Dreams unwind

(L to R) Mary-el, Lumina, and Deviant Moon tarots.

Love's a state of mind. "This is the story of an old Welsh witch." Do you know that song?

In the society and time from which tarot originated (to our best estimations), arranged marriages were a norm. Marriage was a contract for political or financial gain. Lovers were an expense, a luxury, a potential weakness for exploitation, an opportunity to further one's interest, garner favor, and increase power.

The Lovers is a card associated with the element of air. I also associate this card with Gemini, the Twins, as well as Yin and Yang. I see it as an allusion to balances of power between myself and others, about power plays and relationships and connections, none of them necessarily romantic or sexual. This card speaks to me of othila and ehwaz, of group souls, and links between people -- the ancestral connection, the collective unconscious.

Though emotions are water and passion is fire, passionate emotions are largely a state of mind and a matter of whether you permit your emotions to dictate your actions, or experience and release them. This card's connotation with air leads me to consider the Lovers as an exploration of those relationships we have which transcend emotion or passion, be they rooted in love or hate. These are the threads which connect us to others; they do not bind, neither do they rend. There is no restraint, and no escape. Just as gravity attracts and holds planets and stars in orbit around one another, no amount of refusal, resistance, or denial will destroy these threads. They can be loosened, they can be frayed. They can be weakened and fade, lose their strength, influence, and resilience. We can deny them, refuse them, but doing so comes with a price.

The Lovers sometimes represents the one purpose you hold to in your life, the dream which dogs and plagues you no matter how much you set it aside, ignore it, or resist. It isn't about destiny or fate, but about the soul purpose for which your very life and breath were forged. You can choose to cast it aside, or you can choose to embrace it, make space for it in your life and soul and being, and feel complete and call the costs worth it for the sense of wholeness and satisfaction that fills you as a result.

There is no commitment between the Lovers. There is only a choice made, over and over again. These relationships are about the passion of the mind, those pursuits which engage our intellect, challenging us to ever higher levels of awakening and awareness and understanding, to expand our capacity and perspective, to shift our frame of reference. These are the ones who teach you, the soulmates who, far from the romanticized ideal, do not always stay with and love you forever, but come into your life and cross paths with you and sometimes walk alongside a while to teach important lessons, to clarify your soul purpose and direction, to burn the fog from your sight.

And the song, of course, is "Rhiannon" --

Anyone who studies Welsh or Celtic mythology is familiar with the goddess Rhiannon and the myriad stories of her. (Nicks discusses the influences of her song and the inspirations leading to its creation.)

This entry is part of the Tarot Rebels Alternative Tarot Blog Hop. February's topic is The Lovers. Click through the badge below for the full list of participating blog content.


  1. Ah, great focus on the air/thread and repetitious nature of choices...! I am definitely gonna keep that filed away in my head. I also never considered that arranged marriage aspect either! Probably the norm in 1700 and 1800s? It reframes my understanding of the classic 'trio' of the card as well...

  2. Wowee! I am absolutely inspired by your insight. I feel that your musings are definitely a trigger for me to ponder further. Thank you! X

  3. I love the Fleetwood Mac reference.

    To your point about arranged marriages during the inception of tarot - do you know that the first tarot deck, Visconti-Sforza, was actually created to commemorate a wedding? The characters in the Lovers card in that deck are actually the bride and groom!

    Fabulous post!

  4. Would it be too cheesy for me to say that I *love* the pragmatic approach to this post? Love is about choice, and the fact that maye mean staying the course even as other interests and passions hover on the edges. This is something that I have learned thru my first-ever monogamous relationship, which is the one I am in now, and by the odd twist of tarot, has come to be represented by the Lovers card in my go-to tarot deck. Your words on awakening and attaining higher levels of awareness speak clearly to me about this - as for soulmates, I have always believed we each have many, and not all of them cross over into the world of romantic love. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this!


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