The Lovers (not really) Tarot Card Interpretation-6-

Picture taken from Beginner's guide to Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke with cards illustrated by Giovanni Caselli

Picture taken from Beginner’s guide to Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke with cards illustrated by Giovanni Caselli

The Lovers tarot card is interesting to me. When I started using my deck I didn’t even bother to take a second look at this card. I assumed it was a pair of lovers receiving a blessing from a third party. Simple and easy as cake right? Wrong.

This card came up when I was doing a reading for a friend.  I immediately jumped to the conclusion, “oh, I know this one! I don’t even have to consult my booklet; a union is going to occur between two people or things, you will fall in love or something will come together”.

How naive was I to not even consult the picture!?

“Uh yeah, that seems about right…” my friend replied. Seemingly putting her faith in my half-hearted explanation, as she fixed her gaze on the card a bit longer. I took her cue and actually looked at the card. Something was off-I looked closely at the card-then consulted my little booklet.

There were two lovers all right, two lovers and another lover. I was in shock. How could this be? Three lovers in the infamous Lovers tarot card? All of the faith in my assumptions came crashing down. This card is not about Lovers in the literal sense of the word. It does not imply a union between two people or suggest a romantic ending to a situation.

It is about the choice one has to make when it comes to two things. Two things most of us have to choose between every now and then. Choosing between the wisdom and caution of the elders or the need to experience things for oneself.

For example; will you listen to the warnings of others and stay away from a “bad”  crowd, or will you proceed and make your own judgement calls, get involved with that crowd and learn how they really are.

If you are looking for a card that is more literal in representation of the lovers, I would suggest you consult the two of cups. Now this image more clearly shows an equal exchange of heartfelt emotion between two individuals-offering each other their cups full of water. Water being representative of emotion.

In the Lovers card, the man has an older lover and a younger lover. He is confronted and must choose between the two. While he is thinking, the ladies are waiting somewhat awkwardly and cupid hovers above the man.  As we go through life, we are guided by the advice of  wiser people-parents, grandparents and teachers. Whomever it may be, we are told what is safe, dangerous and which paths will result in creating better circumstances for ourselves. This is the older woman in the image.  Now the younger lover is representative of inexperience. If he chooses her, he will encounter life on his own accord, they will learn together as peers, and acquire knowledge through trial and error.

It is curious to me as to why this card is named so, the Lovers. Perhaps ones love of life, and desire to choose the path more conducive to their journey. As cupid looms above, we are reminded of the devotion and desire one puts into their own personal development. Whichever path the man chooses, he will be committed to this way until the next fork in the rode arises.

In my opinion, neither one is right or wrong…rather the choice reflects the type of love one has for themselves. If they choose the young lover, they are willing to take risks and experience things through a trial and error way. If they choose the older lover, they will be proceeding with caution and are more likely to take the counsel of others.

When this card appears in a reading it presents us with;

1. A choice we need to make between following the tried and true or taking a risk.

2. A fork in the rode on our path.

3. Whichever path we choose will require a commitment from our end.

4. The time has come for us to make a decision. No more waiting!

In the reverse this card presents us with;

1. An inability to make a choice.

2. A stalemate.

3. A need to go back and look at the Heirophant in order to re-evaluate our inner world.

4. This may be a crucial time to proceed with caution. Wait before making a decision!


It is fitting that in my experience with this card, I assumed the knowledge I had upon a mere glimpse lent itself to an understanding; instead I had to really look at the card in order to understand it. In this case, experiencing the card was far more important than believing my assumptions.





7 responses to “The Lovers (not really) Tarot Card Interpretation-6-

  1. This is a very interesting depiction of the card. In my (very old) deck the card is a depiction of Adam and Eve being confronted by an angel in the middle. I see the same interpretation though. The angel represents the elder figure giving insight and aged perspective, while the lover offers the fruit of knowledge, aka: self discovery. However with my cards depiction having an ultimately known ending (the choice of the fruit) I wonder if the card is a sign to move away from the elder and to embark on our own journey to self fulfilment through our own trials rather than an equal choice.

    • Hey Eric, thanks for stopping by again! In my personal life, I tend to lean towards experience being the better teacher, rather than being told about something. When I look even further at the Lovers picture from my deck, the man is somewhat facing the younger woman (experience) and I think it is alluding towards that. In that sense, we are reminded about the importance of subtleties in the cards. I am also excited to begin studying other cards too, since I realize they may have so many similarities/discrepancies and it would be interesting to see how the symbols and overall meanings are presented.
      Nonetheless, I do think that when a querent is faced with this card, he/she is reminded of the choice they must make between believing what they hear or experiencing something for themselves. The card may suggest that experience is better, but it is ultimately a choice. For example, I think about legitimate warnings people receive about things; for example, staying out of bad neighborhoods or making bad investments and these warnings are not done to necessarily control us, or keep us from experiencing things, but rather to keep us safe. In this sense, some things are probably better left not experiencing. I feel like I’m rambling at this point, haha. I’m sure you get my point. Anyways, do you remember the name of your old tarot deck?

  2. HI! The card you are using is based on an old French card – you can see it here

    The card is called L’Amoureux, and this has been wrongly translated as The Lovers over and over again. In fact it is a singular noun and means The Lover. He is choosing – either between the two women (a good one and beautiful one?) or between his mother and a potential wife. In the latter case, I feel it should be interpreted as the choice between sticking with what you know, the safe and familiar, and making a break, moving on to something new. (Actually I usually use the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, where The Lovers are lovers and seem already to have decided on that “something new”.)
    Anyway, great post!

    • Hey James, thanks for clearing up that confusion. It makes sense that some translations would get mixed up since the cards have been around for such a long time. That is a story in itself! I will look up the deck you are using and be sure to keep that in mind. It’s extraordinary to realize how subtleties can change the meaning of a card. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Pingback: The Chariot Tarot Card Interpretation-7- | Fool's Journey through the Major Arcana·

  4. I’ve had this card pulled before in a reading. I can’t remember if it was reverse or not, but never the less It’s one of my favorites. It’s a good reminder that your journey is filled with choices and only you can decide the path to walk and how to move forward from this point. Great post.

    • Yes, it’s always good to be reminded that you have control over the decisions you make in your life. Thanks for stopping by again. =)

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