Happy Valentine’s Day to all who celebrate! In honor of this celebration of love, I thought it would be appropriate to focus on a few of the love-themed cards in the tarot.
This list is my own, so it is neither the definitive list nor an exhaustive list. In truth, I believe that love can be found in all things as it is a shared emotion that connects us as humans, so one could argue for each card to be included, in some form or fashion. That said, here are the ones I’ve singled out:
The Major Arcana
The Lovers – The Lovers card represents a healthy balance between ludus, playful love, and eros, romantic love. It is a card that honors being in relation with another and learning the give and take necessary of love and commitment to another.
The Empress and The Emperor – These two embody storge. Storge is familiar love, or that which flows between parent and child. These two are the ultimate parents in the deck and aspects of them can be found in the Queens and Kings in the court cards. The Empress and Emperor love those in their care or under their protection.
The Hierophant – The Hierophant represents love of community through philia, brotherly love, and agape, selfless love of fellow man. Respect for one another and for traditions or established units such as community or family.
Justice – Perhaps this choice seems unconventional, but the Justice card embodies pragma, the mature love that requires effort. Pragma develops over time and through knowing another – including their faults. When a relationship has been tried, tested and deemed worthy, that is true and lasting love.
The Devil – And speaking of unconventional, here we have The Devil. This card represents a slightly unhealthier balance of eros, romantic love, when it encounters mania, obsessive love. In its more positive manifestation, we can think of this as the “50 Shades of Grey” love. At its extreme, this card represents a selfish, unbalanced or controlling love that does not serve the individuals involved.
The Minor Arcana
Unlike the big picture major arcana, the minor arcana cards do not represent major themes so much as the daily expressions of them in our lives.
The Ace of Cups – The receptive cup into which emotion is poured, this card is the initial opening oneself up to love and its possibilities.
The Two of Cups – The next in the cup suit is the Two of Cups, indicate the healing union of opposites and new relationships.
The Four of Wands – A card of validation, this can represent stability in willpower, being on the right path and often represents and actual union or marriage.
The Eight of Wands – The swift action of this card harkens to the chemical feelings or rush of falling in love
The Ten of Cups – The last card in the cup suits represents family love encapsulated by contentment with self and contentment at home.
The Knight of Cups - And from the Court Cards, we have the Knight of Cups, the slightly immature romantic hero(ine) or the knight in shining armor who wears their heart on their sleeve and will fight for love.
I hope you found this exploration of love in the tarot a fun exercise. Are any of your favorites missing?
As a reminder, if you are interested in learning more about the tarot, my next Foundations of Tarotology series begins soon on February 24, 2021. I hope to see you there!
In peace & love,