Pearls of Wisdom - The Lovers

Rede Seeker

I have trouble seeing this card in the traditional 'Choices' role. To me it seems that the choice has been made and consumated. The deed is mote it be...?

Trees - male and female - are entwined, roots, trunks, twigs, limbs, all joined. Leaves fall from the limbs and join with the roots; mushrooms pop out of the ground. These trees appear to be on an island (or perhaps a place all their own separated from the rest of the world if only for the moment). The lake is gently rippled and reflects the sleeping Earth Spirit on the far shore. The lake also reflects the pinkness in the sky. The sun is caught in the entwined limbs, the sky is an off-blue with pink clouds.

The border holds a yoni-lingam on a shelf in each upper corner. The sides hold a heart-shaped plaque from which a strand of pearls holding a ying/yang pendant hang. The left corner holds an open pomegranet and open apple showing the star pattern inside. The right corner holds the other half of the apple and a tomato.

Runes on the Left colum are Gebo and Mannaz. Gebo represents mutual connection; Mannaz is the Rune of Man as a divine being, descended from the Gods (of the Northern Tradition). Thorsson provides the following concerning Gebo...'This is the rune that signifies the Gift of Odhinn in his triaic forms...-the gifts of consciousness, life-breath, and form...(ref. Runelore Page 119). Concerning Mannaz, Thorsson says ...'In the M-rune is the harmonious combination of the "mind" and "memory." In the M-rune Huginn and Muninn speak freely to one another and inform the whole-self of the god Odhinn...In Jungian terms it is the individuated self..' (ref Runelore Page 130).

Gebo is the seventh Rune of the Elder Futhark.
Mannaz is the twentieth Rune of the Elder Futhark.
Gebo + Mannaz = 7 + 20 = 27 an important number in Rune Magic.

In Rune Magic 27 is the number of the 'ALU' Galdar. Ansuz-Laguz-Uruz roughly translated as 'increasing consciousness in a vital form' (ref. Rune-Song by Edred Thorsson). ALU also refers to ale, a favored drink in the Northern Tradition used in Symbels (drinking rituals) and used to ease the restrictions on consciousness so that one may commune with the divine.

A theory is that Rune formulae totalling in 27 are connected to ALU. So while the Runic inscription on the left may be read as mutual connection among Men/divine beings; it is also connected with the ecstacy of divine communion.

On the right column is the Rune Sowilo - Success on one level, a breaker of psychological or cosmic inertia transforming it into a vital, dynamic force (ref. Thorsson, Runelore, Page 127) on another.

There is a tribute to Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise on the left column, we all remember his way with women, always willing to go 'where no man has gone before'...or is that the Astrological symbol for Uranus?

How does all of this come together as 'Lovers' in Tarot? Here the choice has been made, the deed it done, the world is still caught in the after-glow. We see the result of a right choice, but not the options or any insight into why this choice and not another. I'm at a loss would be appreciated.


This is one of my all time favourite Lovers cards. I don't get 'choice' from it at all but that doesn't bother me. I guess if I need the message that there is a choice somewhere that needs to be made and I'm using this deck then another, more suited card will show up.

This card to me speaks of unification, of the coming together of opposites to make a relationship that is grounded in reality and that has the potential to bloom and grow. The mushrooms at the base of the tree show that the relationship is a fertile one and that good things will come of it. The pomegranates and apple in the border also make me think of fertility.

This then is a blessed union. I love the way the apples in the border have been cut so that the pips in the centre form a five pointed star, the symbol of The Goddess - a protective symbol and also (once again), a fertile one.

I often see this card as one which speaks of the merging of the spiritual with the mundane and I think this card expresses that feeling very well.

Sixes are about balance, harmony, sharing, communication, relationships and the choices we make to get us back on track after the upsets of the fives.

Rede Seeker

Yes, that is Uranus but are those the Beltane Fires in the background?

Wikipedia says the following concerning Uranus and Astrology:

"Astrologically modern interpretations associate Uranus with the principles of genius, individuality, new and unconventional ideas, discoveries, electricity, inventions, and the beginnings of the industrial revolution. Uranus governs societies, clubs and any group dedicated to humanitarian or progressive ideals. Historically it was associated with the principles of the Enlightenment and radical political ideas of equality and freedom, among other things."

It's interesting to note (from 'Tarot and the Journey of the Hero' by Hajo Banzhaf):

Magician = Spiritual Father
High Priestess = Spiritual Mother
Empress = Earthly Mother
Emperor = Earthly Father
Hierophant = Education

The Pearls of Wisdom Lovers is the first card since the Fool where the individual acts of her/his own volution, free of cultural or social conditioning. This could be interpreted as a 'back to Nature' card. With all the programming/tutoring our pair received, they remain Children of Nature - not so easy a task in today's society at least in the USA. Add Uranus to this formula and one interpretation could be that Nature has her place as Tutor, also.

What holds my attention in this card is not the central figures in their embrace but the Earth Spirit, the lake, and the reflections in the lake. The Earth Spirit is not all greenery. When I take out my magnifying glass, I see yellow and orange flecks that don't seem associated with any of the falling leaves from the central figures. Rather than redeing these flecks as dieing greenery, I rede them as bonfires (as in Beltane). The hillside is alive with Life and Energy, embodied, celebrated, enjoyed as Children of Nature enjoy Life. The Earth Spirit sleeps through it all in contentment.

I'm getting a better 'Choices' vibe - here the Choice is Life, Love, and Nature's Joy. There is some stirility/stuffiness associated with the Magician, High Priestess, Empress, and Emperor cards. They are all inside attending to duty and responsibility. The Lovers are freed of that grind for the moment. They will be back at the grindstone in the Chariot. In the Lovers card we see the Rest and Relaxation that restores the (Individual and World) Soul.


Here's an image.


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well this came up in my first reading with the deck, and I was drawn to the shedding leaves but there is new growth. if this relates to a relationship issue I would perhaps be guided to say something along the lines of "let go of old patterns of behaviour, expecations etc, and make way for something new and different to come in"

Although they are intwined (erm... quit physically) their heads are turned away, they are not looking at each other. In some ways they give the impression of pulling their heads back so as not to have total intimacy. Might in some cases show the physical link but not on a mental level if that makes sense. If that is linked to my previous paragraph could show they have become close but need to also keep talking so as to be inspired on all levels not just physical.


Rede Seeker

Interesting observation, Davina

Years ago, I was told that Love was more a matter of two people looking in the same direction than into each other's eyes. These Lovers, anthough intimately entwined are looking in different directions. She looks up and off to her right; he looks up and forward. Does he see her distraction? Does she know that he sees it?

Out comes the magnifying glass and a new detail is revealed - her eyes are open; his eyes are not (or perhaps he is blind...Love is blind sometimes).


I was just idly playing with my cards a little bit ago, thinking how, to me, the 2 of Cups is the time when a couple meets, gets acquainted, maybe gets married while the Lovers card is the "real deal"----the joining for life and forever---when up popped the 2 of Cups and then the Lovers! As I glanced at the cards, I saw as clear as day that there are two faces high in the branches of the tree. The woman's face is on the side where the man's part of the tree is and the man's face is on the side where the woman's part of the tree is. Their eyes are formed by leaves---the woman has one eye and the man has two---a leaf forms the woman's mouth and the man doesn't have a mouth clearly depicted. Does anyone else see this? I hadn't even seen the other two faces in the trunk of the tree till now, either. I didn't see those till one of the other posters here mentioned it.

I forgot to add that the leaves falling indicate that they've spent all their lives together and may be in the autumn of their lives, having grown more melded and entwined together through all their years.

Rede Seeker

They are joined at the root

I use a magnifying glass to see both the Lady's eyes. The Man is shown in profile, so we can only see one eye.

It's hard for me to see them as separate beings from the waist down. Their roots seem joined. This reinforces the earlier observation that these two have been together for a very long time.