A man and a woman face each other in an open field. The man, dressed in the colorful garb of the landed gentry and sporting a red garland on his head, holds a goblet in his left hand. The woman, wearing a humble white gown, a blue smock and a green garland, holds an identical goblet in both hands. The man appears to be reaching out to the woman, laying his right hand on her goblet. Between them rises a caduceus borne by a winged lion who watches over them.
“It takes two to tango,” and naturally, we cannot know love in this world unless we are willing to reach out to another, to join two hearts together as one; and as the Ace of Cups represents God’s “reaching out” to man, so the Two of Cups shows the genesis of romantic love for us on earth. There is a healing function to the procreative act as signified by the caduceus, the traditional symbol of medicine, and by the woman’s simple gown and light-blue smock, the type of which you can see worn in any hospital: she may be the “Divine physician” who mends broken hearts. The red garland is the traditional color of Mars, the green garland that of Venus: This is the union of male and female in its purest form.
Rachel Pollack notes the similarity in attire between the young man in this card and The Fool of the Trumps Major; if so, we can say that the journey to love is the origin of our lives as spiritual beings, and the image of The Fool reaching out to the Divine Healer suggests that we should never lose faith in the curative power of love and should always continue to offer it in kind, no matter how many times our hearts may have been broken. The winged lion above projects both animal attraction and spiritual aspiration: A hot and sweaty “workout” that can make you feel at the same time as though you’ve been transported to the heavens. Love given, love received, love lost, and love reclaimed—this is the arc of our spiritual lives here on earth.
Meanings of this card in a reading can include: Sexual love, romantic union, friendship, harmony and accord, marriage and betrothal, the broken heart mended; but also sexual inhibition, separation and loss, the broken heart unhealed, separation from humanity. As we will discover, the power of love is the one true power that transcends all worlds and all the archetypes, and it is the only mission that we have been sent here to perform.