The Lovers. Aw, come on. What a gorgeous image. The sun is shining high and bright, the Angel of Outlandish Headgear is giving a blessing, with its own fog machine, The Tree of Knowledge (complete with serpent) one one side and a burning bush on the other. Hello, overt Biblical references! How ya doing. You gotta love Rider Waite.
That's this card. It doesn't even have to be romantic, although that's most often the case. Some people who walk around on this Earth are Tribe. They're yours. You might take a couple of decades to find them, but once you have, they're yours. It's as if they were never *not* in your life, and they fit in your nook perfectly. It's kind of awesome, really. Walking around, collecting your people. I'm a fan. When this comes up in a reading, it's about attraction, sex, self-esteem and confidence. It's about rearranging your life to center around Joy.
The Lovers card asks a question -will you be there for me? Even if I screw up? Even if I hurt you? Even if I accidently show you all of the terrible things that I think lie inside of me? Will you love me then? When this card shows in a reading, it doesn’t represent those who are dating or those who ‘like like’ each other. This is about Love. The kind of love that inspires poets and that holds us to our highest ideals. As Dan Savage says, when we love someone, we’re believing in the best of them, and they’re believing in the best of us - even if it’s not true. They have faith in the best versions of us because they want us to succeed and to be happy and whole. And we want the same for them. We buy it, because they’ll never know just how much we’d do for them. We stand next to them, naked and shaking (and brave) trusting them to love us back.
Inverted - It's difficult to find happiness when you don't love yourself. Sounds cliche and silly, but it's true. Before you can truly love someone else in a healthy way, you have to love yourself first. You have to be The One that you're looking for. If you are broken, and pull other broken people to you, you try to complete yourself with parts of them, or vice versa. This doesn't work. That painful thing is, love exists there, but it doesn't have a firm ground to stand on. Sooner or later, the parts of them that clung to you fall away, and you're bleeding again.
Inverted, this can be heartache, sadness, and the pulling apart of two souls. Sound heavy? Damn straight. The Lovers isn't a card for the faint of heart. It hits you like a ton of bricks. While reading, I like to see the Two of Cups for couples who have been together for awhile, rather than the Lovers. That intensity can turn nasty if one of them looks away. This is not to say that passion should wane, but that it should become a more sustainable thing. The wave of LOVE from The Lovers turns into the dance of the Two of Cups.
This card can show for the love of family, friends, self, life, sex, pets, work. All of these things can be represented. But really, at the end of the day? This card is about Your Person, and how they make you feel. And how you make them feel. Yeah, it's about getting the Feels for someone. :)