The Meaning of the Lovers
The Tarot Lovers card meaning in a nutshell:
Major Arcana Tarot Card in Readings
Deeply felt mutual attraction
- for as long as it lasts.
Love - intense affection.
Except for the nudity, the picture of the Lovers Major Arcana Tarot card is quite innocent, maybe even virginal. That's because of the time and culture in which the Tarot deck of cards was created. Still, the Lovers card is definitely about sex, too. The complete love between two people. Attraction, lust, passion - all the emotions making two persons longing to connect, and then the devotion keeping them together for as long as it lasts.
The Lovers Tarot card is almost parodical in its emphasized innocence. The two lovers are not even holding hands, but remaining apart, forcefully separated by an angelic figure - albeit with red instead of white wings, as a discreet indicator of passion. The Lovers card speaks more of Agape than of Eros, the non-carnal love instead of the lustful one. No sin committed - yet.
Talking about sin, another one than that of the flesh is implied by the apple tree and the serpent on the left side of the Lovers card image. This certainly refers to Adam and Eve, and the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. We know how that ended. Here's a painting by Masolino in 1425 of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the Fall, showing some similarity to the Tarot Lovers card above:
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the Fall, showing some similarity to the Tarot card of the Lovers. Painting by Masolino da Panicale, 1425.
The innocence doesn't last for long, when love is involved. And in a reading, the Lovers Tarot card is definitely about what its title says, and all the aspects thereof. Also, it's about the ability to love - more so, it indicates a character in which love overshadows everything else. It's the Tarot card of the lover, whether it's a Casanova, a Cleopatra, or Tristan and Isolde. Those who live to love and love to live.
Falling in love depends on the ability to do so. The true lover is always in love, although the object may vary - still with complete fidelity to the love at the moment, as if suddenly nobody else exists in the whole world, and nothing else matters.
These lovers on the Tarot card seem innocent, actually not in love at all. But that's just because their eyes haven't even met yet. The man has spotted the woman and as soon as her eyes leave the angelic figure towering over their heads, she will see him and their nature will do the rest. They have it in them, so they're destined to fall in love if they just meet.
Therefore, the angel seemingly keeping the Lovers apart is one of Opportunity, arranging fate so that it makes them meet. Not a difficult task with two lovers at heart. It can happen with just about anyone they meet, and certainly when both are of the same nature, like the ones on this Tarot card. Whether it was the angel's doing or not that they met, once it happened the heavenly creature would not be able to tear them apart.
A. E. Waite about the Tarot Lovers Card
Click the header to read what A. E. Waite had to say about the Major Arcana Lovers Tarot card symbolism and meaning in divination.
- The Magician
- The High Priestess
- The Empress
- The Emperor
- The Hierophant
- The Lovers
- The Chariot
- The Hermit
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Hanged Man
- The Devil
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The World
- The Fool
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