At Valentine's Day, those of us who aren't thinking of chocolate are probably thinking of romance one way or another.
When it comes to Valentines day and the tarot deck, most people think of "The Lovers" card from the major arcana. When you get to the layers underneath, that card is really about lust, a moment's passion and any strong desire in the abstract. It isn't about finding a real, long-lasting relationship, or about celebrating /preserving such a relationship if we have one.
There are a number of cards that relate to established relationships...cups, wands, even swords, reminding us of wisdom, and loyalty and steadfastness and compassion...the many things that impels us toward wanting a relationship beyond the initial passions of the Lover's card.
All of which begs the question: What card does lead the way to love and romance?
To my way of thinking, it is the Ace of Cups.
That isn't as much of a break with tradition as you may think. Cups cards have long been associated with water, intuition...intuition is a very helpful thing when it comes to affairs of the heart, one place where science and reason doesn't seem to apply as much. Some believe that, historically, the suite of cups in the tarot deck became the hearts suite of our modern gaming card deck because of that connection with the heart. I can't believe that it is just coincidence that "heart" is associated with generic love (I heart NY t-shirts), romance (see everything Valentine's related) AND intuition (a.k.a. "follow your heart").
Ace of Cups means "let your inner light shine". It has to do with your own inner voice, your inner knowing, your true self.
So what does that have to do with finding true love?
The best way to attract your best mate is to be your true self. Being your true self is the path to true love...not hunting, posturing, lusting or any of the other difficult lessons associated with the "Lover's" card. (Although those things can play a part in the early stages of the relationship, it may not help much in finding it in the first place).
There are old and respected spiritual principles at play here. We've all heard of it:
First there is "like attracts like" and "birds of a feather flock together". If you LIVE to show who you are, then it is easier for a truly compatible person to find you.
Second there is what some call the "Rule of Threes"...what you give to the universe returns to you threefold. What goes around, comes around...do unto others and all that. So if you wallow in loneliness and focus on what you don't have, what will or won't MAY be...then you can make yourself pretty miserable, pretty fast. Miserable attracts miserable.
If you want love an happiness in your live...then love and be happy. Only YOU can do that for yourself. ONLY you can make you happy, if you let yourself. If you are loving and happy, you attract loving and happy. The ace of cups trumps the lovers and you win. Easier said than done, it's true, but simple just the same.
I wouldn't blog if I didn't really think it, and I believe it because I've lived it.
The best example I can give you is my own. In my 20s I was working hard being the "good" person that I was always taught was a "good" person...working hard at a social-service kind of job, going the extra mile at church, even serving as a council member and liturgical deacon at one point. I handbell choir, cooked, danced, cleaned and did all the things I was supposed to do to be what I was supposed to be...but what I wound up being was cheated on, alone , bone-crushingly lonely, and miserable.
Be it luck, destiny, or divine intervention, I began to see another way and CHOSE to walk another path. I the religion that I found to be empty and un-helpful, started on a spiritual path that made sense and helped me be happy. I got a new job that still served, but was more secular / scientific about it, and started studying Chinese martial arts, taoist philosophy, read about Buddhism, and started to do the things that I loved, being who I really was, and focused on building a good life for myself.
Then I met my soulmate, the light and love of my life, the one who matters most...my husband Jon...in Kung Fu class. Who would've thought. Then came our daughter, and the time to blog, and the rest, as they say, is history. To say I'm happier now is a huge understatement.
So this Valentine's week, my best advice to everyone...in a romantic relationship or not....is simply this: Love Life, and it will love you back. Someone else just might love you back too.