Today’s card is The Lovers, number 6 of the Major Arcana, also known as Children of the Voice Divine. Each of the Major Arcana cards represents a principle in occult worship or enlightenment, with this card being the 22nd and final card of the Majors, which are numbered 0 – 21. When studying these principles, one would start with the number 0, The Fool, representing innocence, the beginning of a journey, and the initiate, and ending with number 21, The Universe. Having traveled through the theoretical concepts of Magick, therefore, one would need only to apply these principles in real life to move forward on the path of enlightenment.
The Lovers speak to us of the difference between affection and desire, love and lust. One who has experienced love on a spiritual level knows that the love of the Divine is not equivalent to any other human experience. However, this type of love is that of a parent to a child, the type of unconditional love that remains separate, different, and special but equal or greater to the love that one might feel for a spouse or lover. Though there are a few individuals who can separate from their physical passions and devote their love solely to God via celibacy, most of us have no intention or ability to do so. Desire, therefore, not affection, is what we feel for those in our lives who light the fires of passion within us. While some can burn for a lifetime, these fires are not always deep and lasting. Some are like a match in the wind; they burn hot and fierce for a short time, then ‘blow out’ when the immediacy of their encounters turn into routine. This is not love, but lust, and there’s nothing wrong with it in its place and time; the mistake lies in fooling oneself into believing there is something more to it than primal urge and convenience will allow. After all, sex without emotion is often lacking in warmth and can lead to dispassionate results such as sexual abuse or degradation.
Often in the Pagan community, you will find that one partner in a relationship is involved while the other is not called to this sort of religious experience. Especially in ceremonial magick, it is not unusual to cast a glamour on oneself as the Priest or Priestess; it is a natural occurrence when Drawing Down the God/Goddess. Human error is mistaking that for actual sexual desire and emotional attraction. Priests and Priestesses may find that they are attracted to each other as they feel they are understood better by this person for their true Nature, and can align with them on a deeper level, a more tantric level. This can lead to bad relationship choices, sometimes including affairs of a sexual or emotional nature. This card serves as a caution not to mistake the glamour and passion of magick, which is fueled by raw sexual energy as its base (Fire), for actual love. If you are currently in a multi-faceted relationship with a fellow covener, try spending time together away from the magickal sphere and see if the feelings persist. If not, you are better off not mixing Magick with pleasure.
For some this card is also a gentle nudge to quit being so picky when it comes to finding a spouse or love interest. We all have our ‘perfect’ man or woman in mind to compare our options to. The problem with this image is that no human is perfect; we are all flawed in a myriad of ways and, in order to share our true selves, we have to be in a relationship that is built on trust and love as much as passion. This is not to say that sexual tension and passion aren’t important to any long term relationship. It is to say that it can’t be the only deciding factor. If you find that you are one who has many partners but not many lovers, try to lower your expectations just a bit and see if you can find your imperfect soulmate! Once you dedicate your time and energy to one lifetime love instead of many fleeting moments, you will find what you are looking for.
May you walk your path hand-in-hand with the love of your life!