Accidental Brilliance

I had a case of accidental brilliance during a Tarot class the other night.

I love it when that happens, when gems of truth and wisdom come flying past your tongue, and only after they’ve left you do you hear them and understand how brilliant they are! It’s not as though you think brilliant thoughts and then express them, it’s more like a pile of Scrabble tiles come tumbling out of your mouth and all you can do is hope for the best.

I’ve written about this phenomenon in a previous article for the American Tarot Association, if you want the full story you can revisit that article (and their fabulous web site) by clicking here. For our purposes here I’d just like to relay the small bit of Scrabble wisdom that popped through the veil last week.

We were talking about The Lovers card, a Major Arcana card and #6 of the Tarot Trumps. As is true with all the Major Arcana cards, you can talk around them all you want but it’s very hard to pinpoint an absolute definition. That’s the nature of the archetypes, they’re more like umbrella concepts than any one factual reality.

After about ten minutes of rambling on about the astrological associations, the numerological significance, the possible meanings and interpretations for this card, I heard myself say, “If money was no object and you didn’t care what people thought of you, what would you be doing?  Whatever it is, THAT is what the Lovers card represents.”

I knew as soon as I heard it that it was perfect. And I said it one more time out loud just to make sure I’d remember the words.

It’s a great help when you’re learning Tarot to have some succinct phrases that you can connect with each card. James Ricklef has a special section of his WordPress Blog called Pithy Tarot Meanings which makes this point very well. Especially for cards with enigmatic — and potentially misleading– titles (The Fool, The Devil, and The Lovers, for example), an understanding of a card’s “umbrella of meaning” can be most helpful.

A few students from that night’s class later expressed how the phrase had hit them squarely, letting me know that it wasn’t just me who thought this to be a stellar set of words for this particular card. In addition to that piece of  satisfaction, there’s the knowing that even after 22 years of working with the Tarot there are new ways to perceive and express concepts through these 78 cards.

There is and always will be, I think, something more to learn about the Tarot.

Lovers card image from the
Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt /2005



  1. jamesricklef said,

    April 4, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Hi Jeanne,
    Thanks for the shout out about my blog’s “Pithy Tarot Meanings” series of posts.
    Just FYI, here is a link to a dynamic list of all such posts:
    Bright Blessings,
    James Ricklef

  2. April 4, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    FYI:: here is a link to a dynamic list of all such posts from James Ricklef:

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