Here we see a green, moss covered anatomical heart. It appears to be bleeding ruby colored blood and jewels. Atop the heart the aorta have fern fronds curling out. At the left side of the heart there is a small bud of growth. Perched on the fronds is conjoined hummingbirds that are sitting in front of a pink Peony Rose.
For ease of reference I will also provide a brief overview of the Rider Waite imagery. The Rider Waite deck has a man and a woman standing before an angel. Behind the angel is a glowing sun that shines down over lush mountains, rivers, fields, the tree of knowledge and a flaming tree.
Sixes in the tarot are about harmony, balance, truth and soul integration. Spiraling inward on the six you find your truth so that you can spiral out again and tread your life’s purpose in the world with a greater sense of peace and connectedness. However sixes are also about an exchange of energy, receiving and giving. As such, there is still a choice to be made here as indicated by the two heart arteries pointing in different directions.
The Lovers as a tarot card is typically associated with romantic love, but it can also be linked with platonic love, love for things in your life ( e.g., art, anything that makes you feel whole), love for yourself, or the status of your anima and animus. Whatever the love and decision you are facing, there will be a compromise. Make sure you are aware of what you are compromising in order to follow your love; passion and lust can be blinding. Don’t sacrifice any part of yourself for another. The best thing you can do is weigh your options carefully and choose the direction that will bring you the greatest sense of wholeness. The tarot card that comes before The Lovers is the Hierophant, so you have the wisdom and teachings behind you and a fairly clear idea of what you want in life. But it is likely this firm sense of direction will be challenged when you are hit by this sudden ‘knowing’ of love. And it will be a ‘knowing’ not a ‘feeling’ however, this knowing will cause an emotional storm. This is because the knowing is soul deep – see how it is two, conjoined male humming birds. They are two identical souls. They have known each other before time. (The Wooden tarot is a welcome deck depicting two of the same gender on The Lovers while still having enough male and female elements to point to the idea of the animus and the anima.)
The Lovers is an air card, hence the presence of the hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are symbols of great joy, magick, blessings, wishes, energy, persistence, love, healing, peace, beauty, expansiveness, personal power, sincerity, and play. It is likely you are or will be feeling a swell of these emotions and sensations very soon. Whilst I am providing a detailed analysis of The Lovers, it is still a card that heralds LOVE. These emotions are all the attributes that will help you as you face the decision that is looming.
The hummingbirds are also standing in for the angel Raphael who is a messenger and harbinger of communication linked with Mercury and Air. He is also a powerful protector – you are safe at this juncture. Take your time, don’t rush. Be honest with yourself and those close to you. Love is only sustainable through clear and truthful communication. The hummingbirds also stand in for Cupid, their long beaks like arrows that pierce the rose. Rather than literally viewing the original Rider Waite figures as being a ‘man’ and a ‘woman’, many readers now understand that in The Lovers, the male and female figures represented the anima and animus – the male and female parts of the psyche and spirit that reside inside all of us. Cupid’s arrow (in this case the Hummingbirds beak) serves to connect these two aspects more fully as well as help matter connect to spirit. Even if the focus of your love is external to yourself, the feeling and experience of love will help you feel greater wholeness within – if you let it.
In one of the original decks, Cupid was poised to fire his arrow into either the man or woman as they stood before him, indicating that the love may be one sided or that the love may be more emotional for one of the partners. Either way, a deep knowing, akin to recognizing a part of your soul, is about to hit you and probably change up all of your plans. However, in this card there are two spears indicating greater equality – what you are passionate for and reaching for, is also reaching for you. For example, you may have a job you enjoy but then you come up with an idea for a new business that you fall in love with. Whether you follow this new idea, or stay with your current job, or better yet – find a way to compromise and have both, the journey of working through this decision both offers you a chance to develop a richer and wiser inner world, and regardless of the outcome: a greater sense of fulfillment. This new love is your destiny, it was always going to happen, it’s reaching for you. But no matter what happens, no matter the outcome it is the journey that matters, not the destination.
Life will forever be offering you chances to find and fall in love with your soul’s purpose and destiny. You choice how these chances change you.
This love and soul knowing that comes with The Lovers and all the changes that follow on from these new inspirations will bring you joy, beauty, maybe some confusion… and potentially shame. Yes, shame. The peony is understood to be both the most beautiful flower while also being linked with bashfulness, often portrayed as the flower naked figures use to hide their form. In this instance, the contradictory nature of the peony helps us understand the nature of the choice you are facing here.
You had your life mapped out, you were moving forward with conviction, then a knowing of love hit you. You need to decide which direction to follow, although one may be more challenging than the other – there is no wrong choice. Though one choice is likely to be more healthy than the other. Where you are at on your soul and life journey will dictate if you are up to recognizing and choosing the healthier option. But the key here is balance. It is important to follow your heart, but try to balance that with the wisdom you have already obtained to ensure you are still being true to you.
That is not to say you shouldn’t enjoy this swell of love. It is most certainly a time for exploring your bliss and reveling in this new soul knowing. It is rare to meet someone or discover something that truly makes your soul sing. So learn from the hummingbird and take the time to enjoy your journey. And it is a journey. Now is not the time to stop moving. The fern fronds speak to the idea of perpetual motion and the continual cycle of life – ever expanding, ever retracting in every direction. The deepest, richest magick of life is to learn to enjoy every moment whether you are moving or taking a moment of stillness. The fern teaches us that luck and prosperity and mystery can be found in the most unlikely places and at the most unlikely times. So keep moving, be open to love at every turn, know what keeps you grounded so you can make balanced decisions – but don’t let that rob you of basking in the joy of love.
When you come to making your decision, you might find that one path seems far more difficult than the other. Don’t let that put you off. Whatever effort you put to achieve what you desire in will be returned in riches of passion, connection, creativity, understanding and spiritual enlightenment as symbolized by the blood colored jewels coating the lush, green heart.
The moss coating on the heart and the ruby blood reminds you that while you might recognize love in another, don’t ignore the riches of your own heart. Make sure you are loving yourself as much as anyone, or anything else at this time.
Finally, the small growth on the side of the heart, the new seedling, the third way, the third soul. While it may seem you only have two choices and all of your focus is probably on the object of your love, remember there are three souls in any relationship: you, that which you love (whether another person, your art, your business) and then the soul of the relationship itself. The actual relationship itself has a karmic purpose and part of that purpose is to invite you to explore your inner world and your values more deeply, or stay psychologically idle. Whether or not you choose to take up this invitation to do deep, inner work will be the difference between making a choice that is more or less healthy for you in the long run.
Upright: Love, unison, connection, growth.
Reversed: Disconnection, lack of harmony.