Oh, The Lovers card. Whether it gives you butterflies or strikes fear into an otherwise unmovable heart, no card in the tarot is more complicated.
Or rather, the chaotic, magical, semi-intoxicated, delusional state we call infatuation.
It’s one of the most horrible/wonderful things about the human experience.
What it isn’t.
Even professional readers sometimes struggle to properly discern between The Lovers and the Two of Cups—but we’ll come back to that.
The Lovers card isn’t about the deep, committed love of marriage or long-term relationships. It may turn into that. But it’s not that.
This card symbolizes the intense euphoria of early romantic intrigue. That fast, hard-crashing wave of infatuation that slams you out of your reality and straight into La La Land.
The young, inexperienced, or naive often allow themselves to be swept away completely with this feeling.
Until they finally go careening into rapid waters somewhere downstream . . .
But for those who know the tumultuous currents of sensual fascination, the recklessness of passion feels as brash and risky as it actually is.
Both in reading the tarot, and in life, we all occasionally confuse this feeling with the deeper affection of a rooted connection. To make matters even more complicated, they do sometimes overlap. Sometimes lust transitions to familiarity, and familiarity transitions to lust.
Sometimes this transition happens over years, and sometimes over milliseconds.
But they almost never exist at that the same time.
The Lovers vs. Two of Cups
Distinguishing lust with love in life is messy, complicated, and not always clear.
Fortunately, in reading the tarot, it’s a not quite so complicated. The distinction is still nuanced, of course.
But just by reading these keywords, you easily and instinctively know the difference.
You’ve got it, right?
You know this. But articulating it to yourself (or a tarot client) in the middle of the turmoil of a hard crush isn’t so simple.
When The Lovers aren’t actually a lover.
If you draw The Lovers and no lover appears in sight for the querent, a love affair may be just around the corner.
But if not, the Lovers applies to any project, obsession or idea for which the querent has a particular talent or flare.
For example, an artist captivated by a new medium might be overcome by infatuation.
So, you got The Lover’s card. Now what?
Here’s the thing about people who are in the midst of a passionate affair: they don’t take advice well.
Even when they ask you for it, they don’t actually want it. What they really want is reassurance that things are going to work out cheerfully.
Isn’t that cute?
Of course, for those of us living in the real world, it’s easy to recognize that romance is lawless and uncertain.
So when you draw the Lovers, either for yourself, or for a client, know that advice generally gets ignored by someone sweating out a passion fire.
But for what it’s worth, here are a few things to keep in mind when The Lovers enters your life.
Don’t make rash decisions.
You probably will anyway.
Because your judgement is clouded, and it’s easy to talk yourself into things.
But really rash decisions, like jumping into a marriage prematurely, cheating or otherwise engaging in self-destructive behavior are all sure signs that this won’t end well.
So if you find yourself doing impulsive things that you know probably aren’t a good idea, it’s time to hit the brakes before your run yourself off the road.
Attend to the other people in your life.
When the Lovers come into your life, there is a natural tendency to get tunnel vision and focus only on the person or passion at play.
This throws you into an imbalance with your other relationships.
Make time to spend with your family and friends away from your new lover or passion in order to stay grounded in the present and maintain a solid foundation in your life.
Take a breather.
Make a point to create space for yourself.
It’s easy to let something/someone into your too quickly when romance reels you.
Instead, make sure you’re spending enough time away from it in order to maintain a sense of self.
Consider taking up a new project or hobby. It’s a great time to create, and your art will be charged with electric energy of passion.