card meanings & reading







The Lovers

The Lovers

The Meaning of the Lovers
Major Arcana Tarot Card in Readings

The Tarot Lovers card meaning in a nutshell:
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, by Masolino da Panicale, 1425.
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 Major Arcana Tarot Cards

  1. The Magician

  2. The High Priestess

  3. The Empress

  4. The Emperor

  5. The Hierophant

  6. The Lovers

  7. The Chariot

  8. Strength

  9. The Hermit

  10. Wheel of Fortune

  11. Justice

  12. The Hanged Man

  13. Death

  14. Temperance

  15. The Devil

  16. The Tower

  17. The Star

  18. The Moon

  19. The Sun

  20. Judgement

  21. The World

  22. The Fool

The Book

Tarot Unfolded. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tarot Unfolded

This book focuses on the Tarot card images and their allegorical symbols. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. The book will help you find your own intuitive way of making inspired Tarot card readings. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

More about the book here.

My Other Websites:

I Ching Online

The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.

Complete Horoscope

How predictions are done in classical astrology with the full horoscope chart. Many examples.

Creation Myths

Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.

Other Books of Mine

Your Health in Your Horoscope. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Your Health in Your Horoscope

What the horoscope says about your health, according to the old tradition of medical astrology. Click the image to see the book (and Kindle ebook) at Amazon.

Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi, prana, spirit, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd

About me

I'm a Swedish author. In addition to fiction, I've written books about the Tarot, Taoism, astrology and other metaphysical traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.