Q: I tried to do a reading about my relationship with my boyfriend. What does the Lovers in the past position of a card layout mean? Does this mean the relationship is over?
A: Get comfortable – this one has a long and kind of complicated answer.
Relationship readings are a little tricky to do, especially the romantic variety like this. Romance and Relationship readings are difficult to do because you are almost always missing half the picture. Relationships always involve another person. Tarot readings never involve another person. A Tarot session can only read for the person getting it. Tarot can not tell what the other person is thinking, feeling or will do. Let’s face it – it would be creepy, weird and just plain wrong if it did. Put the shoe on the other foot…how would you feel if your love interest asked some stranger from the internet to go rummaging around in your head and heart and then tell them everything they found? Ewww.
It isn’t impossible for other person to give consent and participate on an etheric or soul level, but it is fairly rare. It is a beautiful, loving gift from the other person to you. That kind of pure, loving, energy-gift is an huge honor for both of us when it happens. And, honestly, I don’t get sense any of that kind of connection here. So that puts your question back to the typical level of reading…meaning it only reflects your part in this. You have to deal with your boyfriend’s part in this the old fashioned way…by talking to him.
Don’t forget, The Lovers card is from the major arcana. It has to do with your life-desires of any kind. It isn’t just about love-relationships. In a reading that does happen to be about a romantic relationship, it can symbolize physical desire or the first blush of attraction. Beyond that, relationship concerns move into the realm of other cards. True love, soulmates, enduring relationships, marriage and the like tends to resonate with the Two of Cups for example. In this case, The Lovers probably has more to do with how Love and romance fits into your life as a whole rather than a reflection of this relationship in particular.
Also, these “past, present, future” card layouts symbolize a path of understanding…not strictly a timeline. How do the things you used to want from the romantic relationships in your life relate to the realities you face now? How has your wants and expectations about the relationship changed during the time you’ve been together? What have you learned from this relationship so far? What have you learned from relationships in your past that you can apply to this one? What works, what doesn’t and how is this different from then?
When you take all of that into consideration, does the Lovers card in the past position automatically doom your relationship? No. Is it about your bigger life path? Yes.
Here is something that might help. Pull the Lovers and the Two of Cups cards from the deck and put them on the table in front of you, side by side. It doesn’t matter which card is on which side. Close your eyes, clear your mind, and relax. Take a few deep breaths, and think about the relationship. Slowly open your eyes and look at the two cards. Which one catches your eye first? Which one draws you in and tugs at your heartstrings as you think about the relationship?
If it is the 2 of cups, that might be your clue to revisit your original card spread – only this time look at the Lovers in terms of big-picture, whole-life wants, desires, goals (instead of the relationship with your boyfriend.)
If you are most strongly drawn to the Lovers card think about what you want and expect from romance in general and how those desires may be influencing your feelings about this relationship.
Either way, the cards aren’t the answer to whether your relationship is over or not. Only you and your boyfriend together can answer that.