The Lovers card represents the archetype of the ideal couple- the unification of the soul through the encounter with one’s “other half.” In a reading it brings a message of encounters with those who will foster development of cooperation and integration. The Lovers does not harken desperate clinging, or controlling, manipulative dynamics in which the word “Love” functions as a leash keeping one person bound to the other. This type of relationship is described by the Devil card showing codependency. The Lovers are able to stand as two individuals whose union brings a sense of integration. Their connection fosters growth.
This card does not always indicate romance. Its presence suggests harmonious involvement with another. It can represent partners in business, one person possessing a set of skills, but lacking key ingredients to launch an endeavor, the other providing the “missing pieces” allowing the growth of the business itself. In fact, the Lovers is not about couple-hood. It is about joining energies to produce an end result more powerful than the efforts of either individual alone. It is the Divine Marriage.
In some instances this card does speak to the romantic love. Specifically it is the process of being in a relationship. When this card appears examine the cards around it and positioning in order to more deeply discern in what ways they need to be more open to receiving and giving within relationships, what is the missing component to “birthing” success? What are the components that are strong, or lacking in the current situation?. If the reading pertains to romance, this card is an indicator of balance and an equal give and take.
It is worth noting that relationships can change and the Lovers card can serve as a barometer of stability in a relationship. When both parties are healthy, the Lovers card may appear in positive positioning (right side up, not surrounded by cards which diminish its meaning). However, as time passes assume that one partner becomes ill, or suffers a crisis such as unemployment or stress. It is not uncommon to now see the card appear in a reading in a reversed position or surrounded by challenging cards. This does not indicate that the relationship itself has reached its expiration date. Rather, it is an indicator that balance needs to be restored, that one party is overcompensating for the other, or becoming sidetracked by issues of control rather than mutually beneficial reciprocity. It is very important to remember that relationships can have a life of their own and are too complex to judge based on the presence of one card at one moment in time.
When the Lovers card appears in challenging or reversed position, explore in what ways control is being used in a relationship. Has focus been placed on one’s self or partner as an object rather than an individual? Are one person’s needs being sacrificed to meet the needs of the partner? Is the connection between partners weakened or in jeopardy? These questions can help discern why the relationship is no longer thriving and ways to restore balance can be explored. It is essential to remember that Tarot readings reflect momentary scenarios and are no substitute for common sense. It is unwise to remain in a relationship which is toxic or dangerous just because at one time a Tarot reading showed a good connection between two people.
The wisdom of the Lovers is that of being open to nurturing the connection between two who, together, birth a unified and powerful whole. Be it a physical family, a business, or a stronger combined presence, the Lovers are about the alchemy of energy combined between two people when mutual respect and harmonizing of opposites are the focus.
Article by: Angela Kaufman. Angela is a Priestess for the Dragon Warriors of Isis Coven in Upstate, New York, and the co-author of Wicca: What's the Real Deal? She is a professional tarot reader. For more information about Wicca: What's the Real Deal? visit http://www.wwtrd.webs.com.