fact that serpent is oriented upwards, back to the Creator and towards the Sun. Also, Adam looks Eve and Eve looks the angel. Adam is representing conscious mind, Eve subconscious and angel superconscious. In that order we can attain divine status, through conscious decisions that becomes subconscious state of being into a universal mind. Mental nature of this card can be seen in its astrology sign: Gemini. We cannot say that Gemini is the most emotional sign of the zodiac, as Mercury and its element Air are more mental and curious, curiosity being the main characteristic in transformation from childhood into adulthood or if you wish, motive behind the act of eating the forbidden fruit.

The sun shines in the zenith, and beneath is a great winged figure with arms extended, pouring down influences. In the foreground are two human figures, male and female, unveiled before each other, as if Adam and Eve when they first occupied the paradise of the earthly body. Behind the man is the Tree of Life, bearing twelve fruits, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is behind the woman; the serpent is twining round it. The figures suggest youth, virginity, innocence and love before it is contaminated by gross material desire. This is in all simplicity the card of human love, here exhibited as part of the way, the truth and the life. It replaces, by recourse to first principles, the old card of marriage, which I have described previously, and the later follies which depicted man between vice and virtue. In a very high sense, the card is a mystery of the Covenant and Sabbath. The suggestion in respect of the woman is that she signifies that attraction towards the sensitive life which carries within it the idea of the Fall of Man, but she is rather the working of a Secret Law of Providence than a willing and conscious temptress. It is through her imputed lapse that man shall arise ultimately, and only by her can he complete himself. The card is therefore in its way another intimation concerning the great mystery of womanhood. The old meanings fall to pieces of necessity with the old pictures, but even as interpretations of the latter, some of them were of the order of commonplace and others were false in symbolism.

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by A.E. Waite

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