There’s a great interview with the creator of the Star Spinner Tarot, Trung Le Nguyen, known as Trungles. He decided to include four different versions of The Lovers in his deck. I really admire this decision, because the reader gets to pick which card speaks to them most, or which one is most representative of the person they’re reading for. There are so many ways to see each of these cards, someone even interpreting the bottom left one as representing platonic, or asexual love. That kind of representation is sadly still rare in Tarot decks, as in the wider world.
I mentioned when talking about The Hierophant that we are following the Fool on a personal journey. Where The Hierophant was about accepting guidance from someone experienced and wise, The Lovers represents a choice that The Fool has to make by themself. In fact, some versions of this card are called The Choice.
The two figures in the card represent the duality of making decisions. Heads or tails, left or right, true or false. This card can represent the first choice The Fool makes without his parents’ input. A first love, which job to train for, what university to attend. The number 2 is also one of balance, or symmetry. It’s important to make decisions that bring balance to your life where possible.
Let’s look at The Lovers:
Immediately, in some of these depictions we are reminded of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There’s an angel above the pair, and an apple tree and snake on one side, a burning tree on the other. The angel is Raphael, whose name means ‘God, please heal’. When we think about how this card can represent a choice, and often your first independent choice, it’s clear how the story of Eve eating the forbidden fruit is very analogous to that feeling. Many choices that teens make are risky and they try to hide a lot from their parents. You can’t become a fully individual person without breaking away from your parents.
That freedom and independence is an important part of the Fool’s Journey. How do you know who you are if you don’t make your own choices and form your own opinions? Are there any parts of your life where you could benefit from having more independence?
Have you heard of the double human myth from Plato’s Symposium? Humans used to have four legs, four arms, and two faces. Zeus feared their power and split everyone in half, so that humans are now desperately running around trying to find their other half. It’s a fun story and I think a lot of people feel that way when they get into their first relationship.
There’s another idea about The Lovers, which is that it’s specifically having to make a choice between what is dull but safe, versus something exciting but dangerous. Have you ever had to make a decision like that? We all have difficult decisions to make in life, and The Lovers teaches us to use kindness and love wherever possible. Note that The Lovers are naked, they have nothing to hide. Honest and compassionate communication is necessary here.
The Hierophant helped to guide us before, but now we have to decide what is best for ourselves. If you pull this card, use your values to make loving decisions, with good intentions. Value yourself, and others who may be affected by your decision. Stay true, and you can handle any dilemma.
Next time, The Fool heads off on the next stage of their journey as The Chariot.