“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.”
― Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi, The Illuminated Rumi
The curse of the red heart is upon us again.
By which I don’t mean the 3 of Swords because at least this card has some dignity. But it is that time when the shops are full of fake red roses, red wrapped chocolates, red velveteen cards declaring undying love, red, red, red!
Yet, despite what the history of this day might actually be or indeed how we think and feel about Valentine’s day we all have a smidgen of the romantic in us. It’s nice to be loved and wanted; it’s central to the human experience and we literally grow on it.
I remember as a kid we would make cards for our Mum and I still have some that my own kids did for me.
The cards progressed to the secret letterbox in class when you could surreptitiously deposit a card for the lucky recipient, unsigned of course. This was a time of high anxiety as if you received none then you could be relegated to the ranks of the great unwashed for at least the rest of the term.
This was followed by expecting the latest squeeze to post something special. Breakfast found you fervently awaiting the postman’s arrival with confirmation in the card of the romance of the century. Failing that then the apple of one’s eye would most definitely have to turn up with roses, chocolates and a deep desire to do something beautiful and God help them if they missed the target!
Later of course, it occurs to you that card manufacturers along with the mass produced roses and chocolates were making a fortune out of people’s innate longing to be adored and wanted.
It could be said that the majority of consultations that we do are about relationships and the people we care for and that they may care for us in return.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than a dose of rejection or a fling with abandonment. To safeguard against these feelings gives a sense of being alright. That said, many consultations are very positive about relationships whatever their shape or form.
No doubt the Lovers card will be making a flurry of appearances over the next few days but does the Lovers actually mean being in love, giving love or engaging in intimacy?
Another perspective of this card is that it represents the union of the lower and higher Anima/Animus.
The male and female principles behind the creative dynamic are within all of us. The union of Empress and Emperor, High Priestess and Hierophant. The balance and harmony between these pairs is not easy to achieve and for many is but a concept.
It can indeed signify the capacity for a mutual and fulfilling relationship with another which brings a sense of complete wholeness. It is through the relationship that we have a stronger union with the world but also with ourselves; we grow and as we do so we understand who we are and why we make the life choices that we do.
That desire to be loved and adored masquerades the deeper longing for awakening.
The Lovers is symbolic of an inner transformation. The inner transformation where we fall in love with ourselves, the one which we deem to choose only that which is appropriate and life affirming, an essence that the Fool brought in but whose journey to becoming has challenged that very essence.
On this level the Lovers can be about the need for a deeper awareness of the opposing factors at work within. Perhaps it is to be more fluid with regards to challenges and powerful ideas.
There is so much to the Lovers card.
We can see the relationship between the right and left brain. We can see the dichotomy of philosophy between Plato and Aristotle, the synthesis of Spirit and Earth and how these polarities play out and ultimately support each other. They are having a relationship.
The relationship we have with ourselves.
Yet, central to all of this is the relationship we have with ourselves and how coherent we are with that. It goes beyond the aesthetic vision of self and more of a deep love and acceptance for all that we are, all that we have been and all that we can become.
HOW DO I LOVE THEE?
Let’s chuck a few cards about and touch base with self.
An indication of my attitude to self nurture.
What can I do to improve my relationship with myself.
How will this affect my relationship with others?
What hinders me from embracing all that I am?
What could support a more fulfilling relationship to all that I am?