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The Meaning of
"The Lovers" Tarot Card

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What is the inverted meaning of
"The Lovers"?

The Meaning of "The Lovers"
Tarot Card

The Symbolism of The Lovers

On The Lovers tarot card, a benevolent winged angel looks down over Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Above the angel's wings, a heavenly sun shines brilliantly over all of creation.

Only Eve seems to be aware of the angel's presence, while Adam looks straight ahead — concerned with more worldly matters before him.

The Angel, and both Adam and Eve have their arms spread apart and their palms open in a similar gesture of benevolence and peace.

... a moment of blissful peace, prior to the expulsion from Eden — and before Eve's fateful taste of the apples overhead.

Next to Eve, grows the Tree of Knowledge complete with the biblical serpent and forbidden fruit. Next to Adam is a tree which may reference the biblical burning bush or the Tree of Life.

The image depicts a moment of blissful peace, prior to the expulsion from Eden — before Eve's fateful taste of the apple overhead. At this moment the couple are blessed and protected; Innocent and at peace.

The concept of fire is strongly represented on the card, and appears in the angel's hair and the stylized leaves of the tree on Adam's left. The mountain in the background also resembles a volcano and is colored with firey reds. The fire here on the Lovers card represents energy, passion and creation.

WE KNOW. WE'RE SORRY. Aren't Adam and Eve supposed to be naked? Yes. In the original tarot artwork they are naked. The card here on iFate has been altered to show them clothed. Why? In 2019, iFate received an email notice from Google that "adult content" had been detected on the site by their brilliant new AI, which apparently scours the web for nudity however hand-drawn and innocuous. Long story short: We were forced to "clothe" these risqué Lovers or face delisting of the page from their search results. As a small, indie website we wish we had the clout to push back on such absurdity, but we don't. This is the world we live in. When sanity returns to these shores, we promise to return the artwork to its original, unaltered state. Until then, we apologize for the rather ridiculous graphical edits. Don't blame us, blame the Goog.

How to Interpret The Lovers

The Lovers represents bliss and harmony; Two sides which are perfectly in sync and co-exist peacefully.

While the most obvious interpretation of the card points to perfect romantic relationships, which exist without strife, disagreement or distrust — the true meaning of the card is much broader than just its romantic interpretation.

The Lovers can represent any frictionless interchange between people or groups.

The Lovers can represent any frictionless interchange between people or groups. It may represent a smooth business transaction, or an easy transition of some kind. It may represent a business meeting that goes off without a hitch or smooth and enjoyable social event — or even an error-free presentation in front of an important audience.

If the card is referencing a past event, it may point to a time when tensions were at a minimum, and balance and harmony existed — or a time before a conflict began.

When The Lovers make an appearance in a tarot reading it's typically an indication that two forces will experience a smooth and easy interplay. But more subtely, the card may also speak to a state of temporary peace:

The card reminds us that harmony can be fragile and ephemeral. It must be vigilantly proteted or balance can slide towards imbalance — bringing about a state of difficulty and chaos, as happened to poor Adam and Eve.

The Lovers is a generally positive card representing harmony and bliss — but it comes with a mild warning of responsibility: The preservation of this perfect state of balance is up to you.

The Lovers Inverted

The reversed Lovers card represents an imbalance between two parties, or a break in communication and harmony.

While the most obvious scenario referenced by the card is a romantic relationship which is having trouble, the actual meaning of the inverted Lovers card can be decidedly non-romantic as well.

All relationships, romantic, personal and professional, require attention and work. Don't ignore them.

The appearance of The Lovers reversed may indicate a time when someone is simply not communicating well with others. Or it may indicate a time when a long-standing alliance between two parties begins to experience difficulties.

If the card is referencing a past event, it may reference a time at which tensions and hostilities were high. Or when a relationship faltered.

When The Lovers comes up inverted in a reading, it may be a gentle reminder to keep channels of communication open. All relationships, romantic, personal and professional, require attention and work. Don't ignore them.

Generally speaking, the inverted Lovers card is negative. It has overtones of arguments, missed messages and distrust.

Common Symbols Found On the Lovers Card

Tarot cards often use a a symbolic language to communicate hints about each card. The Lovers contains at least four common, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these common symbols can add greater levels of meaning to the card.

The symbols which appear on the Lovers card are:

  • Serpents

    Serpents symbolism appears on the Lovers card:

    Serpent and snake symbolism in Tarot artwork is tightly linked to the traditional serpent of the Garden of Eden. The biblical serpent symbolizes deception, temptation and the dangers of false promises.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Serpents" in Tarot  

  • Mountains

    Mountains symbolism appears on the Lovers card:

    Mountains on the horizon are some of the most ubiquitous symbols appearing in the classic Rider Waite Tarot. Mountains generally mean trials which must be passed, and hurdles which must be overcome. Depending on the specific Tarot card, these hardships may either represent future circumstances which lie in wait along the current path, or they may represent past challenges and contests which have already been completed prior to arriving at this time.

    NOTE: The firey mountain on the horizon of The Lovers card is interesting: For this card which represents bliss and harmony, the appearance of mountains at all may seem surprising. The mountains depicted here, like the presence of the serpent on the tree, remind us that even in a state of joy and simplicity, tests and trials await. The firey passion of creation is not without its challenges — and even in Eden there are tests to overcome.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Mountains" in Tarot  

  • Couples

    Couples symbolism appears on the Lovers card:

    Couples are a common image appearing on cards of both the Major and Minor Arcana. When appearing in Minor Arcana cards, couples are a mostly (but not exclusively) positive symbol — associated with ideas from growth and happiness, to prosperity and security.

    NOTE: The couple shown in The Lovers card is a generally positive image, but carries with it a subtle warning (the snake lurking in the tree), that there are dangers lying in wait — even here in paradise.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Couples" in Tarot  

  • Trees

    Trees symbolism appears on the Lovers card:

    In most cases, trees accentuate a connection to natural forces and the natural world. Trees are some of the most widely used symbols in the classic Rider-Waite tarot imagery. The specific meaning of any tree depends on the specific Tarot card on which it appears.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Trees" in Tarot  

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