In the older versions, the lovers card was associated with the planet Venus, which is represented by the Goddess of love and sexuality - and why not? After all, what is love without a little sexuality to spice it up right? So in these older cards, Cupid (Eros) could be seen floating above the nude couple's heads. Eros,the mischievous God of passion and fertility (whose mother happens to be the Goddess Venus herself) was often times depicted wearing a blindfold, because love is blind, and can strike without warning. In some decks there were also two females with the male figure, representing the choices one must make in love and the inevitable consequences of those choices.
The Rider-Waite deck 'Christianized' the older representations in 1910, and replaced Eros with his biblical counterpart Archangel Raphael. In the Bible, Raphael is sent by God to heal a man of blindness and to assist the man's son in marrying a woman named Sarah. Sarah was possessed by a demon who prevented her from consummating her marriage due to the untimely death of every man she would wed. But after being healed of her afflicting demon, by Raphael, she was able to marry. So Archangel Raphael became the patron saint of singles (among other things) and would be prayed to when one was seeking a spouse. Also, the figures in the Rider-Waite deck are reminiscent of Adam and Eve. The fruit bearing tree with serpent, and tree that is consumed in flames are both symbols of the couples time spent in the Garden of Eden, and their banishment from it (again with the theme of choices and consequences). Even the number placement of the card is symbolic of the biblical story of the first lovers. On the sixth day is when God created a mate and companion for Adam, and in some decks their union is depicted by the six pointed Star of David.
The story of brotherly love
The sign of Gemini is representative of the twins Castor and Pollux. Their mother, Leda (who was a hotty) had caught the eye of Zeus (who could never keep it in his pants). One day, he decided to disguise himself as a swan so he could manage to get close enough to Leda so he could rape her. That same night, Leda layed (in the biblical way) with her husband as well. So she became pregnant with two sets of twins: Castor and Clytemnestra who were mortal and children of her mortal husband, and Pollux and Helen (as in Helen of Troy) who were immortal children of Zeus. Well the two brothers, Castor and Pollux, became inseparable. So when the mortal Castor had finally met his death, Pollux was so distraught that he pleaded with Zeus to allow him to become mortal as well so he could be with his brother in the after life. Instead, Zeus allowed the two brothers to share immortality together as a constellation in the heavens. Now that's love! The type of love that is represented by Venus is sexual, and a bit selfish. I love you because you make me feel good. I need you to make myself happy and to experience pleasure - vs - I love you because you are my best friend, my brother, and I'd rather die than exist in this life without you. See the difference? Which love would you rather have?
A solitary and experienced Hedge Witch currently residing in Southern Virginia.
Do you feel like you have an interesting addition for the MamaBee blog?
Submit an article!