6 The Lovers

The Lovers Tarot definitions

The Lovers tarot is about love and love affairs, it  implies a doubt or hesitation in where a relationship is at. Is the right person for me? In our friends and partners we look for kinship, some kind of similarity, as this familiar. The Lovers is really about choice – is this what we really want? A weak Lovers shows a lack of faith in our ability to make choices. If we screwed up in our choice of partner, where else has our judgement gone awry? Can we ever make a good choice again?

<Hierophant | The Chariot>>

An obsession about choice . Of course, choice is not necessarily wide, but we are given the illusion that there is more on offer. Shops offer a wide choice – of what they want to sell us. Making a choice does not have to be unalterable; you can change your mind, but do it because the merits of the choice have changed, not because you have had a blonde moment.

Rider – Waite

Image of The Lovers Major Tarot card - Rider-Waite deck
The Lovers – Rider-Waite

The sun shines in the zenith, and beneath is a great winged figure with arms extended, pouring down influences. In the foreground are two human figures, male and female, unveiled before each other, as if Adam and Eve when they first occupied the paradise of the earthly body. Behind the man is the Tree of Life, bearing twelve fruits, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is behind the woman; the serpent is twining round it. The figures suggest youth, virginity, innocence and love before it is contaminated by gross material desire. This is in all simplicity the card of human love, here exhibited as part of the way, the truth and the life. It replaces, by recourse to first principles, the old card of marriage, which I have described previously, and the later follies which depicted man between vice and virtue. In a very high sense, the card is a mystery of the Covenant and Sabbath.

The suggestion in respect of the woman is that she signifies that attraction towards the sensitive life which carries within it the idea of the Fall of Man, but she is rather the working of a Secret Law of Providence than a willing and conscious temptress. It is through her imputed lapse that man shall arise ultimately, and only by her can he complete himself. The card is therefore in its way another intimation concerning the great mystery of womanhood. The old meanings fall to pieces of necessity with the old pictures, but even as interpretations of the latter, some of them were of the order of commonplace and others were false in symbolism.


Attraction, love, beauty, trials overcome.

Reversed meanings

Failure, foolish designs. Another account speaks of marriage frustrated and contrarities of all kinds.

Book of Thoth: Lovers

Image of 6 The Lovers Major tarot card in the Book of Thoth
6 The Lovers – Book of Thoth

The Oracle of the Gods is the Child – Voice of Love
in Thine own Soul; hear thou it.
Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense, or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity, and listen to the Silence.

Openness to inspiration, intuition, intelligence, second sight, childishness, frivolity, thoughtfulness divorced from practical consideration, indecision, self-contradiction, union in a shallow degree with others, instability, contradiction, triviality, the “high-brow”.

The Lovers is far more than relationships – it represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

More information

Golden Dawn – Children of the Voice Divine, The Oracles of the Mighty Gods

Inspiration (passive, mediumistic). Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

Mathers: Lovers

Wise Dispositions, Proof, Trials Surmounted.

Reversed meanings

Unwise Plans, Failure when put to the test.

Etteilla: Lovers

No divinatory meanings

Reversed meanings

Negligence, absence, distribution, carelessness, apathy, nullity, vanity.

Thierens: VI. The Lovers. Virgo.

From the original meaning of the sign Virgo, the virgin matter of the cosmos or world-ether, to that principle which makes ‘lovers’ is rather a long step, but we will observe that all these Tarot symbols relate to human points of view and human life in particular, i.e. cosmic principles seen from this particular standpoint which gives more of a practical image than of abstract reasoning, the abstract cosmic significance, however, being imbedded fairly accurately in them. So in the human constitution the sign Virgo means the nervous system and everything acting as an organ as well as the relatively ‘virginal matter’ which is extracted from the food and will serve to build up the body. So this house is known to rule health and sickness. It is further known to relate to the principles and materials of our work. And so the card of the Lovers must in the first place symbolise these things.

Ouspensky: Card VI – THE LOVERS

“Man”. Another aspect of the “Adam Kadmon”, the “Perfect Man”, “The divine androgyne”. Love as the efforts of “Adam Kadmon” to find himself. The equilibrium of contraries. The unification of the duad, as the means of attaining the Light.

<Hierophant | The Chariot>>

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The Lovers tarot meanings - love relationships
The Lovers is about love and love affairs, but The Lovers implies a doubt or hesitation in where a relationship is at.

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