Lovers Tarot Card Meaning

The Lovers is one of 78 cards that appear in divination tarot decks. Fortune tellers, occultists and others believe that tarot cards can aid a knowledge seeker in finding meaning in their life, predicting events and improving future outcomes.

This guide can help you learn more about the guidance of The Lovers when it appears in a tarot card reading:

The Meaning of The Lovers

The Lovers, the sixth Major Arcana card that offers “greater” life secrets, usually appears in a draw to provide a message about love or relationships. The meaning of The Lovers depends on many factors, including other cards in a draw, if applicable, a knowledge seeker’s current circumstances and the style of artwork. Although the card’s artwork can vary drastically depending on the deck, the following two depictions break down the most common sources of modern interpretations:

1630 Original Artwork

The Lovers originally appeared in allegorical card games. It features the Latin “VI” or the number six at the top and “LAMOUREUX” or “The Lover” at the bottom. A man and woman in formal clothes stand before a cleric, noble or third love interest with an angel poised to fire an arrow at them from overhead. The first impression of the card implies that a couple are receiving a blessing or taking their marriage vows before man and God. The singular use of “Lover” though can imply that the two people are struggling with a decision to partner with a third lover or a disagreement about adultery and waiting for an answer from the divine.

1909 Rider–Waite Artwork

A woman and man, Eve and Adam from the Christian Bible, stand apart and naked in front of two trees. Beneath them is the title “THE LOVERS.” The scene is likely from before The Fall. Eve stands before the Tree of Life, which is presented as an apple tree with a serpent curled around the trunk. Adam stands before a tree with twelve burning leaves. Behind them is a stunning landscape of greenery and a mountain peak in the distance. Above the mountain are swirls of air and a massive yellow sun with bright rays shining down on the scene and the number VI. An angel with wings and arms outstretched, Raphael, looks down upon them. Eve looks toward the angel and spiritual concerns. Adam looks to Eve with burning desire and concerns of the flesh. Their nudity implies innocence and openness. Raphael’s presence implies that the celestial sphere offers couples and their relationships many blessings and protections. Since Raphael’s name means “God heals,” the angel can also serve as a warning of the need for healing in a relationship. The swirling air and tree flames can also suggest deeper astrological zodiac interpretations based on the Gemini air sign.

The most common refined interpretations come from the upright or reversed positioning of the card when drawn from a deck.

In the upright position, The Lovers can mean:

  • Attraction or desire
  • Balance or harmony
  • Blessings or luck
  • Good choices
  • Love in many forms
  • Overcoming relationship problems
  • Positive or supportive relationships
  • Romance and sexual connections
  • Shared values and alignment of values
  • Union and unity

In the reversed position, The Lovers can mean:

  • Bad choices
  • Coldness or detachment
  • Conflict with others or within
  • Disconnection, disharmony or imbalance
  • Failure at love
  • Frustration in relationships
  • Impulsive decisions or indecision
  • Irresponsible behavior
  • Lack of accountability
  • Poorly or misaligned values
  • Romance or sex causing trouble
  • Need for self-love or a state of selfishness
  • Too many love interests
  • Trust problems
  • Disunion

Deeper Understanding: The Upright Position

If you draw The Lovers upright, it’s time to take a fresh look at your choices and relationships. The upright card often implies that the knowledge seeker already has one or more existing deep, balanced, beautiful, committed, fulfilling, meaningful and respectful relationships with lovers, family members, friends, classmates or coworkers. The card reminds you that the only way you can maintain such relationships or create new ones is by making yourself emotionally open and speaking and acting with authenticity, honesty, trust and respect. You need to love and understand yourself, seek harmony within and decide and show what you will and won’t tolerate in relationships.

It also speaks to how easily a person can lose their identity or individuality if they don’t have a solid foundational understanding of their likes, dislikes, needs, desires and beliefs or recognize the dangers of selfishness or materialism. If you’re dealing with an event that has caused you to question your values, the upright card demands that you stay true to yourself. It also asks you to consider more than one side of an issue and how you can unify opposing beliefs, personalities and other areas to help love and relationships flourish.

Romance Meanings – Upright

The upright The Lovers in a draw might imply that it’s time to rejoice. If you’re already in a committed relationship, you can expect heightened romance and a deeper connection soon. It can also imply that you’re currently in a dating relationship or about to enter one in which you can connect with someone who will turn out to be a love that lasts a lifetime. It might start out as a surprising sexual attraction that then leads to a deeper relationship. It’s important to note that if the deck features “skeleton” or “skulls” artwork with two skeletons holding one another or kissing with roses upon their heads, held in their hands or framing them, you can expect a love that lasts even after death.

Career Meanings – Upright

The Lovers can imply the arrival of good luck and success at work, such as sudden praise or a financial windfall. You might need to make a big decision. It can even imply a future successful business partnership or a romance with a coworker. It reminds you that you need to go into any job-related relationship with your eyes wide open and balance between feelings and a practical perspective. You need to evaluate the potential risks when making business-related decisions, especially any that might overlap with your personal life.

Financial Meanings – Upright

The upright position of The Lovers hints that you’re about to find yourself faced with a big decision related to money and finances. You might have to check impulsive behavior or choose between an immediate, short-term desire and long-term financial goals. Whatever choice you make, The Lovers warns that it might impact you for a long time.

Health Meaning – Upright

If you’re currently experiencing an illness, The Lovers teaches you to find a balance between your feelings and any information you receive to make an appropriate decision about treatment. It also tells you to reach out to others for support, as people who have strong social and medical support systems fare better with illnesses and treatments than those who attempt to handle their healthcare alone.

In these and other ways, The Lovers upright reminds you to appreciate the amazing connections in your life and never stop working to keep them balanced and healthy. These relationships don’t happen often. You need to make a serious effort to hold on to these rare connections.

Deeper Understanding: The Reversed Position

If you draw The Lovers reversed, you’re likely experiencing relationship or self-love problems. You might no longer share values with someone, suffer with communication issues, fear commitment or think that a relationship is failing because of a lack of effort or love.

Relationships change over time. The Lovers points out that joint and individual decisions can block connections and strain or even end relationships. Some relationships end simply as a natural result of people growing in different directions as individuals. You might need to wait for another person to understand their inner self better or change their life before you can continue a relationship with them. You need to also recognize and respect that some people leave never to return.

The Lovers reversed teaches you that self-love is harmful to yourself and others if you act selfishly. You need to accept and love without forcing your beliefs or restrictions upon others, and people in your life must do the same. If someone recently ended a relationship with you, then you need to go through a period of self-reflection. If you’ve made bad choices or acted impulsively or selfishly, The Lovers asks you to revisit your decisions and actions, change your behaviors and work toward preventing the same things from happening again.

Romance Meanings – Reversed

The reversed card warns that you might have too many potential love interests because of your dating or sexual habits. You need to consider what you really want out of life partnership-wise and then pursue it. It also warns you that you’re at risk of losing love and connections because of your current actions and behaviors or a cold, hardened heart. If you draw it during or after a horrible breakup or abusive relationship, you must remember that a better life is possible. You can find one or more people who love unconditionally without causing harm. It’s time to let go of fear, guilt, pain and suffering, and move on.

Career Meanings – Reversed

A reversal of The Lovers can also indicate harmful relationships at work that can damage your career, finances or reputation. Another interpretation is that you’ve focused so much on the material world, such as gaining prestige or making money, that you no longer have a spiritual balance within yourself or with the universe.

Financial Meanings – Reversed

The Lovers reversal can warn that you’re currently mishandling your money and finances. If you’re making impulsive or risky purchases or financial decisions, The Lovers emphasizes the need for a more careful, conservative and responsible approach to money. Seek budgeting options and consider connecting with a financial advisor.

Health Meaning – Reversed

Whether you’re dealing with illness or feeling okay, the card reveals that you’re probably not in a healthy relationship with your own physical form or listening to your body. You need to pay closer attention to aches and pains, recognize the nutrient, exercise and other related needs of your mind and body and improve your overall health.

The Lovers Summary

The Lovers reveals that you’re likely to find one or more deep emotional, physical and spiritual connections during your lifetime. It asks you to appreciate these connections along with self-love. It teaches you the value of letting go when a relationship naturally ends or to protect yourself from harm. It reminds you that a poor relationship with yourself or others can cause extensive damage. It warns you that you must work hard to understand and end disharmony so that your life and the lives of those you love and respect improve and grow in positive ways.