The Lovers in Tarot

Originally written in 2017

lovers-tarot-king-journeyI originally intended to send out this newsletter a few days before Valentine’s day, but a combination of sickness and working on freelance projects delayed its being sent it. I wasn’t kidding when I said I am a one man crew on almost everything i’m involved with.

After creating a few decks over the years, we’ve created quite a few “Lovers” cards of varying themes and looks.

Our first was when I co created a King’s Journey Tarot. This was quite an unusual looking Lovers card in that it was more battle themed rather than a traditional depiction of love.

King’s Journey is a unique deck where we follow one character throughout the entire deck of cards. (With a Spirit suit and two additional Majors the total number of cards are 94 instead of the regular 78). From the Fool, considered our first card, to the World card, considered our last, coming after the minor suits, the Fool character changes in appearance the whole way through (with the exception of his clothing, which was kept very similar in theme and color to be easily identifiable)

In King’s Journey the Lovers card features the young fool character doing battle with his inner demon. Having defeated his “darkness” he has been granted the right to court the Emperor’s daughter (The Emperor appears in the background with his daughter. Similarly in the Emperor card all three appear too)

While it’s certainly a different view of love, it deals with a common theme that is sometimes crucial to confront if a relationship is going to work. Sacrificing or overcoming a part of yourself that brings negativity to the relationship.

A few years later we created a more traditional version of the King’s Journey Lovers and occasionally this has been included as a bonus card.

simply-deep-tarot-loversNext up is our Simply Deep Lovers card. This has more of a Victorian feel to it and is in a picnic setting. It was designed to be a little bit flirty but not overtly so.

Of all of the lovers cards, it’s probably the closest we’ve come to a more romantic feel to the card.

Since being published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd, we’ve also released a borderless version of the deck which is available on our site  along with a Simply Deep mini deck, for those that like to collect miniature versions of their favorite decks.

Our next Lovers card was the military uniformed couple in the Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot, seen below, who are depicted celebrating a marriage.

It’s a very different Lovers card than is traditionally depicted because they are in uniform. It’s more formal and less romantic. Above the couple can be seen spiritual beings, the Phoenix and Chinese Dragon inside a heart.chinese-tarot-lovers-asian

About a year after starting on the Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot, we created our “green mutant” lover in what would become The Twisted Tarot Tales deck. This is probably one of my favourite Lovers cards that I’ve drawn because it is much more wacky and the colors pop making it very comic bookish.

I wrote a few pages about the message behind this peculiar version of the Lovers card in the Twisted Tarot Tales companion book and the fact that looks can be deceiving in the imagery.

horror-tarot-loversI originally illustrated another card for the lovers depicting a wolf type being in love with a woman. It never made the cut even though I personally liked it but maybe one day it will make a return.

horror-lovers-tarot-2One of the great things about depicting a universal concept like love is that there are many ways it can be depicted and they can all be true. The Lovers in the King’s Journey recognizes that relationships can be hard and often need something of a sacrifice to make them work. Sometimes that sacrifice might be our inner demon. The Simply Deep Lovers depicts a secret get away between two romantic partners; that much needed intimate time. The Chinese Propaganda version depicts marriage, I suppose I would say, in a more rigid practical way, a “uniform” way, and the Twisted Tarot Tale green mutant card represents, in my view, the truest form of love; protecting a loved one.

I think for me that aspect of love is worth more because anyone can say they love you, but without any action, without any outward sincere show of affection, especially in the hardest parts of life, then what is there to believe in? How can we be sure that the love is as real as the hallmark cards say it is! lol

tarot-horror-comicsUpon final completion, Christine wanted to depict two crash test dummies in love. To me, this image reminds one of a bit of a reckless relationship. It’s still a relationship. Not perfect, and the couple are, at least symbolically, depicted as being damaged (or about to be damaged). It could be argued that this particular couple are built for it, that’s their purpose, but in a human sense that hurt can still be difficult (forgive me if I am rambling. I have been unwell for the past week and may be making less sense than I imagine).

No doubt about it, this crash dummies card is creepy. It depicts a car crash, and even if it is in a test zone, we are all far too familiar with life and its tragedies. Some people were not too thrilled about this deck for that reason alone; it does not shy away from the horror in life, but for me personally it is more honest that way. I value honestly, and I try to be honest, most importantly to myself and the Lord. If I can’t be honest with myself, how can I be honest with you?

tarot-lovers-chinese-propaganda-artThat goes for readings too. I would only want a reading from an honest person who is able to come to terms with the fact that life has tragedies. Read more about that in my article from last edition called “Foresight” . Again, sorry for my rambling. I have spent the past few days visiting deceased loved ones, looking into NDE and feeling genuinely under the weather but I shall bounce back very soon!

The next Lovers card we created was the Winter Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot (Aka our “Year of the Rooster” version). I see this card as a card where we see the idea of love through the eyes of a child. He’s created an ice/snow creation of two adult lovers. Maybe they are entirely figments of his imagination or maybe they are a depiction of his parents.

It’s been about 6 or 7 years since I illustrated my first Tarot card and since then I’ve drawn about 8 Lovers cards through the various decks and bonus cards. In my own life I like to think I’ve learned a little about love too!

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