The Lovers


“Wonder Twin powers activate!”

- Zan and Jayna, the Wonder Twins

The Lovers - Waite Smith
The Lovers - Thoth

Associations / Attributions

Alternate Titles
The Choice
Hermetic Title
Children of the Voice Divine, The Oracles of the Mighty Gods
Hebrew Letter
Zayin (Sword/Weapon)
Sephirotic Path
Binah (Understanding) to Tiferet (Beauty)
Potential Uses
Creative inspiration; initiating transformation

Card Meanings / Keywords

Golden Dawn

Inspiration (passive, in contrast to Magician, Hermit, Hierophant), mediumship, motive and action arising from inspiration.


Attraction, love, beauty. Reversed: Failure, marriage frustrated.


Openness to inspiration, intuition, second sight, frivolity, indecision, instability, thought divorced from practicality.


Eros (in a broad sense, both mythically and philosophically), initiation.


This trump carries the introduction of polaric energies to one another—female to male, outward to inward, fire to water, air to earth, positive to negative, and so on. The creative tension created as these two forces attempt to resolve begins a process of alchemical transformation that holds the possibility of creating new life. The Lovers embody what the Greeks called Eros, a force easily recognized by any human that has passed through puberty in the guise of sexual tension. However, Eros goes far deeper than this particular bodily manifestation. It is a deep longing to resolve the sense that what one is encountering is both oneself and yet not oneself. This essential paradox lies at the heart of creativity itself and is a deep mystery that is worthy of extensive contemplation.

The two-in-one nature of the Lovers makes a natural astrological association with Gemini—both airy as an initial “conception” of what may be, as well as a vacillating process that goes back and forth between what may be seen as opposites. However, taking the perspective as opposites—as “opposed” and in conflict—does not quite grasp the nature of what is offered. While the energies of the two elements may create conflict, they are innately “pairs” or a “single as two” that hold the possibility of creating a third. To see opposites only allows one to triumph; to view as a pair allows for that possibility as well as balance and resolution (see Temperance).

When working with this card, look for a polaric force or pair—this/that, positive/negative, yin/yang, etc. On the one hand, the pair may hold the potential to initiate or inspire something new; on the other, it may be the source of frustration and conflicted energy. The Lovers may be called to initiate a process of transformation, or to represent a dynamic energy that you would like to resolve.


Hand in hand but never quite touch
Lips to light, hand to heart
We dance to joy knowing the anguish of our soul
that seeks the core of each other as ourselves
The same, yet different
The All blind to all but the sight of our longing
We enter into a commitment to see it through
If we are not destroyed in the process
Which we will certainly be
From the ashes a phoenix will rise with a lion’s roar

What ignites my creative drive? Is there an apparent opposition that could be transformed into a pairing which offers a new opportunity? What potentials are asking for energy and ready to be conceived?