VI • The Lovers


Children of the Voice
Oracle of the Mighty Gods

This is a card of love, a love that will transcend all obstacles. Related to this idea is the second theme of the card, a fall which will ultimately result in (and indeed is necessary to) progress. A loss that brings gain, as the expulsion from Eden brought about the liberation of mankind.

The two gods in this card are Tefnut and Shu, twin children, the first beings created by Amun-Ra. Tefnut was the goddess of moisture, and Shu the god of air. As husband and wife they were the parents of Geb and Nuit, the earth and the heavens. In Egyptian mythology Shu was said to hold apart his children; he was the air separating heaven from earth. This can be seen carved upon the wall behind the two trees. The myths go on to explain that the children of Tefnut and Shu longed for children, but were denied the opportunity by their father. Shu proclaimed that, having given birth to the stars and plants, Nuit would not bear further children in any month of the year. Hearing this, Thoth who had divided the year into twelve equal parts of thirty days came to the couple's aid. In a game of chance he won five days from the moon. These were added to the year, but belonged to no month. So it was on these days that the gods Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys and Horus were born.

This myth is alluded to on the wall behind the Gods. Shu holds Nuit from the reach of Geb. At each side are images of Thoth, who came to the aid of Geb and Nuit. Thoth is the Egyptian precursor of the Roman god Mercury.

In Egyptian astrology the sign of Gemini was represented by the twin deities of Tefnut and Shu. In the Lovers card the goddess Tefnut wears an orange dress. Orange is the colour of this card, being the hue of Gemini. The straps of Tefnut's dress are purple, decorated with yellow disks, alluding to air - the element of Gemini. She holds in her right hand the blue lotus cup, the watery symbol of womanhood. Beside her stands Shu. The hieroglyph for his name was the feather, which he wears in his head-band. The feather signifies truth and was also the emblem of Ma'at. His orange wand is the Waas sceptre. The bracelet on his right upper arm is red, and on his left lower arm is one of white. His belt is white and yellow (the colour of Mercury). At either side of the card stand trees. To the left is the tree of life, its branches laden with 12 red apples and where a serpent basks in the warmth of the sun. To the right is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A sword rests against the sandy bank. This is the sword of Zain and is the emblem of the element air, representing the intellect. The sword is a two-edged weapon, it can cut both ways. The mountain in the background of the card reminds us of the primal hill.

Interpretation The card suggests a choice made from the heart, not the mind. It provides an insight into partnerships. Important decisions to be made leading to new opportunities.

Innocence and youth uncontaminated by earthly desire. Purity. The intellect rules or replaces the passions. In this card there is also a suggestion of the hand of fate.