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DaisyDragonfly  DaisyDragonfly is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 24 May 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 2,101
DaisyDragonfly 
Citizen

I posted this in the 78 Weeks Study thread; I'm posting it here to add to discussion of this particular deck/card.

I'm somebody who reads the journey through the Major Arcana as relating to the Fool's Journey - I see a clear path to self-individuation in their stories. As a result, when I thought about the Lovers, I also thought about the card it followed: Hierophant, the card of tradition and taught/learned behaviour.

The Lovers, to me, represents the moment when you realise you don't have to do things the way you've been taught. It's when you realise that people other than your parents and your elders will help define your self-identity... it's that moment of realise that another person can be important to you. There's choice involved, but it's a choice as to who you will be as a mature and individuated adult: will you continue to honor the path shown to you by your parents and teachers? Or will you strike your own way? Or is there, in fact, a third way of balance and compromise? It's also, therefore, a card of learning to integrate opposition: as you get older, existing ideas are threatened by new experiences, some of them in direct conflict to the things your parents taught you. What, then, do you do?

As ever, this card gave me a story. Here it is:

The Lovers

He left his father's house. It was early - the Sun had just risen - but he needed to escape. Too stifling, it was, this Beltane morning. It was the same, every year and, when he was younger, he'd enjoyed the traditions, the timeless rituals. Breakfast, then to the village with the other men, finding wood for the Mayfires. There'd been the camaraderie, the ribald joking: it had been fine to be part of a tradition that stretched back through countless generations. He'd looked forward to it.

This year he felt differently. The traditions looked like something somebody else should be doing. He was on edge, needed space, needed to breathe...hence, this walk. He would go to the stream and drink its cool waters; on the way back he could collect wood for the fires. He'd still play his part.

He just wanted to do it his own way, that was all. He might get into trouble, but it'd be worth it: it was worth making a choice on his own terms. After all, wasn't he now a grown man?

*****

He saw her before she saw him; rising from the stream, the water cascaded over her shoulders and down her back, seemingly painting her with pearls. She gleamed with the beauty of this blushing, morning Sun. Still new, it was, this season: its warmth was shy.

So was he; despite her beauty, her freshness, he hesitated. Slender limbs, arched over her head, made her appear fragile as a leaping fawn. Next to her, he felt clumsy, awkward; he cursed his hands, calloused and tanned from a spring spent in the fields. He felt it, too, at home: always knocking into things, tripping over chairs and stools and bowls of eggs... it would be soon time for a home of his own, his mother scolded. And he saw the impatience in her eyes and felt small and confused.

If his parents felt this way, how could anybody else feel any different? She was graceful and beautiful and pale and gentle; she was everything he wasn't. She was a goddess, surely: had any woman ever been this beautiful? How could he ever hope to speak to such a creature?

And then she turned and she saw him.

He opened his mouth to apologize and, without thinking, stepped forward.

She didn't move; she just looked at him.

He looked back.

He stepped forward again.

Reflected in her eyes was not an annoying overgrown boy who spilled the milk, or ate all the bread. Reflected in her eyes was a stranger; reflected in her eyes was a man, shoulders broadened from his work in the fields, hands capable of chopping wood, of teasing growth from a field of freshly sown seeds, of stroking life into a newborn lamb.

Reflected in her eyes... this creature, this young god... it was him.

He stepped forward again and again, until he reached the stream. He'd made his choice.

Above them, the Hawthorne tree swayed in the Beltane breeze. Blossoms rained down around them.

It was a beginning.
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