Fear says, “I want you to be safe.”
Love says, “You are safe.”
Emmanuel (channeled by Pat Rodegast)
As we continue to travel through this unprecedented time of astrological potency, infused with the influence of The Emperor, we are accompanied this week 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 moment of truth 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.
In this way, the R-W-S deck broadens the message of The Lovers to be about, not only alternatives regarding a particular relationship or social situation, but how, who, and why we love.
What Reality Do You Choose?
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 most 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 worse.
We encounter those evaluations constantly every day, even if we are not always aware of it.
For instance, imagine you are alone in an elevator with someone who looks very different from you. What is your default reaction?
You hear about someone holding up a convenience store. What do you assume about them in your mind’s eye as you hear the story?
We are exposed to endless chronicles of the unhappy, even despicable, thanks to the news, social media, and even popular entertainment. They are almost always the stories of people who are strung out on fear and isolation.
We can choose to amplify the hand-wringing and angry accusations. We can shake our heads in resignation, shrugging sadly that this is just human nature. We can up the ante with even bigger stories of cruelty, greed, and hate.
Or we can see through all those illusions with the eyes of compassion, knowing that we have built institutions rooted in systemic fear, because they are supposedly designed to protect us. Protect us from.. what?
Suppose we are not in a dungeon full of monsters, doomed to eternal damnation, but a garden of love and possibilities.
What do you believe? It’s your choice.
We can make a conscious decision to align with The Lovers. When we do, 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.
In Whose Name Is Our Trust Given?
Therefore, to whom and how we give our greatest love can reveal the deepest truth about who we are and our expectations. Who we allow 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, and to act on our behalf. If we are in a state of self-loathing, anger, bitterness, and blame, we may often 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 thoroughly responsible for our own lives, no matter how tough it might be, and we choose representatives that proxy for us with wisdom, awareness, and balance.
So we can discover much about our potential leaders, as well as other people in our lives, by the paths they navigate, the ways they behave, and how they treat others when they presume no one is looking.
The Revealing Intimacy of The Lovers
In Tarot readings, The Lovers card is often exactly what you would assume – a card that speaks of relationships, sexual attraction, and creating union with someone.
But, as a Major Arcana card, the tendency for this card is to be less about situations, and more about our soul’s journey. There are deep energies at work when this card comes up — revelations about who we are and who we are becoming.
It reminds us that the people we associate with, and to whom we give our love, time, and devotion, are a clear gauge of our own self-image.
When we are needy, immature, or selfish, we draw people into our lives that feed and mirror those attitudes. When we are in balance with our highest, most courageous, and loving path, we attract and appreciate others whose lights also shine brightly.
In other words, the healthier and happier we are, the healthier and happier are those with whom we choose to be intimate.
Aligning With Love
So this week, we may need to make an important choice — one that will call on us to be as authentic and unguarded as we can.
Besides the preferences we have regarding people, this may involve choosing between work we love vs. work that pays the bills (yet wounds our spirit). How does fear keep us stuck? What might we do differently if we knew we could not fail?
A reminder here that The Lovers is not The Fool. This is not a message to take a blind leap, but instead an indication that if we would only have the eyes and hearts to see it, we would know we were never exiled from the Garden.
This is a chance to step back and be embraced by life’s beauty and innate goodness. Perhaps you might like to contemplate what your path might be if you leaned just a little bit towards “Pronoia” — the sneaking suspicion that the world is conspiring to shower you with blessings.
This is not a Pollyanna message that nothing ever goes wrong, or that we are always comfortably in control. Quite the contrary. But Love is the lifeline that endures, no matter what.
Your Heart Circle
In the days ahead, we might need to reflect on who we have allowed into our inner world and why. The Lovers does not ask us to pass judgment on them (unless it is to hold them accountable to the law), but to consider how they do or do not reflect our truest values or support our higher natures.
Rather than figuring out what motivates or excuses people, simply notice how you are feeling about yourself after you’ve been exposed to them. Relaxed or tense? Upbeat or full of self-doubt?
With whom can you, like The Lovers, can be uninhibited, vulnerable, and completely open about who you really are?
Are there family members and/or friends that bring out your best and inspire you? Or do you find yourself resentful, confused, off-balance, or perhaps falling into unwholesome behavior patterns?
There are those who believe in us but also challenge us out of our comfort zones, or urge us to grow and change. Then there are individuals whose energy or dramas just leave us feeling drained.
If you are seeing unhealthful connections, perhaps it’s time to wish them peace and step away.
Who promises that if you.. [vote for them, pay them, ignore the pain, compromise, bend the rules, look away from their other activities] .. they will keep you safe?
And who will remind you that you are always safe?
What would it be like to live as if that was true?
For those people, occupations, and activities that bring you affirmation, growth, and a zest for living, trust that the blessings of angels shall be with you.