The opposite of love is power … not hatred.
– Carl Jung
PART 1 – THE LOVERS SYMBOLISM
In this post, the Feeling LOVERS arcanum (6) is associated with the power of love. In the next post, the Conquering CHARIOT arcanum (7) will be associated with the love of power.
In the post about Yin-Yang, Lunar Cycle and Solar Cycle, we defined the ten-major arcana lunar (unconscious) set (1 to 10) and within it the first five-arcana (1 to 5) subset (yang, incarnation). They were
(1) The Initiating MAGICIAN
(2) The Incubating HIGH PRIESTESS
(3) The Seducing EMPRESS
(4) The Commanding EMPEROR
(5) The Mediating HIGH PRIEST
The latter (5) synthesizes the four previous arcana (1 to 4) and prepares for the second five-arcana (6 to 10) subset (yin, perception) starting with the Feeling LOVERS arcanum (6, this post) and the Conquering CHARIOT arcanum (7, the next post).
Mythologically associated with the High Priest (arcana 5), the Centaur’s bow was aiming to the sky and the arrow was linking earth to heaven. With the Lovers (this arcana 6), it is now the opposite. Cupid’s bow is aiming from the sky and the arrow is linking heaven to the earth.
The Lovers arcana and Astro Tarology “Flower of Life”
Before detailing the “Lovers” symbols in the four previously selected tarot decks, let’s look at its arcanum position in the Astro Tarology “Flower of Life”. While we selected the Tarot de Marseille (TDM) arcana, the structure works for almost all tarot decks major arcana.
The Lovers represents the link between the Moon (dreams and reflections) and the Heart (love and beauty). The Moon gives the Lovers their unconscious attraction and the Heart their longing to the original celestial unity. Let’s note that the Lovers (6) share the central Heart with the High Priestess (3) and the High Priest (5).
Let’s now observe the four different Lovers arcana.
Tarot de Marseille (TDM)
The TDM Lovers is the first arcanum to show more than one actual persons, with not two but four characters: (1) a young man (inexperience) who is solicited by (2) an older woman (experience) and (3) a younger woman (innocence) (all three terrestrial) while pointed at by an arrow (link sky-earth) aimed by (4) an angelic (celestial) Cupid (love messenger). What is the relationship between them? A young man seeking his mother’s blessing to marry the young woman? A young woman asking her mother to marry the young man? Is there harmony or disagreement between them? Are the three in the middle of a conflict? Is the young woman pregnant? Are they involved in a trio or any other projection? Regardless of their relationships, it looks like being in the middle and aimed by Cupid, the young man is the one who must make a choice.
(1) Cupid is the middle of a white (purity) circle with red (life) and yellow (spiritual) rays (warm cosmic love), (2) all four have yellow hair (spiritual antennas), (3) the younger woman has flowers (nature heart) in her hair while the older wears a laurel crown (winner), (4) the older woman, the young woman and Cupid have some blue sky (celestial divinity) parts while the young man doesn’t have any yet (spiritual immaturity), (5) the older woman has her left (receptivity) hand on his shoulder (authority, protection) and her right (activity) hand index finger directed towards the ground (reason), (6) the young woman has her right (activity) hand on his heart (love), (7) while, not immediately clear, the hand on her belly (baby) belongs to his left (receptivity) hand (shape + identical left and right blue-yellow forearms.)
To reach a higher awareness level, the TDM Lovers needs to transform conflicts to peace.
Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (RWS)
In the RWS Lovers arcana, there are no longer four characters but three: a man (Adam), a woman (Eve) and an overwhelming angel (messenger of God). (1) Irradiated by the huge solar light (divine emanation), (2) the angel (unconscious love feelings) is blessing the couple, (3) with open arms (preaching for their union). (4) In the Garden of Eden, Eve is standing next to the apple tree (knowledge of good and evil), (5) swirled by the serpent (receptive Eve seducer), and (6) Adam is standing next to a tree with leaves of fire (male active principle). (7) Both Adam and Eve are naked (innocence) with both arms wide open down (vulnerability). (8) In her right hand Eve holds an apple (forbidden fruit) and (9) looks at the angel (imploring for its blessing). (10) Adam looks at Eve (ready for her decision). (11) The clouds are darkening the sky (announcing bad news). (12) The lovers will eat the apple and be expelled from heaven (end of their easy life). (13) The garden ground and the mountain are unexpectedly bare (lost Paradise). (14) From there on, the couple and all its successors will have to live with terrestrial hardships.
To reach a higher awareness level, the RWS Lovers needs to follow their hearts wisdom.
Mythic Tarot (MT)
This Greek mythology scene shows a beauty contest between the Olympus three most beautiful goddesses: older Hera (goddess of all gods), seductive Aphrodite (goddess of love and sex) and serious Athena (goddess of justice). The contest imposed by Zeus is to be judged (against his will) by young womanizer Prince Paris (son of King Priam of Troy), who will award the winner with the golden apple. The MT arcana shows the following details. To influence his decision, each goddess is promising Paris a different power (bribery): (1) Hera holding an earth globe (world authority) in her left hand (receptive), (2) Aphrodite a golden cup (physical love) with both hands (receptive and active), and (3) Athena a sword (cutting-edge mental abilities) with her left hand (receptive). (4) In his left hand (receptive) Paris holds the golden apple (winner prize) and in his right (active) hand a shepherd staff (primary instinct). (5) The landscape has green fields and mountains (fertile nature), and (6) the sky is blue (love is in the air).
Not ready for a mature choice and listening to his youth sexual impulses, Paris doesn’t think twice and choose Aphrodite as the winner.
To reach a higher awareness level, the MT Lovers needs to listen to their instincts.
More about “Paris Judgment”
In agreement with her promise, Aphrodite offered Helen of Sparta to Paris. The good news was that she was considered as the world most beautiful woman. The bad news was that she was already married to Greek king Menelaus. Accepting Aphrodite’s gift, Paris awarded her with the golden apple. The two runner ups, Hera and Athena, didn’t hold Paris choice against him, but secretly rejoiced at plotting Troy downfall. The Greeks’ expedition to retrieve Helen from Paris in Troy is the Trojan War mythological basis.
Symbolon Tarot (ST)
The ST arcana, titled “Eros”, shows three characters: a naked couple holding hands in a physical communion. Their connection is blessed by a little Cupid aiming at them with a bow. The man and the woman are gazing at each other with pure love in their look. An arch (glory) with purple (spirituality) flowers (natural beauty), red and yellow pillows (life and spiritual pleasures), fruits (nature sweet gifts), wine (divine beverage) and lush vegetation (nature gift to the union) symbolize a sensual union harmony. The sky is blue. Physical love is in the air and nature is giving its utmost blessing.
To reach a higher awareness level, the ST Lovers needs to acknowledge their sensuality.
In a summary, we can say that to reach a higher awareness level, the Lovers needs to (1) transform conflicts to peace, (2) follow their hearts wisdom, (3) listen to their instincts and (4) acknowledge their sensuality.
As a practical simple advice, your inner Lovers recommends that you follow your instincts with your soulmate.
Click on 2 for the LOVERS Practical Exercises