The Lovers card in the Arcus Arcanum deck is, without a doubt, a card about choice. The image is of a man and a woman holding hands as they walk down a path. In front of them the road is splitting in three directions. One direction has a woman waiting, one direction has a man waiting, and one direction we don’t see anyone. The couple has to make a decision about where they will go from here. They need to choose between current securities and future unknowns. This is a card about taking responsibilities for your own actions – after all, you have some decisions to make!
The Lovers do not have to be a couple (although it is possible that the card is about a relationship). We all have other parts of to accept and combine with what we are currently expressing - the head and the hart, for example, or our masculine and feminine energies.
The Arcus Arcanum deck does show foliage – the path appears to be in the woods. It’s a dirt path, there’s a tree and quite a bit of grass, but there’s also white roses which I find interesting because white roses are symbols of innocence – the flowers are behind the Lovers, though. In some respect, some innocence has been left behind so they could move forward.
This card was my reason for buying this deck. While I had heard many people say that the Lovers card was about choice, all I could ever see in my Morgan Greer deck was heat. The Morgan Greers Lovers card is much more sensual. It always feels more like it involves a relationship with a sexual aspect, and I could never see the choices and responsibilities inherent in a relationship; nor could I see that this card can be about conflict within the self or the need to integrate your inner parts to create the whole. The Morgan Greer deck shows a nude woman and man embracing surrounded by lush, green foliage.
While the Lovers card involves choice, it only seemed to be about sex when I look at the Morgan Greer deck (that's still my immediate/gut reaction when looking at the Morgan Greer deck Lovers). That kind of choice is often colored by horniness and proximity to the person. Now, that sort of emotion can certainly affect your decision making processes! Passion has a huge affect on your thinking. The reason I prefer the Arcus Arcanum deck is that it doesn’t discount the sexual aspect of the decision making process, but it does allow me to see that the coming choices aren’t necessarily just about sexuality. Ohh, those upcoming decisions could very well be sensual, and no matter what, they will affect the sensuality of their relationship, but their decisions are shown more clearly while they’re dressed.
Maybe I just see sex in everything and that’s why I needed the Lovers to put their clothes on - so I could see there’s more to them then "just" sensuality. Sometimes we need to get dressed before we can make up our minds about something (or someone)! The Lovers card is a reminder that we should take a deep breath and step away for a moment to look around us at what’s happening in our lives.
I wonder sometimes if this card would have such rich meanings for me if I had started with this deck and the decisions had just been there. With the old Morgan Greer deck, I spent so much time trying to understand the card. I just didn’t grasp the decisions involved in the Lovers. All I saw was the love and the lust. When I started looking for a new deck and stumbled across the Aeclectic Tarot website photo of this picture, I was electrified. Suddenly this card was about so much more then sex!
When I see this card, I don't immediately jump to "sex and relationships" anymore. However, I still feel the sensual aspects, and my first question is usually about if we're integrating our sensuality into our lives and allowing our passions to be a part of our decision making process or if we're allowing them to overtake our decision making process.