“The Lovers” – A Tarot Interpretation



The Lovers (6) – Crowley’s Thoth Tarot


• “The Lovers” (6) is ruled by the planet Mercury (which is gender neutral), the air element and mutable sign of Gemini. Body parts governed are the arms, shoulders, and lungs, color influences are violet, turquoise, mauve, white, silver, and yellow. These color energies enhance the actions of the intellect and communication.

 •  “6” (Numerology)  represents consciousness, creativity, harmony, partnerships and responsibility to family and friends. Those who have “6” as their birth number are adaptable to change and able to make clear choices under various circumstances.

•  The Magician is ruled by Mercury (air element) the planet which governs the mind and communication. The Magician is a skilled and persuasive individual who has mastered the tools of life and spirituality. These tools and their natural elements of Wands (fire), Cups (water), Swords (air), and Pentacles/Coins (earth) manifests the creativity, intellect and will that is used to empower this influential individual.

The Magician and The Lovers complement each other through a harmonious union of the emotions, the mind, and the intellect. The Magician is the archetype of using the mind to force action, while The Lovers are more representative of the balance of opposites: heaven/earth, mind/emotions. 




GILDED TAROT (far right), THOTH TAROT (top), RIDER WAITE SMITH (far left), LUMINA TAROT (bottom)





Crowley’s Thoth Tarot:

The Thoth Tarot defines the major and minor Arcana through esoteric representation.
As the Thoth tarot is rich in detail and meaning, I will give a brief overview of The Lovers with a primary focus on the symbology of this card.

In Lon Milo Duquette’s “Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot”, Mr. Duquette, alchemically, refers to The Lovers as “solve et coagulation”, ie “solution and coagulation”. The Lovers being the “solution” and Temperance/Art (15) being the “coagulation”. It is this journey of the Lovers and Temperance, which shows the process of love and harmony between them. 

Astrologically, this is also interpreted as the duality of Gemini and Sagittarius who represent The Lovers and Temperance, respectively.

Symbolically, we see a story of how the relationship of The Lovers has evolved. At the base of the card is the “orphic egg” representing a new life, which is seated between the red lion and white eagle representing the masculine and female counterparts of the Lovers. The two children are seen as the spiritual creation of the King and Queen (or Emperor and Empress). Both are represented as the black and white souls of duality; the Yin and Yang of opposites. The shrouded priest is represented by the major arcana’s The Hermit (9). His arms are stretched over the Lovers and are wrapped around a scroll signifying this cosmic union. Above them, is the god of love, “Eros (or Cupid)” who is blindfolded, aiming his arrow in the direction from Kether to Chokmah, thus representing the divine connection to the active intellect, from the Tree of Life.

Lastly, The Lovers ceremonial union is held under an archway framed by swords. “Zayin” is the Hebrew letter meaning “Sword” and is associated with The Lovers. Keep in mind the Swords represent the mind and intellect in this scenario.

Crowley states, “there is no bond that can unite the divided but Love: all else is a curse”. This influence is based around the Thelemic principal of “Love is the Law, Love Under Will”. It is this complexity of the Thoth’s Tarot interpretation of The Lovers, that reveals the phases of an esoteric union of the cosmic spirit with the intellect of higher consciousness.




The Gilded Tarot:  

In the Gilded Tarot, we see a warrior-like man and a goddess-like woman standing in the waters of the deep subconscious and emotions. The ecstatic nature of these two souls, perhaps representing the merging of Mars and Venus energy, shows a deep connection of passion, emotion, and spirituality between these soul mates. Above them, we see the cosmic heavens alight with bursting energy, and in the distance, two dolphins are jumping out of the waters. There are a few dynamics taking place in this scene. The Lovers are perfectly balanced between the heavens of spirituality above them and standing in the watery realm of the emotions. And lastly in the background the merging of the intellect represented by the dolphins. The Lovers are a harmonious union of these three key qualities: emotion, intellect, and spirit. Carefully made choices utilizing these key qualities are of importance in maintaining balance in any relationship, including the “Self”.






• Rider-Waite-Smith: 

The RWS tarot takes a biblical approach in a pictorial representation of The Lovers. The Lovers (representing Adam and Eve) are placed in the Garden of Eden without clothing representing no shame towards each other. The man is standing in front of what looks to be the Tree of Life and the woman is standing in front of the Tree of Knowledge home to the snake of temptation. Raphael, the healing guardian angel, is above them with open arms to show the heavenly acceptance of the Lovers. The radiating Sun indicates abundance and fertility. What’s interesting is this scene is set before The Lovers take a taste from the Tree of Knowledge. The result of their decision is shown in the RWS major arcana, The Devil (15). The RWS Lovers interpretation is making the right moral decision, for it can not be changed once put into action.




Lumina Tarot: 

The Lovers represented in this deck takes on an instinctual approach. Here the meaning is of being adventurous in our choices. Following our hearts desires while maintaining self-awareness of the direction one is moving towards. The inherent energy of this card is of consistent movement and connection between the wolves (representing primal instincts).

“Self-love” and “Self-honesty” are the keys in the Lumina Tarot’s interpretation of The Lovers. It’s with this understanding that one can achieve a spiritual connection and union to one’s “Self”, and therefore bond with those who are equally aligned.

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