I have always been struck by the similarity between The Lovers and The Devil card in the traditional RWS deck. You can not look at these two cards without seeing the layout and composition of one reflected in the other.
Then I started noticing other pairs (or triplets or more!) – is this resemblance a coincidence? Is there a lesson to be learned there? I decided to try and connect some of these cards with a short story (my personal interpretation, yours might be very different!) – and just for fun I did it in rhyme (ahum-ahum – forgive my lack of poetic prowess). I will leave you to draw your own conclusions!
The Lovers/The Devil – To me, these cards together speak of a Love turned sour, a relationship gone toxic…“When they fell in Love it was Paradise – their hearts and their bodies a small sacrifice – they gave both freely, as true Lovers will – the Angel spoke blessings from high on the hill. But as sometimes happens they just burned too bright – and soon ‘t was not passion that lit up the night: Jealousy, control, possesiveness, spite – these chains grew heavy, binding them tight. Rather than letting the other go free, they clung to each other so they could not flee. They’re still together, but at what cost? There’s nothing as woeful as Paradise Lost…”
Death/Knight of Cups/6 of Wands – 3 Riders on a pale white horse… I am not a particularly religious person, but there’s only one story this card-combination calls to mind!“A Man came in Peace with a message of Love – they said that He came from the Heavens above. The city rejoiced as they welcomed Him in – their leaders dismayed at Remission of Sin! His preaching of Hope and Redemption for all, diminished control of the people in thrall. They plotted and schemed to ensure His demise – 30 pieces of silver, a reasonable price. They made sure that this young man was soon crucified – His followers cowered whilst His Mother cried… Yet Death did not stop Him from spreading the Word that brings Peace and Comfort to all who have heard!”
The Magician/The Empress – both cards have their right hand raised, left hand down – connecting Heaven and Earth – both are Creators – but where the Magician uses cunning, skill and Alchemy, The Empress uses Love, Nurturing and Nature – I can’t help but feel there’s a warning in there, but I won’t deny that together they make a formidable pair…“He has Vision, He has Skill, He bends the Elements to his Will – She has Warmth and Love and Power to make Life bloom like a flower – With His Knowledge and Her Care They will shape the Fate of Earth – For what He may have created, She will nurture, grow and birth. Life without Love is no Life at all – ‘t would be but empty, cold and gall – So be aware when you see His card – for his Mind is nothing without Her Heart!”
The Hermit/5 of Cups/2 of Wands – 3 lone cloaked figures in the same pose, facing the same direction – each one lost in contemplation…“He’s always looking, he’s searching his soul – he seeks what is true and what will make him whole – by turning within he is learning to see: It’s not what he’s lost but what is yet to be!”
The High Priestess/Justice/The Hierophant/The Moon – all these figures sitting between two pillars remind me of eachother – even the two towers with the central Moon in the middle:“Intuition, Integrity and Insight too, on these pillars my image is built – but what is hidden by the pale light of Moon? What Secrets, what Sorrow, what Guilt? They howl at the skies, the Wolf and the Hound – both aspects of me, one wild and one bound. From out of the depths consciousness will rise – I have to take heed or else pay the price…”