(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)
A man and woman stand in what appears to be a garden, possibly the Garden of Eden. Behind each is a tree. The Tree of Knowledge behind the woman and The Tree of Life behind the man. Above, an Angel looks down on them as if giving a blessing. A cloud representing spirit symbolically joins the man and woman.
The man seems to be unaware of the Angel as he stares at the woman while the woman looks up to the Angel. This again represents the masculine and feminine, opposites, duality and conscious/subconscious aspects at play once again. The man looks outwardly for inspiration in the physical sense while the woman goes within to connect with spirit for fulfillment in her life. For perfect balance both of these qualities or approaches are necessary. The two combined are more powerful than when alone. The man instructs woman on the ways of the world through physical and direct experience while the woman helps man understand that he has a spiritual purpose to fulfill, that he is first and foremost spirit learning to live in the physical. The Lovers is an accumulation of the influence of the emotional and practical guidance of both the Empress and Emperor along with the spiritual and moral instruction of The Heirophant being applied to our relationships in life. The Fool is now expected to take his place in the world according to the tradition of all those who have gone before. He will be watched carefully to ensure he behaves accordingly. In a similar manner you will be too.
The Lovers are depicted as young adults and hence represent the onset of adolescence and the moving away from directing their sole love and attention from their parents to another . The couple depicted in The Lovers have become aware of each other’s presence and are now realise what it is to feel attracted to another. They are experiencing the magic of falling in love.
The Lovers is also a card for sexual development and sexual attraction. As a result relationships are highlighted by this card and often decisions about relationships. The relationship in question does not necessarily need to be of a romantic or sexual nature. This card deals with any relationship that is considered important. It is also a card for questioning the relationship you have with yourself. Learning to love yourself before you can love another. True fulfillment comes at first from within as depicted by the woman turning to Spirit.
The Lovers along with the Knight of Swords is a sign for Gemini. Gemini is symbolically represented by the twins. Because of the dual nature of Gemini, one of their challenges is to learn how to decide. Therefore this card may stand for decisions of any kind and not just relationships. The Lovers teach us to take a look and examine both sides of the situation (represented by the man and woman) so that the best decision for all may be arrived at. It is a time to take your physical, emotional or spiritual needs into account when making a decision be it regarding love, buying a house or choosing a career.
Gemini being an Air Sign deals with the art of communication. Geminis are usually great talkers and are well able to communicate and express themselves. They are often depicted as having two phones; one for each ear. The Lovers examine the level of and quality of communication within your relationships. For a relationship to remain healthy, active and forward moving is essential to keep a strong two-way flow of communication in operation. As a couple The Lovers need to be able to express their individual needs, desires, feelings, likes and dislikes but also be able to listen to their partner’s needs in order to maintain a healthy balance and harmony within the relationship.
The Nudity of the man and woman symbolises their desire to be open and honest with each other. They feel safe enough with each other enabling them to show their true self and be accepted for who they are, warts and all.
Decisions about love and relationships in general apply unless a specific question has been asked. It can suggest a new relationship, generally at the onset of a relationship when one is first falling in love and consumed with romance and passion. You may be deciding whether to take your relationship to the next level by making more of a commitment to your partner or remain at the romantic stage. The Lovers Upright generally indicates that it is safe to move forward, safe to take it to the next stage. Both your needs have to be taken into consideration when making this decision otherwise it won’t work and their will be problems down the line.
The woman looking toward spirit may suggest that in a relationship one may prefer a more spiritual union rather than a physical one. Equally the man looking only toward woman may suggest that his concerns are only those of physical attraction with little interest of a deeper relationship. Look to surrounding cards to for further hints of what sort of relationship you are reading about. Again there is the need to be honest in your relationship and to clearly communicate your expectations lest one or you gets the wrong impression.
The Lovers Card asks questions of you regarding the nature of what it is that draws or attracts you to another. Do you fully understand why you select the partners you do? You may gain important information about yourself and the nature of all relationships in your life if you take time to analyse or meditate on this. If your relationships are generally successful then you have little to ponder over but if you have a pattern of getting hurt or taken advantage of then it may be you that is at fault and not the partners you choose.
The Lovers Card can also suggest that there is someone interested in you or admiring you from a distance that you are not aware of at present. In all these situations because The Lovers is a card of duality it is important to examine the flanking cards for more insight regarding the relevant situation and representation. Infatuation and romantic encounters are strongly highlighted in The Lovers.
Sexual consummation of a relationship is strongly indicated in The Lovers as the couple in this card have moved on from the romantic stage of the Two of Cups and become more intimate. Due to The Lovers connection with Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden temptations of the flesh may be an issue.
The Lovers is also a card for moving forward in life and its appearance in a reading will suggest that it is safe to move forward with whatever you are planning.