In the major arcana the 6th card in the deck is the lovers card. It’s traditional representation (painted in 1910 by Pamela Coleman-Smith), shows two figures; Adam and Eve before the fall, enjoying the innocence of the garden and their own nudity while an angel looks on above. In the tree behind Eve, lies the snake hinting at the choice to come to gain knowledge and wisdom and behind Adam is a tree with 12 flowers symbolising the astrological houses. The card is represented by Gemini, choices in romantic relationships and duality. It can also be said the card represent the two halves of the brain and the point in human evolution where childbirth became difficult for women due to the increase of brain mass in the species. Generally speaking however this card represents romantic relationships.
I’ve been receiving this card repeatedly since the last frost nub of winter which has been a surprise to say the least because breakups are something I’ve had a lot of this year and I’m not know for successful relationships or positive choices in partners. This continual drawing of the lovers card began following a breakup of a relationship which was short in length and depth. However the pain took me by surprise, and I was already grieving the end of the possible partnership before the conversation even came. In the lead-up to the conservation I attributed my grief to cosmologically consequences. I’m a cancer sun and experiencing emotions on a large scale is a common experience for me. Since 2011, I’ve been able to access, receive and feel emotions from large groups like those of the “Occupy” protests in NY during the final eviction or the tsunami in Japan. It’s not easy being an empath and sometimes it can be difficult to know where the emotions are coming from. Often I find my body anticipates emotions up to 2-3 days before an event occurs; both for a world event or an extremely personal one. Jungian analyst and writer; Marion Woodman’s recently wrote an article that describes the way I have moved through the world even down to my entry to this life via c-section which i believe is the cause of this tendency to anticipate emotions and try to move through life lessons a little too quickly. LINK
The heart pain and heaviness was daily and all day- sometimes the pain was in the front of my body, sometimes in the back. I had only known this person for a few months and had specifically avoided conversations about partnership, nevertheless when the break came, the pain seemed overwhelming and somewhat extreme for the length and depth of what was between us. During this time, I had started to look at tarot again after a long break; another break up (this time walking away from https://www.facebook.com/sistersoftheequinox/). Surprisingly, daily readings would always come back with a result of the lovers card or the two of cups, and never reversed. Astrological forecasts suggested that love was the main preoccupation for the ex lover. Much of what was around me, suggested that the break up was a mistake but as a cancerian I am always wary of seeing things I want to see and manipulating others to see them too.
The lovers card is still following me. In those first early weeks of romantic pain, it was infuriating, upsetting and defying my previous experience of the tarot whose guidance has always offered a different perspective and helped me to make decisions to the pathway of my highest good. Even yesterday (6 weeks later), after coming home to spend some time with my mother and hoping to inspire her to return to her art practice and share my love of the Motherpeace tarot deck (designed by Karen Vogel and Vicki Nobel in the late 1970’a), the card she left facing upwards was the lovers; with the 9 of cups beside it. The Motherpeace tarot card represents a different aspect of the lovers card. Whereas other decks imply love and romantic partners as a sort of destiny, the Motherpeace card removes the personality and gender aspect and reflects more upon the difficulties of choosing a partner. The choices are represented by different cups, each reflecting qualities of masculinity or femininity in a greco roman style. The energies reach out over their physical boundaries and mingle in the middle representing the bliss that can be made from union. In Vicki Noble’s book she writes about 6, the number of the card representing a peak experience; and the lovers representing a peak experience of union.
A few weeks back I participated in a ritual to welcome the coming of spring. After the ceremony, we each chose a few cards from numerous decks, with only one tarot deck in circulation. I of course, received my card of the promise of love. At that point, I felt like breaking. Romantic love felt very far away, yet I was continuing to receive this message as if it was already here embracing me. I returned home with message feeling confused as to why it has been constantly been with me. When I returned home I opened up the latest email from a tarot project I have been backing since 2015, and the card of course greeting me was the lovers. However unlike other projections of this card, the image drawn by Christy C. Road is of a naked feminine person holding a handful of spoons reaching forward to embrace another feminine person through a mirror who is walking with a cane. (Click image for link)
This card had symbolism for those that have difficulty experiencing love for themselves, let alone love for another being and finally gave me some hope of understanding why the goddess was choosing to repeat this message to me over and over again. Since then, I have been applying myself to loving those small parts of myself that feel unloved, working through my childhood experiences of feeling less than loved sometimes and thinking more and more of my community and how we struggle to be accepted in our choices of love. I am reminded again of what a radical act it is to love yourself, to be kind to yourself, to offer yourself the solace and companionship you need. Also I think of how some people in our community have difficulty finding love, feeling love and feeling included and each time I receive this card now or see it within a reading I am reminded of the embrace of self which is always reaching out to us through the mirror.
How do you feel about the Lovers card? Do you have an interesting story about your relationship or journey with the Lovers Tarot Card? I’d love to hear about it.