Updated: Jan 30
There's more than just The Lovers card.
No matter what tarot deck you're using, all traditional tarot decks have the same set up: 4 suits, 16 court cards, and 22 Major Arcana cards. What I'd like to say about this article is—and this is very important—we need more than just one of these cards to suggest that true love is in the midst.
Every "love" is different, right? Does it not stand to reason that every combination of cards symbolizes a different kind of love? For example, The Lovers (passion) and the Two of Cups (soulmate love) together could symbolize a passionate and real, karmic-level love. Likewise, The Lovers (passion) and The Empress (Venus-ruled and full of luxury) could symbolize budding love that heavily relies on physical touch. However, The Lovers on its own could symbolize a one-dimensional, half-baked love. This is how we can read exactly what "type" of love we're dealing with.
So, just remember: Seeing one of these cards does not automatically mean L-O-V-E. However, seeing many of them together, in certain patterns, or in responses to the right questions can indicate love. Now, let's get to the cards!
10 of Cups
Keywords: Natural attraction, magnetism, superior energy, past lives
When we think of the suits (Cups, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles), Cups is the one most associated with romance. It's the suit of feeling and passion. It has everything to do with how we feel about ourselves as well as one another.
Because we have a "Ten" card here, the Ten of Cups is one of completion. If you think about what "completion" feels like in the material realm (Ten of Pentacles), it might be something like, "Job, money, house... I've finally got all my ducks in a row!" But "completion" in the emotional realm is more magnetic. You've never felt more in tune with someone. Your energy is brimming to the top. You're overflowing with exuberance.
Thus, this card specifies one type of love: karmic love. You've likely met each other in a previous life.
2 of Cups
Keywords: Soulmates, twin flames, fireworks, everything The Notebook taught us
Out of all the love cards, this is the one tarot readers most associate with true love. I know I said that solo cards can't automatically indicate love, but (in all honesty) the Two of Cups might be the exception to that rule.
This is the card that beats them all—the "one and only." When it appears, you know it's the real thing.
Keywords: Your first love, summer fling, childish, free-spirited
On the other hand, we have The Lovers. While most people actually think The Lovers is a great sign of true love, there's a catch here. Because this card is associated with dual-sided, free-spirited, childlike Gemini, it's meant to symbolize that kind of love too.
It's no wonder why Gemini's tarot card follows that same light-hearted vibe. Forever commitment?? No, thank you. But having fun in the here and now, and falling head over heels at first sight while we're at it? Yes.
Ace of Cups
Keywords: "friendship" love, friendzoned-to-lovers love, new love
Since Cups are our emotions and Aces are new beginnings, this card is all about making new connections with others. While the Ace of Cups can certainly indicate a budding new romance, it can also symbolize new relationships (friendships or otherwise!). So, this is a great example of how standalone cards aren't just one-sided. You certainly need to see more love cards around this one!
Keywords: feminine, luxury, sexy, soft, passionate
Lazing around the house all day, cuddling up in the jacuzzi, making banana pancakes... Ah, so Jack Johnson. There's just something about The Empress that just encompasses the kind of slow and loving Sunday we all want to have.
Thanks to Venus, the planet that rules this card, The Empress is a rockstar in relationships. This kind of love is one of both pleasure and empathy. It relies on the comfort of fine material goods as well as the sweeping sensation of touch and understanding.
6 of Cups
Keywords: ex-love, first love, childhood, sentimental
Thinking about your ex? This card knows it.
The Six of Cups is generally associated with our past—which (duh!) includes exes. Because there's a lot of history attached to this card, it suggests a love that's likely been developed from childhood. These people grew up together or, at the very least, had some integral part of love lessons in their young life.
Keywords: childish love, fun, optimistic, going the long haul
You can think of The Sun as an equally fun Lovers card—but with the deeply emotional investment as the Ten of Cups. This card is one of the most optimistic cards in the deck. So, when applied to love, The Sun shows a time when our hopes for the future go above and beyond what we ever expected for ourselves.
10 of Pentacles
Keywords: stable love, "ducks in a row" love, feeling safe and comfortable
Remember what I said about "completion" and "ten" cards? Since Pentacles are all about the material things in our life (home, career, finances, etc.), the Ten of Pentacles represents a time when we're feeling completely fulfilled in that venture: We've got the house, the career, the finances, the spouse, the family... "Love," then, isn't really focused on the emotions... it centers around finding a stable and equal partnership to help you through the tough times.
4 of Wands
Keywords: idealistic love, alignment in core values, success
This card is one that shows up when our hopes and dreams actually align with what the Universe gives us. For that reason, it's like the ultimate card of success—because not only are we given what we wanted, but it's in exactly the fashion that we'd hoped it would be. And if you're familiar with the Universe, you know this rarely happens.
All in all, when paired with other love cards around it, the Four of Wands can represent your "dream guy" or "dream girl." This is the person who ticks off all the things on your check-list. The best part about this kind of love is that it's ruled by Wands (ideals, passions), and with a completion vibe here (being a "four" card), this partnership is bound to naturally have very similar core values.
Queen of Cups
Keywords: understanding love, deeply emotional, forgiving, empathetic
This card is similar to The Empress, except it focuses more on what's within as opposed to without—meaning, it digs deep into our feelings. How are you feeling today? How am I feeling today? How are we feeling... together? This card shows a love that isn't afraid of those emotions and is ready to dive all in.