As a Pagan I celebrate Beltane on May 1st. It is the supposed halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Beltane has been widely observed throughout the world, and historically it has been mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature. As a writer and history buff, I find this completely fascinating.
This is a holiday of Union--both between the Goddess and the God and between man and woman. Handfastings (Pagan marriages) are traditional at this time. It is a time of fertility and harvest, the time for reaping the wealth from the seeds that we have sown.
With that said, I will wish you all a wonderful summer, and hope that I have found something of amusement to ramble on about before you leave. :)
In the realm of Tarot, The Lovers card is used often to represent Beltane. Two people in love, sharing their devotion to one another, and celebrating life together in all it's moments of glory. The two people in this card love one another, and you can feel their sense of passion just by looking at them.
But what is it truly like to be in love? What exactly brings people together?
Being in love can be marvelous, and even delightful. But if you look a little closer, you come to see opposites who always find each other and fall hopelessly in lust, at least for a little while.
When I think about all the books that I have read in my lifetime, or all the stories that I have heard, the ones that stick out and create memories are that whose history is full of tragedy.
Most people might think of Romeo and Juliet, but I think of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. If ever there were two ends of a thread brought together by their own oppositions, it would be these two captivating souls.
Although it is a great primitive instinct that draws us to attract people opposite ourselves, studies show that these types of relationships usually do not work out in our best interest, often ending prematurely.
Case in point - Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.
Henry VIII being the king of England, took it upon himself to divorce his first wife and marry his courageous opposite.
Anne was not a typical woman of her time, and not the sort a king would recognize as being yielding and loyal to his names sake. Instead she was persistent, and headstrong - all the attributes that woman should not be during that time.
She did not just sit back and please her king with all of his hearts desires, but she willed him to also do the same for her and demanded him to be loyal to her.
She even spoke out against political and religious issues, instead of taking her place as his pretty little jewel. How dare her?
After a very short lived marriage, and Anne's failure to produce Henry with a son, he began to see all of her faults.
He came to the realization that instead of gaining international credibility, his obsession with Anne made him a laughingstock and alienated his allies. His paranoia got the better of him, and he looked for other women to stroke his ego and bare him a son.
Anne was trumpt up with charges that she didn't commit, and executed with a sword, leaving him free to marry again. What a nice guy.
Despite their oppositions, they did produce a harmonious whole during their short marriage - her name was Elizabeth, and even though she was not the son that Henry had so desperately thought he needed, she became a glorious Tudor queen for nearly forty-six years following the death of her half brother and half sister. Take that Henry! ;)
I often like to imagine Anne Boleyn smiling from her spirits resting place.
So there we have it. When The Lovers card appears in a reading - it doesn't always represent its clear cut meaning. It can be an array of different possibilities and warnings. Take heed to the cards that surface around it, for they too have a story to tell.