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Legend: The Arthurian Tarot - The Lovers

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Legend: The Arthurian Tarot - The Lovers


This was the first card I ever drew from my Legends deck, and holds for me, not only memories, but values which lie beyond gratification in it’s many guises. Although I am not deluded into thinking I look anything like the Lyones depicted, I hope to carry in my spirit her balance, her wisdom of choice, and the passion to follow my heart. She is the reminder that there is life outside of my own desires to be considered when making choices and the care that must be taken not to tip the balance for those around me.

However, there are 2 people in this card, of equal importance – Gareth & Lyones. The story is one of instant attraction. Linet, Lyones’s sister interfered, although I’m sure she felt it was for their own protection – considering their standing in the community, and with the Christian teachings taking a hold, perhaps Linet thought it wiser for them to marry before consummating their love for each other. In doing so though, Linet enforces her beliefs on the two Lovers – a painful experience for both.

The story surrounding our Lovers has a happy ending though, Gareth and Lyones are eventually married, and are able to spend their time together without the stress of worrying what others might think or say.
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This lovers card just clicks with me. Most lovers cards i think oh gawd, especially as it rarely comes up for me, but I love this tale.
One thing that did come to mind reading the tale, was that Linet never told them their desires were sinful or un-natural, which could have been the view of Medieval Christianity and the story retold by monks etc.
Its a card to say you have choices, you can follow your dreams and desires but be patient and a clear and acceptable way will come for you, though being a teen I know how impatient I am, and how love and desire likes to take its damn time! lol

Sezo
x
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I think this is the card that made me want this deck in the first place.

I like the expressions of Gareth and Lyones, seriousness and resolve, not a silly little fancy or fantasy, but going into this decision of free will and no illusions. They walk together, arm in arm, yet each stands as an individual, they are close, but not dependant or leaning on each other for support. Their eyes are focused on where they will go together in unison, they are aware that this moment comes with no guarantees for "happily ever after" endings, but are confident enough to take that risk.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyones
This was the first card I ever drew from my Legends deck, and holds for me, not only memories, but values which lie beyond gratification in it’s many guises. Although I am not deluded into thinking I look anything like the Lyones depicted, I hope to carry in my spirit her balance, her wisdom of choice, and the passion to follow my heart. She is the reminder that there is life outside of my own desires to be considered when making choices and the care that must be taken not to tip the balance for those around me..
Lyones, I remember you mentioning elsewhere that this was your card, but I didn't link this up with your online name (duh!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyones
However, there are 2 people in this card, of equal importance – Gareth & Lyones. The story is one of instant attraction. Linet, Lyones’s sister interfered, although I’m sure she felt it was for their own protection – considering their standing in the community, and with the Christian teachings taking a hold, perhaps Linet thought it wiser for them to marry before consummating their love for each other. In doing so though, Linet enforces her beliefs on the two Lovers – a painful experience for both.
This is indeed a deep Lovers card, especially in the context of the story in A Keeper of Wands. This card isn't simply a matter of making a choice and living happily ever after - or not, if you make the wrong choice. In this story we see that even with the right choice the lovers are going to endure pain and separation.

To me, Linet isn't so much a self-righteous chaperone, but a symbol of the dance of love, the wrestling between the yearning for union and the need for independence. This is that vital struggle which all successful lovers must continually go through, so that love is neither stagnating nor shallow, neither betraying either's person's deepest needs, nor merely a convenient consumer product.

For transformational love to succeed, there must be that tension between the love potion which attracts and the naked sword which separates. The naked sword in this story is aptly embodied in Linet's knight. In contemporary western culture there is perhaps too little emphasis on the power of the naked sword, love seems so easy and free. But the sword of separation has a way of deepening love, of bringing it to the depth of the Self, so that love's value is never trivialized nor taken for granted.

The Lovers card is never comfortable for me, for I know that it brings heavy costs, just as it promises rich rewards. In my meditation on the Connolly Lovers this was by no means an easy card, not a walk in the park - or the Garden of Eden. It demanded tough choices, a sacrifice of my lover and of myself, even to our mutual deaths. This is what soul-to-soul love demands, the willingness to lay down our egos for the sake of the relationship, to accept the painful death and wonderful transformation that is rooted in erotic love.

When the Lovers emerge in rebirth, each one prizes the other for that one's uniqueness, each one needs the special gift that the other manifests. Each lover has that missing part that fits into the other soul's wound, as Gareth realized when he suffered in separation. But it is each lover's life-duty to continue to grow and blossom, as symbiots but not as parasites, as twin but separate souls.
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Pronunciation of Lyones


As many avid readers do, I grew up knowing many more words by sight than I had ever heard pronounced. In some cases a couple of decades went by until I heard the word out loud, and then sometimes it took a while to realize that it was the same as the one I had read. This seemed a silly state of affairs. In later years I have become less tolerant of having words floating around in my head which I have never heard spoken, so now I try to track down their pronunciations whenever possible.

So how does one pronounce "Lyones" also written as "Lyonesse"? Well, there does not seem to be any agreement on this one, so there are three possible pronunciations, as follows:

1) LIE-on-ess - the Cornish pronunciation, probably closest to the Celtic

2) LEE-on-ess - the most popular pronunciation, influenced by the French

3) LAY-on-ess - the name of the French town

These three forms are debated here:
http://tthaforumarchives.info/archives/2003/H03069.html

and mentioned here:
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/ent/A0830754.html

Since Legend is drawing on the Celtic root of the Arthurian stories, "LIE-on-ess" may be preferable. In any event, any of these is a lot closer to each other than the way I was thinking of it, which was simply "LIE-ons".

David
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Thanks for the pronounciations...Lyones and I had just been having a discussion a few days ago about how the English language had almost been lost by the conquering invasions by the Angloaise and Normonds, plus all the intermarriages and connections with the French. It doesn't quite go with this, but in a way it does. So much knowledge was lost with the arrival of Christianity and the purges.I guess the Serpent was never truly driven from Briton, but I just remembered St. George the Dragon slayer and who be the Dragon but those Druidic Celts? The general geist of things was that there was no dictionary, until when? Not before the printing press, I'm sure. It seemed like everyone had their own formula for spelling as well as pronounciation, so I'm sure most of the "real" names were bastardized as badly by the priest and scribes who recorded them as badly as most of the immigration officials recorded the names of all who went through Ellis Island. Spelling phoenetically at best and just making up something at worst.

I figured that the real pronounciation would be Lea-on-ess, since it seemed that y was used for what I always thought of the i (eye) sound. That her name was a feminine form of lion, but it's really the feminine form of the city/state Lyons, is it not? or related in some way...as a totally uneducated guess.
Since I grew up in western Nebraska, I used to say "Warshington", "warshcloth"...but that's the way everyone from the midwest that I knew pronounced it. (no idea why, but I pronounce it correctly now) So I've wondered how Lyones should sound like...I automatically think Lee-owns and that wasn't even on the list. LOL

But this was what grabbed my attention and wanted to comment on;
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophie-david
When the Lovers emerge in rebirth, each one prizes the other for that one's uniqueness, each one needs the special gift that the other manifests. Each lover has that missing part that fits into the other soul's wound, as Gareth realized when he suffered in separation. But it is each lover's life-duty to continue to grow and blossom, as symbiots but not as parasites, as twin but separate souls.
This is what drives us, to seek that other self, to find that completeness and why when you find it again, after that sacrifice, after that separation to become almost obsessive about not losing it again...and maybe why it is such a strong, uneasy card for all it's balance. It isn't so much that you have the balance as much as the creation of it, finding it mentally more so than from the desire to attain it or claim it as your own.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sophie-David
So how does one pronounce "Lyones" also written as "Lyonesse"? Well, there does not seem to be any agreement on this one ...
The urls are most informative, but so that I don't have an identity crisis, I think I shall continue to pronounce it Leon-ess (with the 'ee' sound)

I read somewhere that the name "Linet" means "ill speech" - and think of her as the symbol for the wagging tongues that generally accompany a new relationship or even (sometimes) friendship, and also the negativity and questioning of what others may feel for each other or what we may feel for someone else ... however, she is an 'outside' force to be reckoned with, something that could drive two people closer in an attempt to unify and stand against opposition through agreement or by having one goal.
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Accent on Penultimate


I have been pronouncing it lee-OWN-ays. What I know of Celtic pronunciation is that most words have the accent on the penultimate (next-to-last) syllable -- like Taliesin (tal-ee-ES-in) and Cerridwen (kair-WID-wen). This is particularly true of Welsh and Cornish. I learned some of these pronunciations years ago from a Celtic scholar, when I was doing storytelling and wanted to get the names right. I can't even tell you now what my pronunciation of Taliesin had been. But this simple rule made a lot of sense of words that just otherwise seemed unwieldy. Of course there are exceptions (Gwynyfar.) But I like the sound of lee-OWN-ays. So for me that is a sweet sound.

The discussions quoted by Sophie-David are probably referring to pronunciations that owe a lot to the French, since Cornish is a language that was lost and is just being revived.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophie-David
This is indeed a deep Lovers card, This card isn't simply a matter of making a choice and living happily ever after - or not, if you make the wrong choice. In this story we see that even with the right choice the lovers are going to endure pain and separation.
Yes, this is not a card of happily-ever-after. It is about real love, which is just the beginning of a journey, not its fulfillment.

Quote:
To me, Linet isn't so much a self-righteous chaperone, but a symbol of the dance of love, the wrestling between the yearning for union and the need for independence. This is that vital struggle which all successful lovers must continually go through, so that love is neither stagnating nor shallow, neither betraying either's person's deepest needs, nor merely a convenient consumer product.
I find it interesting that the knight is sent to Gareth, and it is Gareth who takes the wound. I think that is an accurate image for the male ego finds it much harder to merge, I think, than does the female.


Quote:
For transformational love to succeed, there must be that tension between the love potion which attracts and the naked sword which separates. The naked sword in this story is aptly embodied in Linet's knight. In contemporary western culture there is perhaps too little emphasis on the power of the naked sword, love seems so easy and free. But the sword of separation has a way of deepening love, of bringing it to the depth of the Self, so that love's value is never trivialized nor taken for granted.
I'm not sure I agree about western culture not taking the sword seriously. I think it is almost too prevalent, so that separating is all too easy. It's the staying together that seems difficult.

Quote:
The Lovers card is never comfortable for me, for I know that it brings heavy costs, just as it promises rich rewards....

When the Lovers emerge in rebirth, each one prizes the other for that one's uniqueness, each one needs the special gift that the other manifests. Each lover has that missing part that fits into the other soul's wound, as Gareth realized when he suffered in separation. But it is each lover's life-duty to continue to grow and blossom, as symbiots but not as parasites, as twin but separate souls.
Sophie-David,

This is such a beautiful mediation on the Lovers card. This card has been important to me as it is my Soul card. Every Lovers year I have had has meant choices, sacrifices, learning new ways of loving. And yes, that difficult line between merging and autonomy.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMaple
But I like the sound of lee-OWN-ays. So for me that is a sweet sound.

The discussions quoted by Sophie-David are probably referring to pronunciations that owe a lot to the French, since Cornish is a language that was lost and is just being revived.
Hi RedMaple

The discussion seemed to be refering to the local Cornish pronunciation in English of Lyones as LIE-on-ess. This wouldn't necessarily be the same in the Cornish language and from what you suggest, lee-OWN-ays might be closer. It is a "sweet sound", as you say. But I think I will defer to the present common usage in Cornwall. Since we aren't actually talking to each other here, but typing, it won't be confusing if we have several different interpretations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMaple
Yes, this is not a card of happily-ever-after. It is about real love, which is just the beginning of a journey, not its fulfillment.
Oh, yes, how true!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMaple
I find it interesting that the knight is sent to Gareth, and it is Gareth who takes the wound. I think that is an accurate image for the male ego finds it much harder to merge, I think, than does the female.
Yes, ain't that so! (and Sophie nods sagely) I think also of "love's wound", that part of us which is missing and yearns for completion in the other, the one who supplies the missing piece.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMaple
I'm not sure I agree about western culture not taking the sword seriously. I think it is almost too prevalent, so that separating is all too easy. It's the staying together that seems difficult.
Yes, quite true of course. But I wasn't clear with the metaphor - I didn't mean a sword of permanent separation, but was thinking of the image from John Haule's book which is occurs in the legends of Tristram and Isolt, and Siegfried and Brünnhilde (please see "Legend: Ace of Swords, Sword of Strange Hangings" for links).

In this meaning, the lovers place the naked sword between them in bed to preserve their chastity. It is a symbol of their own self-restraint. I think that contemporary couples can make the transformative process of erotic love more difficult in the long run by proceeding to sexual intercourse too quickly, so that the transcendent power of this most sacred and sensual living ritual may be diminished. When sex occurs further along in the process of an intimate relationship, rather than near the beginning, I believe it can achieve a higher and perhaps more lasting significance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMaple
This is such a beautiful mediation on the Lovers card. This card has been important to me as it is my Soul card. Every Lovers year I have had has meant choices, sacrifices, learning new ways of loving. And yes, that difficult line between merging and autonomy.
Thank you RedMaple. It is interesting that for both you and Lyones this is a key card in the Legend deck.

David
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