Where’s the Love: A Valentine’s Day-inspired look at the Tarot

Two of Cups - Rider Waite
Two of Cups - Rider Waite

Where’s the love?

Like all other emotions, love has its place in the Tarot. The Lovers, card of choice and, perhaps obviously, card of love, would be a great starting point for a search for love in the Tarot. It is the card where passion and reason come together, where difficult choices need to be made and where the very concept of synergy lives.  

The Two of Cups, representing a covenant or a coming together of two, is another obvious place to find love in the Tarot. Interestingly enough – well… at least interesting for me 🙂 – many couples have their songs and will be listening to them during a romantic moment on Valentine’s Day.  My partner and I have our card… it’s the Two of Cups and it will be on display on the 14th. (We have our songs as well but perhaps I’ll save that for another Valentine’s Day blog.)

The Cups are the resident suit of our feelings. Many cards in that suit at least hint at Cupid’s emotional realm. The Ace is the seed of love’s potential, the Three is the celebration of a love of company and companionship and the Ten is one’s recognition of the presence of emotional abundance and fulfillment.  Our Queen of Cups, who possesses the never-dormant ear, is an endless source of compassion, is the Tarot’s version of the Kindergarten teacher 🙂 and is another place to find love.

Our other Cup courts are no strangers to love. Our Page is the personification of the Ace and the representation of being in the early stages of love. Our Knight is in the business of love ‘em and leave ‘em. Upon reflection, that might not be how one would define love but don’t tell that to the knight. When he’s in love’em mode, he’d tell you that he’s clearly residing in the realm of Eros, as would the beneficiary of his attention. Our King is the master of love. He is blessed with the ability to both love fully and to keep his love in check as opposed to wearing it for all to see.

The Lovers is not the only place in the Major Arcana where we find love. The Empress represents, among other things, a mother’s unconditional love. As the home of the outwardly Feminine principle, hers is a passionate love.  A little further along the path of the Fool’s Journey, Strength shows us the resultant action of the Empress’ unconditional love.  Looking for one example of this strength-based love in action? Try crossing a lioness when she has her cubs nearby.  I would also argue that we can easily find love in two of the last three majors: The Sun, where our overwhelming optimism and joy includes a love for all things; and the World, where, as the card of completeness, contains all things, love included.

Like it or not, Valentine’s Day is a day where, at least commercially (oops, my bias is showing), we are reminded that love indeed makes the world go ‘round and is a many splendid thing. And I’m sure I’ve just scratched the surface of the presence of love in the Tarot. Do tell… where’s the love for you in the Tarot?

Tarot Questions

Feel free to submit your questions. I will briefly explore one randomly-selected question and respond here. Please note that your question may not be chosen for a response on this page. Please include “White Sage Tarot Questions” in the subject line and send your query to whitesagetarot@gmail.com.

 

D asks:

 

“Do you think I should finish off my nursing degree? I started it at the age of 58, and have now done two years, though I deferred this year because of health issues. Now, I’m wondering whether to finish it off part-time and whether I will then have the strength and energy to see this through and work in a hospital after that. I’m trying to follow my life’s dream, but I don’t know whether I can do so.”

 

As a Tarotist, I felt that the querent was initially asking a question that could be answered by a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The Tarot has a wider application. We reworked the question. D agreed that “What do I need to know to successfully follow my dream(s)?” better reflected the information that was being sought and allowed for a broader exploration.

 

For this question, I used a spread from Trish MacGregor and Phyllis Vega’s “Power Tarot” called the Outlook Spread. The first card focuses on the outlook for the situation; the second focuses on what/who will help; the third on what this will lead to; and the fourth looks at how the querent will feel about the outcome.

 

Outlook for this situation: King of Cups – Trust your emotions. Regardless of what happens, be a master of your emotions. The outlook to this enquiry shows success and achievement, but could be in an unexpected area. For example, it might be that the training you’ve undergone so far will be applied to another related field.

 

What/who will help?: The Empress – Support will come as compassion and tenderness. This may indeed be the type of nurturing support that comes via the healing professions. It may also come in the form of another person or may be qualities that come to the surface for you during this time. Often the Empress’s passion is unbridled and can be overpowering. This passion is yours; use it wisely and don’t ignore the role that emotions and intuition play.

 

What will this lead to?: The Queen of Swords – reversed – There can be an element of falsehood around the Queen of Swords when she’s reversed. This may lead to thoughts and words that do not truly reflect the situation.

 

How will you feel about the outcome?: The High Priestess – The High Priestess can symbolize that untapped inner strength. She is mysterious. Her appearance suggests there is something unsaid,  unexplored or concealed. She often tells us to trust our intuition, especially in a position that refers to our own feelings.

 

Some important questions to ask are:

 

How do I trust my feelings and instincts to guide my decision?

How will I focus my unbridled passion?

What is the real question?

 

Your instincts and emotions are key. You are asking one question but might be feeling another. The King of Cups and High Priestess have shown up. They serve as reminders to trust your emotions and instinct. Think of it as something similar to the feeling that instructs you to change directions when you sense something unsafe in your chosen path. Gavin De Becker in “The Gift of Fear” suggests this instinct is one that should be acted on. The Queen of Swords reversed is a reminder that not all things said or unsaid are true. It appears that you may already have the answer to the question about following your dream; it just might not be the answer that you’re looking for.