The Lovers Tarot Meaning: What Does it Represent?

As the sixth card in the major arcana, The Lovers card brings us important messages about how we regard ourselves, our relationships with others, and the moral compass that should guide our choices. There is often an encouraging message with The Lovers card. However, there is also an inverted meaning that brings us an important message.

We should consider our decisions with compassion and full transparency. Whether The Lovers card is here to herald a shedding of a relationship, good tidings for love, or a warning of an important choice up ahead, it is an insightful card to receive. Let’s take a closer look at one of the darlings of the Tarot, The Lovers card. 

The Lovers Card Numbering

The Lovers Card is typically the sixth card of the Tarot Deck. It is part of the Major Arcana and as such, carries significant messages. 

The Lovers Tarot Card Meaning

Reversed or upright, The Lovers card has a favorable meaning. 

While the immediate meaning alludes to relationships and union, there is an undercurrent that is too important to bypass; our choices. The card suggests that a choice is on the horizon, a choice that could have major implications. This choice is often regarding a partnership, but it could also be a platonic friendship and not just a romantic relationship. Generally speaking, the Lover’s card is letting you know that a relationship, whether platonic or romantic, will spark either a decision or challenge soon. 

The Lovers Card Imagery Description

Perhaps one of the most prominent visual features of The Lovers Card is the two people, one man, one woman standing beneath an angel. And that’s no regular angel, it is the Archangel Raphael. Raphael means ‘God heals’ which is highly representational of this card. But, we’ll get into the juicer details in a moment. Both the man and the woman are naked, and as they stand beneath the angel it depicts a blessed union with the Divine. 

The foreground consists of a lush landscape similar to the Garden of Eden. Further imagery that relates to the Garden of Eden includes an apple tree behind the woman. And what’s more, there’s a serpent coiled around the trunk. Both the apple tree and the serpent have their connection to the sensual pleasures of life, pleasures that are said to distract from spiritual focus. 

Yet behind the man, we see fire. These flames are reminiscent of passion- also said to direct the nature of man away from the Divine. There are twelve flames in total to represent the twelve signs of the zodiac. And while the woman’s gaze is fixed on the divine angel, the man’s is locked onto the woman.

What could this Symbology Mean?

Symbology is beautiful. It is one of the core constructs of the Tarot. The man gazing at the woman is suggestive of the initial place of consciousness as its natural progression towards the subconscious, represented by the woman. The supernatural, in this case the angel and the Divine, is the ultimate aspiration for the human spirit and soul. And the subconscious, or the woman, has her sights set on the superconscious. All in all, this is a beautiful description of our path as humans. It can also be said that this represents the journey we take from physical desire (base level), to emotional and finally, to spiritual fulfillment. 

The lush and fertile landscape also includes a volcano. This volcanio adds to the imagery and overall feeling created by the flames. The volcano has long been associated with phallic symbology. When man and woman meet each other bare and naked, the passion that erupts between them is not unlike a volcano. 

Whether you feel that The Lovers card is a portrayal of the danger that physical desire can take you away from focus on spiritual fulfillment, or, the two go hand in hand without separation- simply the natural course as one eventually leads to the other, is up to you. 

The Rider Waite deck is my favorite, but I am a sucker for the classics. The Garden of Eden imagery with Adam and Eve was created on the Rider Waite tarot deck. But newer and more modern decks depict two people, accepted as a couple, receiving a noble’s blessing instead of an angel. 

Archangel Raphael is the angel blessing the two in the Rider Waite deck and has been portrayed with significant details. The angel’s wings are crimson, the color symbolic of wisdom. Archangel Raphael is the archangel of healing, but also for matchmaking. It would be too easy to accept this Garden of Eden imagery as a simple rehashing of that fatal bible story. No, I don’t agree with the idea that physical intimacy, desire, passion, and love between two people is the opposite of the Divine and spiritual fulfillment. Instead, I believe it is a blessing, but a drop in the ocean and a hint of the Divine. And the message of the angel and the physical attraction is the message that love, in all its forms, is what brings us closer to the Divine.

Love is the tonic for the soul and the catalyst for the spirit. 

While the snake is referred to as the tempter, especially in the Garden of Eden story, this is not what we should accept at face value. The snake itself is also a universal sign of medicine, just look towards that age-old symbol used by doctors. And what’s more, the snake is also the symbol for the kundalini, the life force, the spiritual energy. 

Between the man and woman is not only desire but also clouds. These clouds are representative of a spiritual bond alongside the physical one. But we see the mountain as well, which suggests that even in a union blessed by the Divine, there will always be obstacles. 

Perhaps the most beautiful element on this card is the grace with which it alludes to the human spirit. We experience love, we experience life, but yet we deny our progress because of a need to deny ourselves in the pursuit of the Divine. A dog chasing its tail. More so, instead of celebrating love on earth with another, we see it as a challenge to overcome. This is why The Lovers card is so often linked to our choices. The angel in this card is carrying a clear message, you are human, you make decisions- sometimes ones that seem wrong. Nevertheless, a choice, however poor, when made out of love is a choice that does not deserve punishment but a blessing.

Upright The Lovers Card Meaning

The Lovers card is an important card for our relationships with ourselves as well as the people we care about.

When you receive the Lovers in a reading, it could also indicate transparency, clarity of mind, or possessing all the facts before making a decision. Whatever the case, the card indicates that the decision should not be made with flippancy- as it could have life-altering consequences. 

The Lovers Card Keywords (Upright)

Choices, clear communication, compassion, relationships, love, alignment of values,  harmony

If we consider the serpent, it indicates that one decision could lead you astray- alternatively, it could also indicate that you may at first feel fooled but it will ultimately be for the best. 

Whatever the case, trust in your gut instinct when making a decision. 

The Lovers card often causes a trigger reaction in your mind that makes you think of a particular person. This card indicates a conscious connection with someone, or perhaps more than one person. Either way, the connection is meaningful. Receiving this card indicates that this connection feels like it feeds your soul. Whether it is a lover or a friend, the connection transcends the physical to the spiritual. 

Another major point is that the Lovers card signals open and honest communication. This is highlighted by the nudity of the two on the card. Because they are naked, it illustrates the two are in a vulnerable state. The card is telling you to stay true to your nature, and listen to the directions of your gut instinct. 

Use this card as a reminder to communicate with open honesty and this will create a fulfilling relationship. 

At the crux of The Lovers card lies choice. Who do you want to be? What values do you want to stand by? The card signifies that when the time for a tough decision comes (and it will), you need to stay true to your moral compass. 

Upright Lovers Card in a Love Reading

 We all want to know about love. When is it coming? Is it even coming? Is this person ‘the one?’, etc. Pulling The Lovers card in a love reading is revealing, to say the least. Let’s see what this card can tell us about the love in our life.

Upright Lovers Card in a Love Reading Keywords

Clear Communication, choices, harmony, respect, divine, soulmate

If you are already in a romantic relationship or even are on the brink of something that could prove to become a relationship, then the Lovers’ arrival is a positive sign. The Lovers card indicates that the person you have in mind will be a great fit for you at this time. 

The card also indicates that the relationship could begin to blossom with success- love, harmony, and fulfillment. The card highlights that you are either already in a balanced and loving relationship, or that the potential relationship could develop into that type of fufilling partnership. 

What is a Soulmate

The Lovers card is about connections in general, but more specifically, it also indicates clear communication, honesty, and choices. 

When you pull an upright Lovers Card in a love reading, it indicates you have made or are making a good choice with this person. 

And on the subject of choice, I have to point out that the Lovers Card could also indicate that you have a choice to make between potential partners (or to just stay on your own). The surrounding cards in the reading should give you more of an indication of the different suitors. You could do a three-card spread or a specific soulmate spread when you are faced with a decision regarding love. 

In a nutshell, The Lovers card indicates that honest communication, excitement, passion, intimacy, and full acceptance for each other are foundational aspects of a successful and fulfilling relationship. 

Upright The Lovers Card in a Career Reading

In contrast to the clear meaning in a love reading, The Lovers card might pull you in a few different directions in a career reading. This card is the herald for choices and staying true to those raw gut feelings. You know the one, where you do something and it gives you that feeling of, “Ah yes, this is right.” You feel it in your gut. We’ve all felt it. But what does this card mean in a career reading? 

The Lovers Card in a Career Reading Keywords

Choice, passion about work, conscious decisions, soul purpose.

As you might already suspect, The Lovers in a career context is letting you know that you have a choice to make. And not just any choice, but one that will hold quite a bit of importance. When considering the options, make sure that your heart is one hundred percent in it. 

If you love what you do for a living, the arrival of The Lovers card in a tarot reading suggests that you are on the right path. All you need to do is dive in with all your love and passion. If your heart’s in it, do it wholeheartedly. Sure, you might fail from time to time. But those failures are not really failures, they are learning curves. 

On the other hand, The Lovers can remind you not to live in a dream world. When you have a decision to make, it won’t help if you’re swimming in ‘what ifs’. Always consider decisions with a clear and conscious awareness of the factors, as well as your dreams. 

Upright The Lovers Tarot card as a Situation

When you draw an upright The Lovers card in a reading about a particular situation, the meaning is clear. You are presented with options, one option may lead you down a path of spiritual and personal fulfillment. The other may lead you down a path that takes you further away from your heart’s desire and soul purpose. 

The Lovers Card as a Situation Keywords

Conflicting choices, careful consideration, spiritual fulfillment, options

When you are faced with a difficult decision of two conflicting choices, consider all the surrounding contributing factors. Use careful and deliberate consideration when making this important decision.

The Lovers Card Reversed

When The Lovers card is reversed, the theme is still very much about harmony, love, and honest communication. However, it indicates that something might be amiss- you might be out of touch with these things. Perhaps communication in your relationships is strained, or perhaps you feel your relationship is somewhat misaligned. Whatever your situation with the people in your life, a reverse Lovers card is here to remind you to approach everything with compassion. 

Reversed The Lovers Card Keywords

Lack of balance, selfishness, power struggle, indecision, misaligned values, irresponsible decisions, self-love, broken communication, trust issues, shame, hidden information, double standards

A reversed Lovers card also brings up the subject of self-respect. Are you honoring your heart’s desire? Are you staying true to your inner guide? There is a lighthouse within each of us, and it guides us by tugs in the right direction. The reversed Lovers card is here to remind you to take a moment and consider what areas of your life are you forgetting to honor yourself. 

And again, we see that the reversed Lovers card indicates that you may face a difficult decision. The card reminds you to make your decision based on honor and honesty. If you’ve been feeling like taking the easy way out, this card is here to remind you to stay true to your values. The Lovers card is letting you know that even if the choice that helps you stay in alignment with your values takes you down a difficult road, it will guide you towards fulfillment. 

Choices often come with turmoil and an inner war begins to wage within us. If you have been punishing yourself for something or feel like you deserve punishment, then the reversed Lovers card acknowledges this. But, it also reminds you to stay true to your inner compass moving forward. Learn from past mistakes and move forward while staying true to your true north. This will help guide you towards better decision-making. 

The reversed Lovers card can also serve as a reminder that communication might not be as clear as it should be. How are you articulating your thoughts and feelings? Although The Lovers card is always a reminder of love and harmony, its reversal could allude to some area in your life that may be stressful. If this is the case, consider your communication, acceptance of responsibility, and remember to use past judgment errors to better your decision-making process in the future. 

The Lovers Reversed Meaning in a Love Reading

In a love reading, a reversed Lovers card could indicate that one or even both are considering their options or having a change of heart. Problems such as communication issues and disagreements are likely. 

The Lovers Reversed in a Love Reading Keywords

Ending, mistrust, misaligned values, inability to communicate, concealment

The reversed Lovers card could also represent an ending of a relationship. This could be because of distrust or misalignment of values. There is a decision at hand, one that dramatically alters the relationship’s path. 

If you are doing a reading on a particular love interest and you draw the reversed Lovers card, it could mean that the relationship you have in mind may not work out. 

The Lovers Card Reversed in a Career Reading

Does something feel out of alignment in work? Do you feel like you’ve lost your mojo or maybe work is just downright boring at the moment? These are all feelings indicated by the reversed Lovers card in a career reading. 

The Lovers Card Reversed in a Career Reading Keywords

Boredom, important decisions, unfulfilling work, double standards, avoiding responsibility, staying true to yourself 

Consider how to make a living while staying true to yourself. This does not necessarily mean you should quit your job and take up your hobbies as a career path (not that it discounts it). How about finding joy in your work again? We are always capable of making a choice in life. The choice lies with us to find magic even in the most mundane tasks. The reversed Lovers card could also indicate you have been sidetracked at work lately, and are not doing your best or using your full capabilities.

Alternatively, it indicates that you have been giving too much of yourself without making time for self-care and rest. In your downtime after work, do things that take care of you. Whether this looks like a luxurious bath or a long walk out in nature, remember to fill your cup with things that feed your soul. This will help to spark passion again in all areas of life. 

And yes, once again, The Lovers card reversed in a career reading is indicative of a choice you are facing. Down one path, there is a fulfilling career that feeds your soul. However, it seems like a risky decision. Down the other path, is an unfulfilling career decision. It is the easier choice, perhaps even one you don’t have to take too much responsibility for. But at the end of the day, the easier choice may not reap the most soul-enriching benefits. Make your decision wisely, weighing up both practical reasons as well as your heart’s whispers.

The Lovers Card Reversed as a Situation

The Lovers card will come when you are facing a difficult decision. When the reversed Lovers card appears in a reading about a situation, it is often related to social situations.

The Lovers Card Reversed as a Situation Keywords

Difficult decisions, negative thinking, imbalance, self-doubt.

The reversed Lovers card in this type of reading is letting you know that a negative mind frame will not reap any positive experiences or positive choices. 

The situation in mind might also be the result of a power struggle. Are you being dominated or acting in a dominating way? The reversed Lovers card indicates a lack of balance in the situation. Weigh up the facts carefully; do you have all the information? 

Be careful not to isolate yourself out of self-doubt or fear. Remember to communicate clearly but with kindness, and act with honesty and integrity in all your relationships. 

The reversed Lovers card is also telling you to listen to those red flags. You have probably already seen them, and the card is letting you know that you are right to feel like something is a little bit off and out of tune. 

There may also be a situation that needs letting go of. What situation do you keep putting yourself in that does not serve you? Take stock of what is helping you and what you need to release. Using the new moon tarot spreads can help you deepen your understanding of this. 

Whatever the situation is, the reversed Lovers card indicates tough decisions on the horizon, and with those decisions, inevitable change. 

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is the Lovers Card a Yes or No card?

Answer: Many of the Major Arcana cards can be confusing yes/no cards to receive. The Lovers card indicates a positive ‘yes’ when asking about a person. When it comes to decisions, an upright Lovers card is almost always a yes. On the other hand, a reversed Lovers card is almost always a No. Or, at the very least, gather more information before making a decision. 

Question: What does The Lovers Card mean in the Future Position?

Answer: The Upright Lovers card in the future position indicates a positive outcome. The situation or relationship has strength and stability that could be long-lasting. But, the Lovers in a future position also indicates that the future will pose a choice for you. Make a conscious decision with all the facts at hand. 

Question: Does the Lovers Card Reversed Indicate a Break-Up?

Answer: The reversed Lovers card in the future position could indicate an ending as the result of a difficult decision. In a relationship, a reversed Lovers card is asking you to pay attention to your communication with your partner and consider if the relationship is aligned with everyone’s values. 

Question: What Zodiac Sign is the Lovers Tarot Card?

Answer: Many of the tarot cards that form the Major Arcana symbolize a zodiac sign. The Lovers card is associated with the Gemini zodiac sign.

Conclusion

The Upright Lovers card often tells of good tidings. Reversed, it is calling our attention to critical areas of our life that are misaligned with our highest good or potential. Remember to stay true to yourself, speak with integrity and honesty, and all your relationships will work out for everyone’s highest good.

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