The sixth card in the Major Arcana – “The Lovers” – has been coming up for me a lot in recent readings. Career, wellness, relationships (squeal!) – this card has turned into one of those cards that’s always showing up, and to be honest, I never really gave it a whole lot of meditation till now.
It can seem like a pretty obvious, easy card to interpret. We all know what lovers are (err, at least I hope so. If you don’t, um, you’re probably too young to be on the internet, go find an adult.
I’m not an adult.). And we all can kinda guess what The Lovers signify in a reading.
“Ooo, looks like there’s romance in your future” or “do you have someone you’re seeing right now? It’s going well, right?”
But like, come on. NONE of the other cards have interpretations as wham-bam-thank you ma’am as that, right?
When things seem obvious, they can get jipped of a proper investigation. What does The Lovers actually signify? Sure, I think it can signify a physical romantic relationship coming to fruition, but what if you get The Lovers in a career reading? Or a personal wellness reading? Or a reading about your dog?
(Insert awkward bestiality joke here.)
I think the Lover signifies a choice or circumstance that makes your heart feel happy and unified. In most “The Lovers” cards, it’s a man and a woman (traditionally signifying Adam and Eve) holding hands as some Angel (Gabriel or whoever, IDK) blesses their happy union. Other cards picture lovers in a loving embrace, or kissing. (The Art Nouveau Tarot Lovers happens to be my favorite – how frickin’ gorgeous is that?)
All four elements are usually represented, water and earth on the woman’s side, fire and air on the man’s. I know some Lovers cards have threesomes present, but I’m really not a fan of that interpretation cause it injects conflict into the imagery which I think is pretty unnecessary and muddies my intuition. (Also, personal pet peeve of mine in movies, books, media, etc.: the overly simplified love triangle. It’s annoying, amirite?)
So for me, two people finding unity either by chastely holding hands or ravaging each other’s naked bodies signifies that some happy choice has been made, bringing these two people together. So how can this card apply to you if you’re not in a relationship/don’t have romantic prospects/don’t care about romantic prospects, etc?
If this card shows up in an “obstacle” slot for instance, the interpretation can’t possibly be: “Your problem is you don’t have a girlfriend.” But the interpretation COULD be “your obstacle lies in the fact that you’re not making the choices that you think will make you happy. Maybe you think you don’t deserve that happiness – that you’re not good enough – but you are.”
Back to the realm of the obvious – The Lovers IS about love. But I think we can all agree that there are so many kinds of love. Loving other people, loving ourselves, loving the world, loving the opportunity to be in the world. The Lovers reminds me to embrace love and happiness, making good choices that I know will improve my overall happiness. It’s time to choose to be whole – identify those opportunities that could make you happy and take them. Now is a time to embrace celebration, joy, and love.
Or maybe you’re gonna get laid, I don’t know.