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Gemini and The Lovers

On Friday, May 21st we enter the season of Gemini, whose card is The Lovers. The constellation Gemini tells the story of twins with different fathers made immortal by Zeus. Gemini, ruled by Mercury the messenger, reveals the duality of manifestation and the connection between Spirit and form. As a master connector and communicator, Gemini is the perfect messenger for the truth that there are no “good” or “bad” cards. While that fact may be a comfort to know before pulling a card like The Devil, it can also cause disappointment with a card like The Lovers! With no real knowledge of the Tarot, it would make sense to assume that The Lovers is a “good” card and The Devil is a “bad” card. In reality, these cards are very similar and neither one is positive or negative. When The Lovers comes up in a reading, the most natural reaction is, “Fantastic! I am going to experience romantic love with another person and that will fulfill and complete me.” We know however that we can never find completion or fulfillment from someone or something external. When The Lovers comes up I very often say, “Until death do you part is you and you.” While this isn't always received with joy and relief, it is true. It is the medicine of The Lovers and that's what we get to explore this season. Quickly, let’s review how we arrive at The Lovers…

In the preceding cards of Line One in the Major Arcana we have, The Magician I and The High Priestess II. These are the Yin and Yang energies of divine manifestation. The Magician pulls from the divine and brings that energy down and out to the world. The High Priestess pulls from the divine down and inward. Next is The Empress III, the divine feminine who embodies receptivity, and The Emperor IV, the divine masculine who embodies boundaries and structure. Then, The Hierophant V, who provides the foundation for the soul’s expansion here on Earth. When we reach The Lovers VI, we combine the first four cards' elements: creativity, intuition, receptivity, and expansion. We then launch those elements from a spiritual foundation into our bodies and minds, and onto the world.

In this card, we see a man and woman in full daylight, naked and under the blessing of the angel Raphael. The woman stands before the tree of knowledge with 5 fruits representing the 5 senses and the man stands before the tree of life with 12 fiery fruits representing the zodiac. The man looks to the woman and the woman looks to the angel. The Roman Church believed the angel Raphael represented the planet Mercury and the element of air, both attributed to Gemini. He is also credited by Paul Foster Case as representing the super-conscious mind. Using Freudian terminology we can say that the woman represents the id, the man the ego, and the angel the superego; however, the paradise in this scenario is a reward for passion and knowledge, not a punishment. More in alignment perhaps then is the framework of the triune mind. We see that reason without passion cannot summon the angel, and passion without reason is chaos. By combining the conscious rational mind and unconscious passionate mind, spiritual energy is transformed into matter, meaning and purpose. So, if all the symbolism in this card means to recognizes the elements of the self as separate and integrated, why is it named The Lovers? How can this card not be about amorous affection? In The Hierophant we gain the foundation to navigate a soul's journey in a body, so it makes sense that we would next seek to recognize the divine in another with The Lovers. What we actually find through that search is a mirror reflecting our integrated self.