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Join Date: 29 Apr 2017
Location: San Diego, USA
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Well, that's fair. I guess that I don't recall not seeing the figure referred to as Raphael. I know that Biddy's site cites him as Raphael and I recall seeing it in an older book from the library that I *think* was case. I think there's another library book with a big purple cover that also claims it to be Raphael. As the patron of matchmakers (and considering that some older versions of the card have a matchmaker on it) it seems that, if it's an angel, then Raphael would be the immediate candidate.

As far as it not being an angel at all, I think that's a bridge too far for me. We're in a setting that's clearly evocative of the Garden of Eden and a figure that's on point with classical depictions of the Angels is standing over it. If someone wants to argue that Waite didn't necessarily think of it as an angel, it seems, prima facie, that Pixie did.

This isn't to mention the correlation between the traditional cupid imagery and Christian angels. In Renaissance art the figure of Cupid is often intermingled with baby angels ("putti," often mislabeled as cherubim). Case in point, Parmigianino's 1530s painting Cupid Making His Arch (aka Cupid Making His Bow) in which Cupid is seen in the company of putti. Obviously this isn't directly applicable to what Waite may or may not have thought but it shows that at the time of tarot's development that visual culture connected the figure of cupid with the Christian Angelology and that, therefore, reading an angelic presence into The Lovers (even in TdM, etc.) shouldn't be seen as particularly heretical.

Thank you for your input. This is an interesting discussion.
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