The Lovers Card - Expansive Partnership and Self-Reflection

Earlier this week, we had our monthly Full Moon Meditation, where we go through a guided meditation to explore our deepest selves and open up our creativity. This month's full Moon was in Sagittarius, with the Sun in Gemini, so we delved into the Gemini-Sagitarrius axis. 

Sagittarius is linked to the Temperance card in the Major Arcana, which I discussed briefly in a previous post. Today I'm focusing on the Lovers, which is admittedly one of the cards I have struggled with the most in the tarot. 

In the Smith-Rider-Waite decks, we see imagery that is undeniably heavily based on Christian mythology. There are two nude figures, male and female, standing in the foreground. Behind them them we see a tree with a serpent on the left, and a flaming tree on the right. It speaks of temptation and lust. Above them, an archangel manifests from the clouds. This is often assumed to be the Archangel Raphael, whose name means "God's Healing." In the Apocryphal books, he saves a young woman from Asmodeus, a demon of lust. This imagery invites a rather obvious interpretation: romantic involvement. 

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But like any card in the tarot, there are more layers to peel back. When we look at the Lovers card in the Wild Unknown Deck, we get a better view of the other meanings of this card. Rather than seeing two archetypal human figures in a suggestive arrangement, we see two Canadian geese flying in harmony, almost like carbon copies of each other but not quite. They are surrounded by radiant rays of light, suggesting an expansive force emanating from this partnership.

There are two specific interpretations I want to discuss today, as it pertains to the energy of Gemini. Gemini is linked to the twins Castor and Pollux. This is not a romantic connection, but a familial one, and arguably the closest one can have, with twins. When we think of people with their Sun in Gemini, we think of people who can have two very different sides to themselves. Here we see the two deeper meanings of the Lovers: expansive partnership, and a mirror of the self. 

I see meaningful connection and mental expansion in the Lovers card. The medicine of this card is about a balanced duality that strives for the higher good. It's about a force outside of ourselves, a partnership, that supports us in our expansion and evolution. When it comes up in a reading and suggests partnership, it doesn't necessarily refer to a romantic partnership -  but to any partnership where you can be an equal participant, and grow from.

Beyond that, the Lovers card doesn't always refer to an external force. It often does, suggesting an external factor that prepares us for the motion of the Chariot in the next card. But sometimes the Lovers card is a call for self-reflection. It's about holding up a mirror to ourselves, and really seeing ourselves, free of preconceptions and judgements. It can be about learning to look at ourselves objectively, so we can discern our next steps.