How-to post from the Modern Oracle / Tarotbytes archives (2015 reprise of an older post)
Q: What does the combination of the Lovers Card and the Ace of Cups card mean in a tarot reading when part of the question is about romance?
A: It depends.
This where Tarot reading gets a little complicated…this is exactly why professionals charge for their services. It takes some time and effort to get your head around this kind of thing. Good for you for getting help to understand instead of just dismissing it all. Well done! You question is a perfect example of why there is more to reading Tarot cards than just memorizing card meanings.
Even if you are only dealing with a one card meditation, you have to consider the context. Full layouts raise even more questions. What layout are you using? What position was the card in within that layout? What meaning does the position have? What type of message was being given for the particular card? Advice? Caution? Validation? Acknowledgement? Something else?
Now raise all of that to the power of 2 cards. Or to the power of however many cards are in the layout. You have to consider all that stuff for each card, plus how each card relates to all the other cards, the question being asked, and the patterns within the layout as a whole. The more cards, the more exponentially complicated the reading becomes. Which in turn is why I don’t like enormous layouts. In my experience, after 7 cards or so, a reading gets real gnarly, real fast. It seems there is a crossover point, a critical mass where the reading becomes more confusing than clarifying. That’s also why I use single card daily meditation readings to teach beginber Tarot reading in my e-book PeaceTarot . That’s the best place to start when you are learning.
Now take all of that and multiply it again by magnitudes of ethical considerations. Romance readings are a special kind of difficult because of the other person involved. Unless you have their significant other’s direct permission read about them, then the reading has to focus only on the person getting the reading. If you are reading for yourself, then you must respect the other person’s privacy and dignity. The key is to look for advice about how YOU can do whatever is best for the relationship.
Putting the special relationship ethics aside, we still haven’t looked at understanding these two cards.
For example if the Ace of Cups represents the lessons from the past, you might get a different overall message than if the Lovers was in that position. For example, if we interpret the Ace as “inner light” (as Diane Morgan does) and that is a lesson from the past, then the overall meaning might be to use your inner wisdom to help guide the relationship. It could be a hint to ket the heart rule the head, and make emotions a prime consideration.
Now switch things around. Lovers symbolizes your deepest desires. If the lessons from the past is to look at desires and what you’ve learned from them…the message may be more like what are your desires are doing to your spiritual development? Are your desires feeding your inner light or hampering it?
The difference between the two messages is a bit subtle, but it could mean the difference between giving a good reading, and giving a really masterful one.
So the real answer to your question is that I can’t tell the meaning without knowing the context in which the two cards appeared.
If you were reading for yourself, jot down your questions, all of cards and their layout positions, then we can look at the layout together and figure it all out in a private Tarot how-to-read lesson instead of the typical private session if you like.
Hope this helps a little. Let me know if you want to set up that lesson.