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.
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.
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.