The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington. Card # 6 The Forrest Lovers.
DESCRIPTION: A man and a woman stand side by side, clothed in the green and brown of the Wildwood. They are Robin and Marian, the Forest Lovers, reborn time and again in the heart of the woods, sometimes known as Robin Hood and Maid Marian, at other times by different names. Between them stands a maypole, generated by their exchange of energy and symbolized here by a living birch tree. Spiraling around this are green garlands, reaching up toward the sky and representing the ascending Earth energies which meet the descending energies of the sky. the Forest Lovers create a spark of life that generates a third force or energy. Arum lilies, or “lords and ladies” as they are also known, are in flower in that period of Beltane. They symbolize the male and female union at this time of year and the generative energies that bring fruitfulness and harmony within the cycle of the year.
MEANING: The forest Lovers represent both balance in relationships and the sexual union between polarized individuals. This in itself encompasses the love of all nature, both human and ecological as well as that of individuals. We are each holographic fractions of the universe, containing the whole of creation and the archetypes of the Major Arcana within us to great or lesser degree. As we enter the great forest of life itself we seek emotional richness and harmony at the deepest level. From this, love blossoms, entwining us ever more deeply into a state of being where differences vanish and the dross of greed and possessiveness is burned away in the sweet fires of life.
True love comes from joining two polar energies to create a third force or consciousness. It is an interchange of energy and passion, not the surrender or domination of either but a voluntary exchange of willpower and respect. We must learn to embrace and befriend all the states of our personality, male and female, light and the dark, to be truly whole. This process allows the natural flow of the cycle of the seasons within our own persona. If we fail to welcome all the archetypes into our own house, they become disowned and troublesome, like mental poltergeists gently tapping on the window, seeking to be acknowledged.
The are no gender politics here. We find balance for our personality through our relationships as we move on. Some men are creative and sensitive and are balanced by a strong 'huntress'. Some women are nurturing and artistic and are balanced by a self-motivating male. The physical gender may vary, but the polarity will function or fail.
To truly love, we must be truly whole. We must accept every aspect of our individual personality as well as accepting the same wholeness in another person. The polarity may vary from day to day, moment to moment, but the truly whole person has seen all the fractured elements of their own personality and ca deal with them in another. The joy of union is seamless and easy. Love is its own reward.