by Helen Howell
I've been thinking about both these cards just recently, and what they share in common but also how they may differ. Both of course are about love, but what about love? Starting with The Lovers, let's have a look at what its message could be.
A common astrological association for this card is Gemini, a sign that is represented by the Twins and symbolises duality and what possibilities that creates.
The fair haired woman is younger, less experienced, more pure, virtuous. Blond being considered a light colour perhaps leans towards the light and the spiritual. The dark haired woman is older, more experienced perhaps, making her fascinating, leaning towards the dark and the baser/physical instinct.
The choices aspect of this card therefore is between vice and virtue. I notice how he is looking towards the darker woman. Cupid is above them ready to shoot his arrow. Perhaps in love one really does not choose, or at least choose wisely! Can he stop Cupid from actually shooting that arrow? Love often hits when we least expect it, whether we choose it or not...
This card does seem to be about commitment within a relationship and about reconciliation of opposites in order for them to function as one. The Waite card does speak, I think, primarily of love more than choice. Although with the suggestion of Adam and Eve, it could also symbolise love but not without some difficulty to go through.
My next choice for the Lovers is the Victorian Romantic Card 2. This card seems to me to illustrate all facets of The Lovers card. As we see from the image, a mermaid and a man embrace passionately, she still in the water and he still on land.
Now the choices aspect of this card also jumps out to me. Again her tail is turning to legs. Is she ready to make the choice that will commit her to a different way of life? The choice in this relationship can be life changing.
Then there is the commitment aspect of the card where one can be so devoted to another that they are prepared to make it work even against all odds. The sexuality aspect of the lovers is evident in the VR card.
The couple hold each other showing that embracing love can lead to fulfilment in life and personal growth through relationships. However, our Lovers know that in making a choice something else has to be given up, and that they cannot follow all directions on the sign post. So the one important lesson The Lovers shows us is to consider what is of real importance and not be led by the superficial.
I think therefore that the Lovers card is about choice and about love. I also think it is about reconciliation of opposites or dualities whether it be with another person or within oneself.
On to the Two of Cups:
The snakes of course could represent two energies coming together and in the form of a caduceus they can also be associated with healing. Therefore it becomes a symbol of love heals, or perhaps a message that says you can heal from a failed relationship.
The two cups also represent balance and harmony along with co-operation and compromise, and if already in a relationship this is what this card could well be suggesting.
It is a card that does seem, in its symbolism, to signify bringing two opposites together and the likelihood of something new.
So what is the major difference between The Lovers and The Two of Cups then?
Whichever of these cards turns up, be prepared because more often than not, "Love Is In The Air!"
Le Tarot De Marseille Fournier - Naipes Heraclio Fournier, S.A.
Original RIder Waite - Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Victorian Romantic - Published by Magic Realist Press, Prague
Tarot Bella – Unfinished deck - Helen Howell
Two of Cups
Hanson Roberts - Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Napo - Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Old English - Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.