This week is a guest post from my dear friend, James. We reconnected at our annual friend reunion, and discovered our mutual interest in reading Tarot. I thought it’d be fun to have him do the interpretation of this week’s card. I used my Fountain Tarot deck, and he looked at the same card in his deck from Robin Wood. The decks are different, so some of his explanation comes from the images on his card.
The reading was again conducted with the intention to understand what messages are important for us to acknowledge in our lives right now. I’ll encourage you to reflect on how the card connects with you — feel free to share your thoughts on my Instagram, where I’ll also post the card and my interpretation. For more background info on Tarot and how I read cards, check out this previous post: a bit about Tarot.
June 11th: The Lovers XI (and a guest reading!)
This week’s card is The Lovers, which is another one of the Major Arcana cards. We’ve had a few of these in the past 2.5 months, and I tend to listen a little harder and dig a little deeper when these kind of cards are pulled. I love James’ interpretation, shared below. His deck includes vastly different imagery than mine, which is fairly minimalistic and doesn’t offer as much in the way of a literal depiction to interpret. The symbolism in the quite anatomical “Adam and Eve”-ness (technical term) of The Lovers in the Robin Wood deck gives us a lot to hold on to.
We remarked on how different our two cards looked, and right away James jumped into his thoughts. As you’ll read in more depth, The Lovers represent a duality and a balance, and the stark contrast of the images on our cards highlights that point very well.
From James: “The Lovers are card 6 in the Major Arcana, although the 7th card, since the Fool is zero. It comes directly after the Hierophant, and to me that is significant, because the hierophant represents rule and order and education and study, strict adherence and swift punishment. The Lovers, being a card of balance of opposites, are the exact opposite of that card. They represent the wild things, the winds and the earth and the sun and the moon, the things which cannot be tamed and have no order, other than the order of nature that they are each created with and the balance they create within themselves.
The two of cups is the marriage card, and while there is a strong overlap between the Lovers and Marriage, the 2 of Cups is the card more likely to talk about a romantic relationship. The major arcana cards tend to focus on deeper, universal theories, archetypical truths, that sort of thing.
I think the most salient point about the Lovers is that they represent two very different things, coming together to yield a glorious new whole. He is the sun and she is the moon. He is oak tree, and she is the apple. He is light, she is dark. He is the mountain peak, and the plowed field, where she is the rolling hills and the wild meadow. But he is also the butterfly, and she is the hawk. There is tenderness and ferocity on both sides.
They come together, and form a rainbow, because they take the best of what they are and combine them, and achieve a perfect balance. In any perfect balance, there needs to be give and take; when one side is out of balance, the other side moves to regain that balance.
Depending on where the card comes in a layout, it can mean a lot of different things. It can mean the surface meaning and talk about a relationship, but it can talk about so much more. It can be about the balance in ourselves, perhaps between our light and dark sides, or even between our work lives and our home lives.
But in the truest, deepest meaning of the card, to me, it addresses two opposing forces working harmoniously together, each retaining their own true identities and being true to themselves, but making the most out of a fully symbiotic, balanced relationship.
The Lovers talks about the spiritual connection between two souls, or two halves of one greater being, like the yin and yang, or if we are talking in nerdy terms, like the dark and light sides of The Force in Star Wars.
In Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, there is a passage about marriage, which says something like ‘Drink not from the same cup, but rather, each have your own cup, so that if one of your cups empties, you still have the other cup to nourish both of you.’ I liked it a lot, because it says that in a true balance, each side retains their own individuality, but that each shares all of who he or she is with the other.
That addresses my point about the Lovers being a card about maintaining balance, because it focuses on each side working independently while simultaneously focusing on the needs of the other, so the balance can be maintained.”
This idea of balance is a driving factor in what I teach. When I create workouts for my classes or clients (and myself), I’m conscious of the balance of muscles in the body, of eccentric and concentric contractions, of flexion and extension — essentially, moving your body in more than one way to create strength and balance.
Yoga itself is a constant ebb and flow between effort (sthira) and ease (suhka), inhales and exhales, contraction and expansion, movement and stillness.
I’ve been seeing this duality and balance in my own personal life lately, too. Since the middle of May, i’ve been traveling at least 2-3 times per week. It’s all been fun travel, like vacation, a yoga retreat, and a slightly out of hand weekend away with friends… but it’s also been exhausting. As an introvert, this kind of social interaction drains me of my life-force, and I find myself craving quiet time alone, regardless of how much I love being with my friends and loved ones. Yesterday was the first full day home in a while, and I scheduled myself a session in a saltwater float tank to decompress. I took a nap. I read and listened to an audiobook. I turned off the music and enjoyed the silence. Balance.
It also calls to mind a favorite poem of mine by Nikita Gill, aptly titled Balance:
People always want
to be the light
to each other.
Instead aspire to be
each other’s darkness
as much as the light.
Be the thing
that helps the other
Be the thing
in the dark.
But be these things
to each other
All of my social time spent with dearest friends and family over the past month has reminded me that true friendships and love exist in this balance. I give so much love, and I get so much back. I inspire, and I am inspired. I shed light, shine light, receive absorb light, turn off my own light, and get it lit back up . We’re all just glowing together.
Where in your life is balance showing up? Is there an area that needs more attention? Is there too much push, pull, effort, or ease? Where can you step back or step up in a different way to allow for the perfect balance of the Universe to present for you?
Share your thoughts here or on this week’s #TarotTuesday Instagram post!