Tarot of Prague Café Club - VI The Lovers

Bean Feasa

When I took this card out to study, it was the facial expressions of the Lovers that struck me most strongly. There's a softness, a tenderness and yet a quirkiness, that really makes them come alive - I think I've only seen this kind of facial expression in the Marseille-style tarots. There's a very discernible intimacy about the two figures. Adam seems to be whispering something in Eve's ear. Maybe he's saying 'don't worry, we'll manage; we have each other after all' The world they're walking in, walking out of, I suppose, looks deep and mysterious. There are hints of foliage on the trees and in their hands, and a stag but otherwise there's darkness behind them; it looks like a primeval, pagan world. I love the style the Lovers are drawn in - a soft rough shading that looks like stone-rubbing - is that what 'sgraffito' is, I wonder. I also like that their body shapes are so natural - no supermodels here, and that they seem so comfortable in their skin.
I find it a bit hard to square the angel with this scene. The colours are a very strong contrast with the world of the lovers. She doesn't look at all fearsome, if she's the angel that expelled Adam and Eve from the garden. She holds a banner with the legend 'Nothing better here below' 'a reminder perhaps', the book says 'that although they have lost one paradise they still have love, the best thing that earth can offer.' But in the context, I'm not sure I buy the sentiment, and I do find the words a bit distracting.


Oh interesting. Well, the angel is supposed to be more gentle than dreadful. I suppose my sympathy for Adam and Eve is showing. Perhaps it doesn't altogether work? I honestly can't say I'm sure, but I did want this quote included.

The "nothing better here below" is taken from the "Chemical Wedding" - there are a lot of references to alchemy in the deck (and oddly they have not yet been picked up on - though in one way that may be appropriate). So, yes, it's sentimental - but in the context of the original quote I hope it becomes a little more edgy and ambiguous.

I LOVE this sgraffito too. "Sgraffito" is literally scratched into plaster, so yes, it has this kind of rubbed look. If you look at the King of Wands, you will see the whole house that The Lovers is taken from. What I like about sgraffito (among other things) is that it tends to evolve with time. As it deteriorates and is restored, the pictures alter and shift. So you get his very soft look, and also a feeling of evolution of the picture. By the way, I have to say that we gently changed the expressions. In the original (probably because of this alteration over time) they looked a little glum. It didn't feel right, and we changed things just very slightly. I like to think it just could be MORE faithful to the 1600 original now, as in fact all the images on this house have a certain softness of expression about them.

Bean Feasa

I think it's just a personal thing with me Karen, I'm pretty averse to words on cards in general, they sort of throw me into a different mode. It's funny 'cos in other situations I love words, love reading, writing, generally rambling on (as is evident!!:))

I must have a think about the alchemy thing, could be quite fascinating.

Oh and thanks for the info on sgraffito - the rubbed look definitely gives a timeless quality. That's interesting that you and Alex changed the facial expressions - you certainly did a great job!


This is the first time that I have had a really good look at this card. I think it is, in fact, depicted very cleverly. Adam and Eve were told not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge but they disobeyed God. That wasn't an easy decision for them to make. They had a choice. This card is often about choices, whether to take the safe, easy route or the more exciting, risky route. Always a dilemna! I like the way that the choice 'angle' is depicted. It underlies the meaning of the card. Here it seems that Adam and Eve have done the deed and are now alone, with only themselves and the stag for company. Darkness follows them. The stag is a symbol of faithfulness. Who are the lovers faithful to? To each other - yes, but to God - no. They betrayed him and his trust.

The Lovers card often depicts a union of opposites. Opposites shown in the card - Male/female, heaven/earth, light/dark, even flora and fauna.

The Angel is described as art deco egyptian but she reminds me of a North American Indian Goddess that I have seen somewhere and I just can't remember her name but she was a goddess of fertility. Her wings are rainbow coloured and rainbows are the bridge between the earthly and the divine. The colours are also the colours of the main chakra's. Not only are earthly relationships and choices shown here but heavenly ones too!

Jane Lyle describes the Lovers as 'Harmony, with underlying tension' which I think is perfect for this card.



It show feeling, which sometimes is missing (I think) in other lovers cards. There is some tenderness between the two lovers. The angels seems to be on their side with the banner.


It has the same feel as the Tarot de Marseille XVIIII-Sun card - a character helping another they love past a difficult moment...and you are not sure who is helping who, such is their trust in each other.

I love the saying :"Nothing better here below".

They are leaving the garden of Eden, because they prized knowledge above obedience. You know that past that great choice they made, all the choices of human life are before them, but they have each other, they will face them.


When the lovers turned their back on paradise, it became a dark memory. However, together they move forward. He holds the forbidden apple at the level of sexuality. The angel reminds us that only the love they share, their unity, is equal to heaven. All else this material world has to offer pales in comparison.


The Lovers - Back to Basics

If you're thinking of coming between these two - fuhgidaboudit!! :) It ain't gonna happen. If you're looking to divide and conquer, you're barking up the wrong tree.

One of the aspects of this card is choice and when it came to a choice between obedience to God or adhering to the wants and the desires of his beloved, Adam chose disobedience to God in deference to his lover. Biblically speaking, Eve saw the apple, that it was something to desire to make one wise, etc., she took a bite and gave it to her husband/lover and he did eat of it, also. He knew it was the "wrong" thing to do, but, alas, he followed his Lover down the road to wherever it would lead. An emotional, earthy, in the blood choice - he really couldn't make any other. He chose bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. It was instinctive. Now, whether or not one believes the Biblical account is neither here nor there really, because the point is that the Lovers will always choose on behalf of each other.

He will take her side and she will take up his cause. Inseparable, united, devoted, bonded, faithful to each other no matter the circumstances. This is a through thick and thin, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health kind of union. The real deal. They are so close, their love so pure, so in sync are they that they don't need words to speak to each other's hearts because their hearts are beating, almost like one. If she is afraid, he senses it without her having to tell him and even if he is away from her, he can sense, in essence, smell her fear. She is able to do the same with him. They calm each other with a touch and they touch each other mentally more often than with the use of words. Their senses have become heightened towards each other (through constant use) because they are each other's focus. There is no power struggle; they each have a place and a job and they know what it is. There is no confusion about this. It is first THEM and then the world around them. They are each other's priorities.

Notice how he looks at her. He loves her in a way that makes her feel cherished and prized above all else. Don't let her gaze fool you. He is her first love and she will protect him fiercely. This is the "first" love; preceding the love of offspring. Theirs is fresh, pure, raw, earthy, sensual, sexual, untouched by rules and regulations, family, piers, or society.

They do not understand such terms as independence, feminism, machismo, equality, or what have you done for ME lately because they live to do for each other. It is simple. They trust each other first and foremost before all others because instinctively (in the most basic way) they know that is the right thing, the prudent thing to do. It would never occur to them to do it any other way.

It's about the deepest love between two people and what people are willing to do; to sacrifice for that love. Sometimes, in choosing a partner one takes on a huge battle from opposing forces that would try in a myriad of ways to destroy what you and your loved one are endeavoring to create. If you are like the Lovers depicted here - you and your love will stand together AGAINST ALL ODDS.

They must connect on all sensory, as well as spiritual levels because to cease to do that would be to seriously damage and handicap their ability to survive.

Love. The lesson of the Lovers is one that we could all stand to go back to school on. There really is nothing better here below - let's not be fooled into thinking that there is. To do so, is to seriously damage and handicap our ability to survive.