The Lovers is a card about what and how you choose to commit.
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To give you a bit of context whilst you reflect on your own relationship to the card, here are a few key things to know about the Lovers.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, the Lovers is rife with Biblical symbolism - a naked male and female figure stand nude, both looking up into the bright, fierce face of an angel. A burning bush and the Tree of Good and Evil complete the Adam and Eve motif.
The imagery isn’t intended to be religious per se, but rather makes use of a familiar tale to draw attention to the themes of choice, commitment, and consequence that dominate the card.
In the case of this version of the card, the name, The Lovers, is a bit of a misnomer. While lazy tarot readers may say it hints at romance, the truth is that it’s more of a meditation on what we choose to give ourselves to - that may be a flesh and blood lover, but it may also be work, passions, beliefs… and the card invites you to reflect on whether or not that commitment is right for you, if you really are giving it your all, and if you’re willing to face the consequences for choosing the path you’re on.
The name the Lovers makes more sense if you look at the Tarot de Marseille version of the card, which predates the Rider Waite Smith illustration. The Marseille take on the Lovers is more playful, more secular, but still addresses the same themes of choice, commitment, and consequence, depicting a figure caught between two potential love interests. Hovering above their heads, cupid launches an arrow, suggesting the main character of the card will have to choice, and commit to that choice, even if it means losing or hurting one of their potential lovers.
When this card comes up in a reading, it is always a prompt to reflect on the committed relationships in your life - which may mean people, but can also mean the things and endeavors you spend your time and energy on. Drawing the card is a chance to review the commitments you’re in and how they are and aren’t working for you, as well as consider what commitments you want to make - and break - in the future.
In your tarot journal, you’re asked to reflect on what this card means to you, now, in this moment, and what actions and thoughts it inspires in you. As you journal, pay attention to what you’re personally picking up in the card, but also consider what the key themes and symbols in the card might be telling you. What commitments in your life need reviewing, renewing, or releasing? What commitments do you want to make in the future?
This mini-tarot lesson was brought to you by me, Chelsey Pippin Mizzi, founder of Pip Cards Tarot. I hope you gained a little context to help you continue reflecting on the card in your own way, and I’ll see you tomorrow for another mini-lesson.