Key or ATU 6, The Lovers is attributed to Gemini in the suit of Air in the Tarot of the Old Path and Gemini in Mercury, in the Thoth Deck Tarot.
The Scene is all benevolence in the Tarot of the Old Path even the spirit shinning down from the Sun, is a benevolent one with the sign of Akasha (Higher Astral Realms or Ether that surrounds us all) on it's breast. There is a Tree of Life symbol on this card that bears seven fruits. The Seven Auric Spheres of Akashic energy (The Human Aura) that surrounds us comes to mind, as the dove of the soul is flying out of that Tree.
The Loving couple, together hold a white lily, which means innocence in the language of flowers. A love garland of flowers is in her hair, and the forget-me-nots are a symbol of true love. Orange blooms imply purity and the gathered Blue Bells suggest constancy. On The Tarot of the Old Path, these lovers share an uncomplicated sexual love, as it is innocent and unconditional.
The Thoth Qabalistic Tarot Atu 6, is more complex in it's Arcane imagery. Each of these symbols in itself double, forming a divergent series of repeated marriages (As in the Art Card key 14) and some form of Hermaphroditism. Crowley saw much more than Human love in this card. Here, Gemini -the Twins- is ruled by Mercury, The corresponding Hebrew letter is Zain, meaning Sword, thus an arch of Swords is shown beneath which the Royal wedding takes place. In the intellectual world, the Sword represents analysis or division.
Since it is the first Thoth Tarot card where more than one figure is presented, it is usually considered the Story of Creation, of which the Tarot of the Old Path card seems to carry through. However, Crowley thought that this ATU 6 should be called the Brothers, after the legend of Cain and Able (and Gemini) I would recommend that one reads the Book of Thoth, by Crowley, in order to understand his view point.
Therefore, on the Thoth Tarot card are depicted Cain and Able, Cain Dark and with the Hammer of Thor in his right hand which he used to slay his brother Able, and his left hand is held open as a sign of innocence. At Cain's right hand side, is his Mother Eve, in the new card the serpent is shown as the Orphic Egg entwined with serpent, while she wears royal regalia.
The image of Adam-The King is at the right side of the child Able.The King represents the Sun and the Woman is the Moon, and the Divine Fire above the Abyss is shown as cupid; implying that this card is not only more than Human love but the love of the dualities of equal and opposite Twins in a single person, Anima and Animus, willfully united in pursuit of Divine Love. Thus this is a marriage of the inner sun-Animus and inner moon Anima, or the light and dark side of each of us. Thus the Brothers is well described as it points toward a deeper inner secret Which is that our Soul's are Hermaphrodites, and when wishing to be more masculine active, manifest a Male Persona and if more receptive, manifest a Female Persona. This is so energy can flow from Tiphareth to Malkuth; Energy needs poles to flow from and to. The female electron is of a negative charge and the male electron is of a positive charge.
Here also, we may compare the Sun as self-conscious and the Moon as unconscious, both being aspects of the One Life breath (Spirit), each working through half of the body. When these two aspects are married by right perspectives, and discrimination, there are no blockages to the flow of an outpouring of cosmic vital energy and/or Life Force, aiding in the application of magic.
No matter the interpretation differences of these cards, both have the same esoteric meaning which is that of the union of manifest opposites under the Divine Love of the Supernal (Upper Triangle of the Tree of Life) through Binah.
Crowley's card stress the union of the "alchemical marriage" of the component parts of the seeker, a very active process for the self control and will (Mercury) directs this union of opposites and is not passive as some cards would suggest. Here the Ego is subordinated to the Divine Will or One Principle, thus requiring an annihilation (Cain slaying Able) followed by a synthesis or reintegration in a new way. Thus the Lovers card is also called the Disposing Intelligence by Paul Foster Case.
What many of us fail to see, is that when One Personality joins with Another Personality, they annihilate each other and form as a New Personality of One expression instead of 2 separates. Just as if you combined the color blue with the color red, you annihilate both blue and red individuals, and get Purple as the new One.
Hence, the Divine Marriage within the individual combines the Conscious (male) and the Unconscious (female) forming a new state of One Rational thinking Imagination, where intuition and rational thinking become one and the same, so that neither is conscious or unconscious, but a Psyche that is no longer separated by language and image. A Horus, who is the combination of Isis and Osiris.
IN BOTH DECKS: WHEN THE KEY/ATU 6- THE LOVERS IS THROWN DURING A DIVINATION:
The Thoth Deck and Tarot of the Old Path both have reverse meanings, In the Tarot of the Old Path the card must be upside down in the spread; in the Thoth Deck the accompanying cards supply the "ill-defined" or reverse.
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