Adjusting for the Evolution of the Tarot Symbols When Reading

What is the practical effect of analyzing and tracking the choices of symbols within a deck as far as helping a reader interpret the cards presented to him as he or she sits at the table with the querent? We compare five illustrations of The Lovers—Eteilla, Marseille, RWS, Tarot of Dreams and Deviant Moon. We find that the older decks have a component of societal approval of the marriage contract that the newer decks do not. We conclude that the key takeaway of The Lovers is something more complicated than just a single word description of “choice.” I conclude that the key is “commitment to a choice made.” Perhaps more importantly, I find that the Lovers may be kind of a touchstone card. When doing a reading having anything to do with family or intimacy, perhaps it is wise to gauge the querent’s connection to family. If their idea of family is everybody getting together as frequently as possible and loving and fighting each other, than RWS or even an older deck might be best. If the querent has a more modern view, such as family being something inconvenient and best kept at a distance… then perhaps one of the more modern decks would be better for that reading.

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