Single-card impressions are useful to solidify your intuitive take on a card’s symbolism. Lots of different aspects to your impressions; it’s a good idea not to restrict yourself to just an intellectual or historical analysis or just to a vague emotional take, either. I like to combine all aspects to form a full impression. Some cards in some decks have what seems to be emotionally challenging symbolism, where it would be easy to jump to “biased” conclusions that might not serve a querent in a reading. The Lovers is a fun card to explore because it has some counterintuitive meanings. I’m going to use some cool questions that the original Tarot course I took asked to cover all the aspects.
1. What story do you see in the picture?
Shades of Genesis and Sumerian myth (that’s where the story came from)! Adam and Eve hanging out in the Garden with a really cool looking angel (who seems to reappear in the Judgment card). Adam’s looking at Eve, and Eve is looking up at the angel. Looks like this is the point at which Eve is presented to Adam as his partner after God created her. He’s thinking about the choice he’s making to accept her. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil (with serpent in waiting) stands behind Eve (filled with fruit—reminds me of the Empress/Feminine). Since they are still nude, I assume she has yet to be tempted. Possibly the tree of life behind Adam; it has what looks like flames instead of leaves issuing from the branches (reminds me of the Emperor/Masculine). The angel and the sun seem to be blessing them. A mountain looms between them but is in the background—they have a clear path to join each other. Adam seems to have made his choice by looking at Eve, but Eve seems to be a bit ambivalent. I think Adam will approach Eve, but its hard to tell what Eve’s choice will be.
2. What emotions do you feel?
Unsureness, the tension that goes with making an important choice. But also feeling blessed by the Divine. Don’t really get the sense of love and attraction that might be hinted at by the card’s name, actually. Maybe that’s the Two of Cups’s territory.
3. How do the details in the picture reinforce those ideas?
The fact that the two lovers remain apart at the moment, and so I feel that tension between present and future. And the angel’s open hands seem to be in blessing.
4. What is the overall mood?
Considering, waiting, seeking guidance, looking things over before deciding.
5. What do I think this card might mean?
It’s time to choose. Take a look at what your intuition or instincts tell you, but also take a good look at your situation and make sure everything feels right. This is an important choice for your path in life, whether it’s choosing a mate or a career, spiritual, or creative path. The cards around this one will likely give some clues as to the context for the choice.