A Journey Through the Major Arcana: The Lovers

Who wouldn’t want to see The Lovers in their Tarot reading? Along with The Magician, The Lovers is perhaps the most iconic card in the classic Tarot. In the Rider-Waite Tarot, The Lovers looks like this:


The Lovers from the Rider-Waite Tarot

Two figures look at each other longingly beneath a resplendent Sun. It’s such a beautiful, hopeful card, and its message seems so clear — new love is on the way, right?

Well, not so fast. The Lovers is a more complicated card than many people (including many Tarot readers) give it credit for. Ruled by Gemini, with its passionate yet trickstery yet cerebral energy, The Lovers can indeed bring a message of new love and romance. But it carries many more messages, and even when it carries a message of new love, it may not indicate that all the querent’s romantic dreams are going to be answered.

Who Are The Lovers?

The Lovers represent the step we take on the Fool’s Journey, after we have owned our personal Power (The Empress), interfaced with our own Authority (The Emperor), and interacted with social institutions (The Hierophant). Having interrogated the nature of Power and the ways in which it is wielded, we now turn to questions of connection with others and with the World. In the most literal sense, this does mean romantic and/or sexual union with another human being, perhaps even a Twin Flame or Soul Mate. But remember that The Lovers is ruled by Gemini — and so this card also carries the message of finding wholeness by connecting with all the parts of ourselves, what Jung called the anima and animus. This card also represents the need to honor both head and heart in decisions, to balance the rational with the emotional (the eternal battle of those born under Gemini, am I right?).

When The Lovers shows up in a reading, querents tend to get excited — romance and finance are, after all, the main reasons people seek out readings, in my experience. And absolutely this card can indicate new romantic and sexual adventures, or the formalizing of a romantic relationship through marriage or other commitment. When coupled with the right cards (especially The Empress), it can even indicate fertility and pregnancy, and when it shows up with The Hierophant or the 2 of Cups, I usually see a wedding in the future. But more often than not, The Lovers isn’t quite that literal of a card.


Some of my favorite Lovers. From left, they are the Fenestra Tarot, The Wild Unknown, the Goddess Tarot, and the Rider-Waite Tarot

Instead, I see The Lovers as inviting the querent to make a head and heart decision — to consider both the rational and the emotional in whatever situation the question is about. It may be time to reconcile what we Know Intellectually with what we Know Intuitively. It can also be time for the querent to give more attention and respect to the side of themself that they most often discount — for a very rational, logical person to listen to their heart, or for a very emotionally driven person to also weigh out the cold, hard facts. The Lovers can also represent a desire for stability, and may indicate that that stability is with in reach.

On a more macro level, The Lovers indicate that it may be time for the querent to become aware of the role of Love in their life, in all its forms — romantic, platonic, spiritual, even self-love. I tend to think this card indicates that the person is surrounded by Love, and even that Love may be their superpower, so to speak. When The Lovers come calling, they want you to be aware of the nature of Love, of the pervasiveness of Love, of the persistence of Love, even when times seem dark or hopeless.

In her re-interpretation of The Lovers for the Goddess Tarot, Kris Waldherr expands on the theme of looking at Love in all its forms, not just romantic or sexual love, or even love with another person. Come back tomorrow as we explore this face of The Lovers!


Love/Venus, from the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. Permission to use the photograph of the card generously granted by the artist.




About dreamingpriestess

Susan Harper, Ph.D., aka The Dreaming Priestess, is an educator, activist, advocate, and ritual specialist living and working in the Dallas, Texas area.
This entry was posted in 2017, goddess tarot, Journey Through the Arcana, tarot, The Goddess Tarot Major Arcana, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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