Saturday 6 June 2015

Gemini in the Druidcraft Major Arcana: The Lovers

Today let’s look at the tarot card from the Major Arcana that’s traditionally (well, in the tradition I follow!) associated with Gemini - The Lovers.  With Gemini symbolized by the twins, Castor and Pollux, this association isn’t perhaps that surprising – twins, duality, a couple.

Although many people connect The Lovers to romantic love – the sign of a new relationship, perhaps – I see this card being wider-ranging.  Following on from cards that can represent Mother (Empress), Father (Emperor), and Education (Hierophant), the Lovers, in these terms, could suggest the teenage years, when we start to make our own choices – often beginning with what, or who, we are attracted to.  So yes, it can be about love and affairs of the heart, but it’s more about reminding us that we always have a choice.

The Lovers - Druidcraft (detail)
The Gemini glyph symbolizes the idea of duality and opposites that we all contain – masculine and feminine, yin and yang, light and dark, however you choose (!) to name them.  Here we see the opposites ready to be united, choosing to be united, choosing to make that connection.  The transformation (remember, Gemini is a mutable sign) is represented by the winged orphic egg and the serpent coiled around it, carved into the rock beneath them. Through this, we become whole, with love becoming the path to wisdom (see Rachel Pollack’s wonderful The Kabbalah Tree for more on the symbolism). 

These lovers have chosen to unite, and have also chosen to rest together afterwards, luxuriating in that choice.  Some decks include an angel, but here we have a hind in the background, watching them. The hind, in the Druid Animal Oracle, symbolizes subtlety, grace, and the feminine, and represents the call to the heart of things, beyond the material level. That too implies making a choice, to let go of the superficial and to be willing to go deeper and explore other options.  The ivy wrapped around the man’s head represents death and rebirth, a reminder that when we make choices, we often have to let go of something else. Ivy berries are poisonous, causing intoxication – and what greater intoxication is there than having the ability to choose, regardless of whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual in nature.
Druidcraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections. 1988
The Druid Animal Oracle created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections. 1996
Pollack, Rachel. The Kabbalah Tree, Llewellyn Publications US, 2004. 

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