Author's Note: This card and everything written here is dedicated to my old high school friend, Tracey Coffin Mattson aka Mama Mattson, whose heart was broken the day John Lennon was killed. She's since healed it with a large and beautiful family (more testimony to the healing power of true love), but I'll never forget the day she stood in the doorway of Junior Advanced Biology with a black sash on her upper arm and tears streaming down her face. All we need is love, right Tracey? D♥
KEYWORDS: Relationship, Sexuality, Personal Values
The tarot’s major arcana cards represent universal experiences that we go through in our lives, no matter what our background or how we were raised.
Love, in it’s truest form (as opposed to ownership or possessiveness), is a magic elixir, the universe’s greatest cure all. When our chalice is filled to the brim with this selfless and unconditional nectar and we drink of it without expectation, we are transformed by true love, healed by true love, and urged to our potential. Our lives become graced with divine alchemy; we dance vital karmic dances, and discover our most genuine selves through interaction with others. The door opens and all we need do is walk through it.
This photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono done by Annie Liebovitz for the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine in 1980 epitomizes The Lovers Card. Their relationship was complicated, true, but they loved one another deeply. So deeply in fact that Yoko has iconized Lennon’s name and image as a brand for world peace. The image portrays romantic love so well, but what Yoko did thereafter reminds us of our responsibility to love one another, the entire world ... that all we need is love.
Excerpted from “Behind the Photo: John & Yoko” posted on www.RollingStone.com on September 30, 2004 …
The session took place in a bright, sunny room overlooking the park," says Yoko Ono of her and John Lennon's photo shoot at the Dakota, their New York apartment building, on December 8th, 1980. "We were feeling comfortable because it was Annie [Leibovitz], whom we respected and trusted, so John seemed not to have any problem taking off his clothes. John and I were hugging each other, feeling a bit giggly and up."
"I was thinking that they had never been embarrassed to take their clothes off, that they could do a nude embrace," says Leibovitz, who was photographing them for a Rolling Stone cover to mark the release of Double Fantasy, their first album in five years. "John took his clothes off in a few seconds, but Yoko was very reluctant. She said, 'I'll take my shirt off but not my pants.' I was kinda disappointed, and I said, 'Just leave everything on.' We took one Polaroid, and the three of us knew it was profound right away." source
The Lovers card is all about how we relate to others, but it’s also about being true to ourselves. Each of the four tarot suits are present in this card symbolizing the phases we may go through when dealing with love’s many aspects. Our emotions act like a magnet carrying us toward friends or lovers. This is the blessing of the chalice, which is filled to the brim with opportunities for love of many kinds including divine, platonic, and romantic. Through the sharp edge of observation and consideration, the swords help us determine what relationships are good for us. As we contemplate sexuality, physical attraction, desire and intimacy we are reminded to remain true to ourselves. The way we respond to these thoughts and feelings is inherent in the suit of wands. Finally, pentacles are indicative of how those decisions and their subsequent actions manifest in our lives.
The pomegranate in the card’s border is symbolic of the sex act itself, inclusive of la petite mort, or the little death. Through the little death we are repeatedly resurrected, which is highly symbolic of the transformative powers of love.
In a reading …
When pulled in a reading, the Lovers card can be indicative of a relationship that is based on deep love but is not sexual in nature. Perhaps there are sexual undercurrents, but it is how we act on those currents, the choices we make and the actions we take, that matter. In this way, the card can indicate the presence of a moral or ethical choice or crossroads.
When this card is opposed by the Hierophant, we may face a situation in love that challenges our belief system. When it opposes the Hermit, it encourages interacting more with others and finding the courage to step outside of ourselves. When this card is pulled in a reading with the Empress, it may point more toward non-sexual love, but when pulled with the 2 of cups, it leans more toward romance.