Harmony, Union of Opposites, Distinction, Devotion, Relationships, Values, Choices, Trust
The Lovers depicts all of the previous characters in a single image - The Hierophant, The Emperor, The Empress, The Priestess, and The Wizard. They stand across from each other, joining hands and connecting, depicting the alchemical process of marriage between all opposing forces; mature and youthful, male and female energies, which has developed over the past five cards. This is the union of opposites, showing unity and duality in a single image.
The Lovers card speaks toward a sense of devotion to each other in relationships, a choice you must make, or a balance within the dualities within yourself. It is loving and kind, honoring what is different within the opposites without judgment, and expressing gratitude for the various perspectives that we share, so that we may all come closer to each other and ourselves. Finally, this card may represent a call to look at any particular relationships in your life, and find harmony where there is naught.
Every card in the tarot builds upon each other in a numerological sequence, and The Lovers are no exception. If you consider cards one through five encompass the evolution through the four elements, and unifying the four elements with the fifth with The Hierophant - this card now takes this and observes the duality that exists between these elements which now all coexist together. In a simpler sense, this card represents the union of all that has taken place since The Wizard.
The card embodies both male and female energy and holds many representations within - symbolizing the connection between both our brain hemispheres, yin and yang, and relationships between partners, family, and friends. Therefore, it's important to take special note when seeing this card that it is one of the most complex cards in all of the Tarot, and you will be encouraged to meditate deeply upon its meaning when you draw it.
In this depiction of The Lovers, you will see all of the previous five characters coexisting together, balancing the spectrum of yin and yang. The Emperor and Empress hold hands as the Hierophant stands behind them, uniting them together. In front of them are the Magician and High Priestess as children, demonstrating both the hierarchy of family (children and adult), as well as the different forms that love can take; friendship, family, lovers, and a higher love that exists within us all are all represented in this card.
In its most positive sense, The Lovers represent respect, commitment, trust, harmony and attractions in all forms. Think of it more simply like that of a magnet - being drawn or pulled in to something, somewhere, or someone. The concept of marriage as this card's key implies the union of opposing forces, rather than strictly a physical marriage between two individuals, although this may be implied as well depending on the interpreter.
Taking the concept deeper, The Lovers invites you to pay attention to the opposites within yourself. What polarities exist within you? Remember, that just as you might find opposites in the external reality, all perspectives reflect their source; your entire experience takes place within you.
Once you reflect within, you might find yourself observing both the internal and the external simultaneously, this is one of the great secrets of understanding the nature of reality. Observe the dualities around you, see how they can exist both as opposites and as one single energy simultaneously. See how they then reflect with the opposites within you as well and inquire as to why and how this particular energy manifested in your life, and even why you are reflecting on it at this moment.
The Lovers ultimately embody an energy of the ebb and flow between two points of awareness. In order for the energy to flow, there must be trust and mutual respect and understanding across the board. Giving and receiving must be equal and in balance, or the connection between two poles will quickly fall apart. At the end of the day, the thing that brings people together builds families, and establishes communities - is love.
The Lovers reversed represents a disharmonic state of yin and yang, a divorce or disconnect of energies once merged, or which once had the potential to unify. This is a state filled with imbalances and poor communication, resulting in misaligned values. It might also imply a union that is not in harmony with itself; effort and love must be invested to correct the energy, or else separation is imminent (which may even prove to be a good thing, depending on the situation). When it comes to the individual, this unbalanced state can mean giving up on yourself, repressing feelings, becoming very displaced and disconnected from your own heart. It also means that if you are not looking at both sides of the equation, you can ultimately cause a war within yourself or others simply by not honoring all perspectives in any particular circumstance.
To turn this reversed card upright, recognize that everyone has a valuable perspective, even if you disagree with it. By honoring other perspectives, you will come to respect other people for who they are and grow to see all of us as a unified family, no matter how different our ideas about the world are. In this way, we find harmony within and without. If you are at odds with yourself, you need only allow yourself to fully embrace the opposite perspective to gain clarity on what it is you are struggling with; you will then naturally move into a more harmonious state of being.