The Lovers In The Pride Tarot

© US Games Systems, Inc

“My Lovers card incorporates scenes from the NYC Queer Liberation March on June 30, 2019, photographed for the Reclaim Pride Coalition.”  –   Robin Scott (Pride Tarot Guidebook, © US Games Systems, Inc)

Suggested Archetype: Any Iconic Same-Sex Couple

Love is ineffable and never, ever, predictable.  I present (borrowed from this article at The Advocate) the following eight famous couples within LGBTQIA+ history.

  • Anne Lister and Ann Walker
  • Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears
  • Ethel Collins Dunham and Martha May Eliot
  • Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
  • Lili Elbe and Gerda Gottlieb
  • Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas
  • Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo
  • Walt Whitman and Peter Doyle

Primary Symbolism

The clasped hands:  In an ideal child-parent/guardian relationship, we grow up associating holding hands with guidance, protection, and love.  As we age and move into other relationships with children and adults, the gesture expands to include our closest friends, siblings, and anyone we feel a connection to.  Between adults, holding hands signifies that we want to be in each other’s company, that we have the solidarity of purpose, and will be supporting each other in whatever event is about to transpire.   

The rainbow road:  Walking the LGBTQIA+ path together isn’t always easy because our partner (or partners) may not be the same part of the “alphabet soup” as we are.   Even the exact acronym has no universal convention with everything from LGBT+ to LGBTQQIP2SAA currently in use.  The diversity of our experiences and cultures within the Pride community manage to paradoxically unite but divide us like the spectral colors.

The banner:  During the 1990 NYC Pride March there was a leaflet distributed that proclaimed “An Army Of Lovers Cannot Lose” and the phrase remains popular in LGBTQIA+ literature and merchandise.  It dates all the way back to Plato’s Symposium 178a-180b Speech of Phaedrus which promoted homosexual couples as companions on the battlefield because their ferocity to protect one another would make them superior to heterosexual combatants.

The Statue of Liberty:  In the center of classic tarot cards there is an angel or cherub who seemingly presides over the state of affairs for the two or three figures presented.  The Statue of Liberty, a universal symbol of freedom and gift to the USA from France to celebrate a shared vision fulfills the same role in Robin Scott’s card.  It is not actually located at the end of 6th Avenue where the 2019 NYC Queer Liberation Marc took place, of course so the march towards it is metaphorical.  The clocktower to right is part of the actual background as it was witnessed by the marchers who inspired this card, however.

Reading The Lovers (In a Non-Romantic Relationship)

Upright this card could mean something like:

  • You and your person (or people) have a lot to celebrate; don’t take them for granted.
  • Despite any stress and challenges facing you and your person (or people) right now, things look auspicious for the relationship in the foreseeable future.
  • You need to take the initiative in either starting this new friendship/business relationship or fixing the problems that are causing an existing one to fracture.
  • The only way to move forward with your person (or people) is by trusting them and being someone they can trust in return.

Reversed this card could mean something like:

  • This person (or group) is being dishonest with you and they don’t have your best interests at heart.
  • It might be time to step away from this person (or group) in order to focus on your own health, emotional wellbeing, family, and/or career. 
  • Events beyond your control are hitting both you and your person (or group of people) very hard; how you cope with your feelings is going to affect how they cope with theirs and vice versa.
  • This person (or group) is suffering some external hardship or stress which is the focus of their attention right now.  Being more patient and understanding in the short term will make everything better in the long-term.  

The Lovers In Questions About Romantic Relationships

You as The Lovers Upright:  You are in the right place in your life to start a new romantic relationship or take an existing one to another level.  If you are involved with someone and seeking to expand into new territory?  Talk to them honestly about that and let them have time to sort through their own feelings before making any choices on your own.

You as The Lovers Reversed:  Your unhappiness has a deeper source than your lover (or lovers) current behavior even if they seem to be the trigger.  Withdraw but don’t burn bridges.  

The Other Person as The Lovers Upright:  This person has genuine affection for you.  Even if they aren’t offering the exact relationship you wish to have with them, what they offer is sincere. There might not be a happy ever after but if you can accept them at face value, there can be a “happy now”.

The Other Person as the Lovers Reversed:  Relationships can get very messy and toxic.  This one has gone into something ugly and it isn’t likely that things will ever be the same as they were before.

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”

― Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

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