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Monday, 15 August 2011

One plus one is one?

Today's card from Roxi Sim's Pearls of Wisdom Tarot is The Lovers. I quite like this card. The two lovers have become one, entwining together and turning into a tree. I think the image of a tree is a lovely one to symbolise strength and steadfastness and longevity. These lovers become a tree, with a complex root network penetrating the earth. There are little mushrooms sprouting up from the roots, and to me they represent a sort of rebirth or the life cycle. They also look a bit phallic. Also seen in the card is the pomegranate, which I associate with fertility and sensuality. However, the card also points to separation, as the lovers in the tree seem almost engaged in a struggle, and their shoulders and heads pull away from each other. The tree is also in autumn leaf and shedding leaves, hinting that earthly love by its nature cannot last forever, as our physical bodies inevitably decline and die. But then, there are the mushrooms again, reminding us of the life circle. 

Most of the cards in the deck feature strings of pearls, which to me symbolise tears shed in this life--both happy and sad ones. The pearl strands in the card are embellished with yin yang symbols, opposites attracting and mingling.

The card speaks strongly to me of both togetherness and separateness, and reminds me,
for some reason, of Kalil Gibran's The Prophet, 'On Marriage':
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
The card can be seen as a celebration of love and partnership, but also a warning not to lose oneself in the process. Are they one, or are they striving to be one and separate at the same time? Are they in a passionate embrace, or are they sharing the throes of inevitable death? As Forrest Gump says, 'I think maybe it's both. Both happening at the same time.' 

May I remember not to lose myself in my relationships.


  1. This is one of my favorite pieces of work by Gibran, and a lovely posting! I often get the Emperor to remind me of loving, healthy boundaries, which I have issues with, and I shall now remember it as well for the Lovers. Thank you!

  2. What a beautiful, thoughtful post! I loved the way you worked the autumnal leaves into the meaning, that's something I'd never picked up on. I liked blogging about these cards in part cos it made me dig out my runelore. Here, one of the runes is that of partnership and working in tandem, can't remember the name now :duh: Roxie did a lovely job with these :)