Translated from Le Tarot De Marseille by Paul Marteau
The number 6 can be written like this (1 +2) + (1 + 2) to put it in conformity with the placement of the figures on this card. The number 2 by nature represents a fertile passivity and the feminine principal. the two women thus constitute 2 + 2, while the masculine figure and the archer constitute two units, one in the lower part and the other in the upper part. (1 + 2) + (1 + 2) represents the double current, both involuntary and evolving, emerges from matter or leads to it.
The collection of elements of this card establish a fusion between the spiritual and the material, because the two women are meeting in the figure as an emanation of their material desires, while the archer represents the spark.
General and Abstract Meaning
This card indicates THE FEELING OF PHYSICAL LOVE FOSTERING SPIRITUAL LOVE, and it signifies that love is pivotal for the evolution of beings and for the creation of things. When love arises, the soul is exalted, the spirit projects a spark toward The High, which immediately starts to operate on a higher plane. This is symbolized by the archer, a representation of love stretching his bow in the HIGH part of the card.
The shock produced by this spark will bear its fruits and leave a trace represented by the arrow, which is to say, that love, by elevating Man above himself grants him in the physical plane some realizations coming out of from his own genius. A musician, for example finds in it his inspiration. Love is never sterile.
The symbolic interpretation of the details of this card highlight that the rays which emanate from the archer alternate in red, yellow, and blue, since the radiance of love operates on all planes. The figure is flesh colored to show his action in the vital fluids. His sash is a bond and a mask: the bond between our disposition to connect love to the earth as well as to mask it with an earthly sensation, while still being of divine essence and so unable to take root in matter. It is placed on him obliquely, and not around his waist. This shows that he is not able in any way to be taken prisoner.
His blue wings show that the first idea of love is a flight towards mysticism, and his yellow hair shows that the intelligence of love elevates Man above material things.
The bow and arrow indicate speed and rhythm, for the arrow is a dynamic principle. They are white, therefore negative, since the action which love tends towards is profoundly internal and more virtual than real.
The woman placed to the man’s right represents Profane Love, love born from material well-being; her left hand, which she is placing on the man’s shoulder and her right hand around the middle of his body signifies that she is influenced by sexual polarity, however transitory, since the wreath which she has on her head is removable and indicates that her power is ephemeral. Her long blue sleeves, hanging down but open, indicate a tendency towards spirituality, but her blue hair indicates superficiality. The sentimental effect provoked by the appeal of material satisfactions cannot last because it merely a mirage on the physical plane.
The woman placed to his left represents spiritual love and love between the sexes in their most noble state. Her hair, long and blonde, indicates a solar role and the inspiration which results from this love. Her left hand placed on the man’s chest shows that this superior love has the heart as its source. Her right hand directed downward and indicating the gorund signifies that she is causing the material world to evolve. Her blue cloak affirms her spiritual role and her blue robe bordered with red shows that she is adapting the sexual movements towards spirituality. Her white arms underscore the exaltation which she is expressing on all levels by the harmonious synthesis which she is engendering in a full range of feelings.
The man personifies someone who is in a state of evolution in the whole Cosmos, which is to say, everything that is subject to love’s law of attraction. We symbolize this with a man, one representing the most elevated level on the scale leading to the highest spirituality. His tunic with its red border shows the instinctive. side of love, the blue, yellow and red stripes illustrated the various vibrations of love which spread through the different planes. The yellow of his arms and his hand show the active tendency, activated by intelligence towards the Divine Love. His right hand is under his belt, signifying that it is by a voluntary action that he has clearly separated spiritual love from visceral love. His hair, yellow, shows that intelligence must dominate and direct him on the physical plane. They are yellow, like the wreath on the woman to the right, they differ from it in the sense that they represent an intelligence which is an integral part of the man, and not just something temporary.
Orientation of the Figures
The archer, a quarter turned towards the right, expresses the evolutionary factor directing Man, in whatever he does, towards his constant transformation, his evolution never ceasing. The wreathed woman whose profile is equally towards the right, is aiming for continuous action; the one whose head is turned to the left, but looking forward, is an invitation to the interior life prior to direct action. The man, facing us, with his head a little to the left, is making a choice after reflecting; and the whole arrangement represents, with respect to action, a very complicated card.
Specific and Concrete Meaning
The presence of sexual polarity in the Human Being in all activity which he is prevailed upon to perform, his behavior in the discernment which is required to perform to direct his LIFE, is what gives this Card the title “THE LOVER” [L’AMOUREUX].
Meanings as They Relate to the Three Planes
MENTAL. Love of beautiful forms in the plastic arts.
ANIMISTIC. Devotion and sacrifices.
PHYSICAL. Desires, love, sacrifice for one’s country, as well as all strong feelings in the physical plane. A card of union, marriage. It represents, for the consultant of either gender, infidelity or, in certain cases, a choice to make.
INVERTED. Disorder, schism (as opposed to uniting), rupture, divorce.
In sum: in its fundamental sense “THE LOVER” represents the goading of deisre, which incites Man to join with the Universal, whether harmoniously or in a state of imbalance, according to whether he sacrifices himself for it or he wants to derive some profit from it.