First I must apologise for my lack of posts over the last five days, life has been a little crazy of late, and while I have still been drawing cards I just haven’t been overly compelled to write anything. This could also have something to do with the fact that I have predominantly been drawing cards that I have already wrote a bit on, but I think it is mostly due to a lack of motivation and the stress at work taking it’s toll. Today however I felt my drive begin to return as I shuffled my deck and drew The Lovers.
The Lovers is one of those cards that you may have heard of even if you have never seen a Tarot Deck in your life. It is often misconcieved as nothing more than the card of true love, but it is so much more than that. While The Lovers does represent a relationship based on the deepest love, it doesn’t always have to be a sexual relationship. At it’s base it represents the force that attracts two entities to one another, whether these be people, events or ideas. It is about establishing bonds, and forming a kinship, about experiencing desire in all its forms, making love and responding to a situation with passion. The other side of The Lovers, that is not as often shown in popular culture, is about choice, about establishing your own personal beliefs and determining what it is that you value.
In the Shadowscapes card above we see two figures embracing one another upon a rocky outcrop. These two figures represent a union of opposites. The male is of the ruling class, the doves nearby are holding aloft his golden crown. He is not concerned with this however and is even allowing them to fly off with it, for he now has all he desires in the form of the woman beside him. She on the other hand is from the peasant class, represented by the floral crown she is holding in her hand. This difference in status does not affect either of them however, for they are in the throes of love. The social concerns and expectations of others do not matter, for through their love and union they are forming their own beliefs and values seperate from the social spheres they were born into. If you also look a little closer there is the biggest earthly opposition represented here. The male is in white and has a sun brooch clasping his cloak together, whereas the woman is in purple and there are stars sprinkling the hem of her dress. They represent Night and Day.
Also bringing to attention their clothing and positions I wonder about the reasoning behind putting him in white and her in purple. If we look closely, not only is he in white, but he is kissing her with his eyes open and holding a lily in his left hand. He is a seeker of truth and purity. Whereas she is bedecked in purple, holding one crown in one hand and possibly reaching out for his with her free hand! She isn’t holding onto him, she is reaching beyond him. To me this brings to attention the dangers of love. While one person may be completely and utterly devoted, the other person may be having second thoughts, or possibly interested in something else. This also brings my eyes to the ground that they are standing on. It is covered in contrasting images and brings to mind the stability that is required to form a lasting relationship. There will be ups and downs, temptations and passions, and we must work through this to continue to grow within our relationships.
It is obvious in this interpretation that The Lovers is a card of contrasts and struggling with the choices presented to us. The turtledoves in the sky represent innocence, and contrast with the snake and shiny red apple towards the bottom of the card, one of the oldest symbols of temptation. Then there are the white calla lillies which represent simplicity and purity in contrast with the lush and sensual rose of passion and desire. This shows the aspect of the card that talks to us about determining values. About choosing between right and wrong, struggling with temptation and establishing what it is that you really care about.
Then there is the wall behind them. It is green, which brings to mind the groundedness needed in a good relationship, but there are also roses carved upon it! Could these symbolise the need to solidify the initial passions in order to grow within a relationship? Then there is the other carving on the wall. The Celtic Triskellion is a symbol with debated meanings, but the most agreed upon aspect of its meaning is in relation to the cycles of life, personal growth and human development. Here Stephanie has chosen to use acorns in her Triskelle, which to me shows that something small and seemingly meaningless, can grow into something beautiful and strong. Be aware of what you do, your actions and choices might seem ineffectual, but they are all important! Also foster your relationships, for with care they can grow as strong and sturdy as an Oak!
The Lovers can often represent a time where you begin to question the received opinions of the world around you and start to build your own philosophies. Where you are figuring out where you stand. In the Fool’s Journey this is the time where we start to break free from the constraints put on us by our parents and society in general, and start to decide who it is we want to be. The first time we experience a sexual urge can be such a shockingly new experience, and in some instances this urge can be contrary to what we have been taught is correct. In this instance, more than any other, we are forced to delve deeper into ourselves to find out who we are and what we value.
If we look at the card as a whole there is an overwhelming sense of paring of opposites. And to me this really calls out how important and tricky choices are. You are presented with so many choices in life, often one seems right and another wrong, but we never really know the outcome until the choice has been made. I think what is most important to take from this card is to make the choice that will make your heart glad! To go with the decision that makes you as joyous, as grounded, and as strong as being in love makes you feel!!
So, until next time, live well and love deeply xx