The Lovers is one of those tarot cards that I thought I knew until I found out I didn't know it at all. It's one of a handful of cards (along with Death and The Tower) that has been captured by popular culture so that even if you've never had an encounter with tarot, you have an idea of what it means (it is called The Lovers, after all). We've all seen the movie where it's used as a romantic device - a flip of the card and the plot thickens.
A traditional interpretation is that it's the sign of true and lasting love: the arrival of your twin flame; the answer you desperately wish for when asking the risky question: "is X the one?" But here's the thing, this card can't possibly work that way because if it did, once we got it once we could just dust our hands off and say "well that's taken care of" and never need to see a tarot reader again (romantic questions is still the #1 reason people seek a reader). Also, what happens when we get it AGAIN when we thought things were all shored up with so-and-so? Plot twist. Or we get it when there is no desire for this kind of union? What then?
What this calls for is a need to rethink this card. The version of The Lovers card shown above is from Holy Spectrum Tarot, a modern deck designed by Chase Voorhees. He is also the partner of Lindsay Mack, who's Wild Soul Tarot school taught me to use the cards in an entirely new and aligned way. When comparing Chase's card to the one below from Golden Universal Tarot, based on the seminal Smith-Rider-Waite deck that's been in circulation since 1909, the difference in approaches is pretty apparent.
What Holy Spectrum is offering is an invitation to reclaim something you have been seeking in others - to gaze deep into Alice's looking glass and find yourself on the other side. It shows us the way that we all get caught sometimes yearning for something that someone else has: a quality they possess, a way they are in the world, a dream job, the list goes on. This yearning can often leave us feeling like we are lacking in some way. It takes us out of our own worth and starts measuring who we are based on a set of external criteria that may or may not have anything to do with our inherent value. So rather than getting caught in the project of making yourself different or "better," the site of yearning is telling you everything you need to know. You're caught and you need to come home. The antidote is to connect to the truth that you are enough, just as you are, and you already have everything you need.
This is not an invitation to become a monk (unless you really want to become a monk), we are all interconnected and relational beings who need other people in our lives that we can be intimate and vulnerable with. But we also need to be that with ourselves or the yearning will never be quenched. External validation is but one puff of wind in our sails, we need to learn how to captain our own ship when the sea is flat and we're far from home. When we are able to do that, the quality of our interactions will become more meaningful because we will no longer be asking for proof of our worthiness instead of accepting love.
This week would be a good time to carry a charm or object with you that reminds you that you are loved. It could be a gift from a dear friend, a piece of rose quartz, or something you made for yourself. Put it in your pocket and touch it whenever you need a reminder. You can also supercharge it by placing it on your altar during the waxing moon (October 14 - 17, 2021).
THINGS TO LISTEN TO
Lindsay Mack's podcast Tarot for the Wild Soul: Episode #172 "Looking into the Mirror with The Lovers"