Choice: That’s what love’s got to do with Tarot and tea leaves

What’s love got to do with choice?

Ask most any Tarot lover who’s carefully examined the meaning of The Lovers card, particularly in earlier decks, and they’ll tell you: Love has everything to do with choice.

The Lovers from the Camoin-Jodorowsky Tarot, a restored version of the Marseille Tarot.
The Lovers from the Camoin-Jodorowsky Tarot, a restored version of the Marseille Tarot.

In the above Marseilles-based Tarot image, three vulnerable human beings stand under an arguably determined Cupid.  Most vulnerable of the trio is Fabio-before-there-was-Fabio, powerless not just because he seems to be lacking tights, but, because as various Tarot scholars argue, he seems to have a choice he must soon make.

He is at the precipice of love. A new definition of self. It’s possibly a motion away from his mother (or a less comely woman on the left) to the attractive maiden on the right.

More modern takes on The Lovers card may clearly depict doe-eyed couples, some intertwined, but even in the Waite-Smith version published in the early 1900s, artist Pamela Coleman Smith seems to echo a sentiment of choice.

The Lovers in the Waite-Smith tradition.
The Lovers in the Waite-Smith tradition.

There are clearly two sides, and a curiosity about the future. The clouds could lend an air of confusion or mystery, or mental activity and communication, when one considers the use of clouds in the swords/air/mental suit of this tradition. The angel holds both of its hands up, and a sense of symmetry seems to run throughout the card. There’s no confusing who the lovers are. They may be Adam and Eve, and they may not, but here are only two figures, not three.

They are at least slightly turned to one another. And here the bare skin seems to convey acceptance, true nature, and, most of all, equality.

In love, there is always a call for commitment.

Finally, a more modern favorite Tarot card, for comparison, is The Forest Lovers, from The Wildwood Tarot (2011):

The Forest Lovers, from The Wildwood Taro is a favorite image.
The Forest Lovers, from The Wildwood Taro is a favorite image.

The book for The Wildwood Tarot hints at the idea of choice and equanimity, and the image is one of handfasting: “Polarity is the key element in the natural ebb and flow of emotional commitment.”

What’s choice got to do with tea leaf readings?

This tea leaf reading from a Metaphysics with a Twist fair features a predominant open heart at the cup bottom. Above it is a sense of two animals, one chasing after the other, as seen at the top of this picture.




There’s also a broken bridge in the blue section of this image, ending near the top right corner. The triangle/heart shaped leaf pointing to the point of the large heart? That small mirror of the bigger heart lands in the Eighth House, or the house of Scorpio and relationships.

These images convey how chasing after love (the two animals above the word “PLAY” in the pink section) can lead to a breakdown in union (the broken bridge). But there are three leaves coming from the large heart. One is broad and lays a foundation for the other two. These are small leaves that have an upward energy, as if the heart knows it wants to stop the chase, or break a  particular cycle.

A need for resolution, and to realize love, seems thematic in this tea cup. Because the broken bridge is close to the handle, it seems that the client may intuitively want to break off the chase experienced in the relationship, or that ending the union is a personal choice they are preparing to make.

Fill your lovin’ cup!

In recognition of Valentine’s Day, I invite you to my  Etsy shop, where you can get 10% any reading or service with the coupon code LOVE10.

Etsy COUPON for Valentine's Day

For more info about Tarot and Tea Leaf Readings, please visit my website and sign up for my newsletter.

Thanks for the read.

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