Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of Equinox and the Week of Sept. 19-25, 2016: The Lovers

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
Professor Albus Dumbledore, via J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

As we enter into an astrologically potent week, and the turning of the season, we are accompanied by an equally powerful guardian card. Welcome this week to The Lovers.

On the surface, The Lovers is often assumed to point to matters regarding our romantic love relationships. And often, it does. But this important card of the Major Arcana is more precisely about how our true nature is revealed by the choices we make.Marseilles Lovers

In fact, in some decks, such as the Tarot of Marseilles, The Lovers depicts a man standing between two women, evidently deciding whether he will succumb to enticing temptations, or choose a more respectable (but perhaps less spicy) relationship.

In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, there is no temptress, but a more mystical scene, suggesting the choice made in the Garden of Eden. The woman gazes heavenward, the snake and the tree behind her; the man looks to the woman.

Presiding over this tableau is an angel, sometimes identified as Raphael, but (based on what we know of the Order of the Golden Dawn’s rituals), it is probably the solar fire angel, Michael.

Thus, the R-W-S deck broadens the message of The Lovers to be, not only choices about a particular relationship or social situation, but how, who, and why we love.

What Reality Do You Live In?

As most students of the Tarot know, The Lovers’ opposite card, based on the numerology and Birth/Personality cards’ relationships, is The Devil.The Devil

In fact, in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck you can see it is the same couple in both cards.

The Devil of the Tarot teaches how we may be enslaved through fears, unconscious habits, and self-sabotage. The goat-headed creature makes a sign of blessing, but the couple stands frozen in loose chains. This is how we give away our power, refuse growth, play it safe, and prefer our suffering to the risk of the unknown.

In The Lovers, the presiding magical being also offers his blessings. In this case, the couple is aware, and receptive. They see life as a beautiful garden, not a pit of condemnation and despair.

Which do you believe in?

We create our reality by how we choose, and why we do so. If our life is reactive and fear-based, if we believe the Universe is out to get us, our choices often play out as greed, bigotry, hostility, and the like. We search for the promise of someone bigger than ourselves to keep us safe from Life. That promise is always a lie.

Instead, when we align with The Lovers, we open our true, passionate hearts, and connect to the world around us. When we are in Oneness, there is no “other” to disparage, fear, or hate. Thus we understand we are always safe, even unto the end of life itself, for we are held in grace by Love.

Truthful, Fair, and Generous

Therefore, to whom and how we give our truest love can reveal the deepest truth about who we are and our expectations. Who is allowed into our most intimate presence (and why) shows the extent to which we respect, trust, and honor ourselves.

The same holds true of those that we turn to for leadership. If we are in a state of self-loathing, anger, bitterness, and blame, we will act out of desperation and swallow any convenient lie, knowing on some level we have just reinforced our own impotence.

But from the viewpoint of The Lovers, we don’t need saving. We are the leaders in our own lives, and we need representatives that proxy for us with wisdom, compassion, and balance.

So we can discover much about our potential leaders, as well as other people in our lives, by the choices they make, the ways they behave, and how they treat others when they presume no one is looking.

This echoes the message of this Equinox week’s astrology, as reported by my friend, Diotima Mantineia:

A few hours after Mercury goes direct 1:30 Thursday morning (all times EDT), the Sun moves into Libra at 10:22 am.

This is one of four important points in the astrological/astronomical calendar that mark the solstices and equinoxes. Astrologers cast charts for the moment of these shifts and use them to predict the next three or so months (except the Spring Equinox, which is often used to predict the whole year).

This Autumn Equinox chart suggests that issues of leadership will be front and center in our personal lives, not just in regard to the upcoming presidential election. What we need is leadership that is truthful, focused on justice, and generous towards others.

We’re all leaders in some areas of our lives — ask yourself who looks to you for guidance and direction (even if it’s just friends who ask for your advice).

Then think about whether you are being truthful, just, and generous in your leadership. Sure, plenty of other people aren’t, but I’m pretty sure your soul’s treasured vision for this lifetime did not include you being deceitful, unjust and miserly. So listen to your soul, and let others go their own way…

As we cross the threshold of Equinox, as Mercury comes to a standstill and then stations direct, the Universe may be offering you a very important option. It may be about a relationship, or something else that you care deeply about.

To what or whom do you give yourself without fear or reservations? What would life look like if you approached it with clarity and innocence? How would things change if you embraced each day as a divine blessing?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

If questions are up for you about any of your relationships, ask yourself honestly – do those people behave as if they truly value the gifts that you give? Do you value what you share?

And who returns this deep love to you generously, without qualification or conditions?

You deserve no less that what you offer with all your splendid, adoring heart.

Let us show who we truly are, and in the name of all that is holy, may Love guide us surely and well.

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  • September 19, 2016, 4:06 pm pavement

    Actually, according to Ellen Goldberg, the devil’s mudra means “what you see is all there is” (not “live long and prosper hah hah). It’s a trick referring to the illusion of 3-D reality.

    I love thinking about what I would do if I could not fail. I would eliminate all slavery, including my own $40,000 in public school undergrad loans (they refused me a degree after I filed a complaint against a professor who sexually assaulted me in class). Debt is slavery. If I could not fail, I would end rape of all sorts. If I could not fail, poverty and income inequality would be eliminated. Charities and foundations would be replaced by true democracy, we would all democratically decide how our collective resources were spent.
    If I could not fail, I would design and build cargo ships with solar computer wind-harnessing sails to eliminate the burning of polluting tar in cargo ships.
    If I could not fail, I would organize a worldwide boycott of airplane and automobile travel (when it’s only me it has no effect) until every form of transportation renewed i stead of destroyed our Mother.
    If I could not fail, I would ensure that every human had safe shelter and good space on which to grow good food.
    If I could not fail, I would end war.
    If I could not fail, patriarchal white supremecist capitalism would be replaced by love for all beings.
    If I could not fail, I and all beings would awaken for the highest good.
    If I could not fail, I would have a safe home, a family, meaningful work for the highest good, and never go without food or shelter again.
    If I could not fail, the world would be a very different place.

  • September 19, 2016, 6:42 pm Beth

    Yes, Pavement, Ellen is a friend and an amazing Tarot scholar. And yes, the hand gesture of The Devil in the R-W-S deck is quite fascinating (as is its modern day derivative, the Vulcan Salute). It can stand for the Hebrew letter Shin, and is used (both hands) by Jewish Kohanim as a blessing in the name of El Shaddai, meaning Almighty God, and which specifically acknowledges the Shekinah. Leonard Nimoy wrote in some detail about why he incorporated it for his character, and it made me love this blessing sign even more.

    I hope that with all your powerful aspirations you have listed, you will see this card as an affirmation to be working towards many of them in a very real, personal way. When we commit and put forth the effort with the trust depicted by The Lovers, sometimes miracles happen, sometimes not. But always, progress can be made. If we don’t, of course, then there are no results, and stagnation wins again.

  • September 21, 2016, 3:19 am Tara

    Thank you ~ your article really resonates with me. ~ Much love & light.~ 💖 ~