The Magician & The Wheel of Fortune
The High Priestess & Justice
The Empress & The Hanged Man
The Emperor & Death
The Hierophant & Temperance
The Lovers & The Devil
The Chariot & The Tower
Strength & The Star
The Hermit & The Moon
Ones & Nines
Twos & Eights
Threes & Sevens
Fours & Sixes
In The Numerical Tarot:
The Lover's is
The Devil is
THE LOVERS & THE DEVIL
Because each card of the Majors is a combination of both tangible and intangible influences, symbolism needs to be very concise. In the case of The Lovers and Devil, we have our earthly, tangible man and woman, combined with the spiritual/intangible angel or devil. As we look for symbols in these cards that correlate to our keywords (seen elsewhere on this site), we see how a spiritual angel represents the benevolent, altruistic, sustaining, reliable and predictable influence upon the man and woman. Likewise in contrasting terms we see how the devil represents the malevolent, sinister, detrimental, dubious and unpredictable influence of evil.
The number for The Lovers and Devil is 6. As part of the 4/5/6 mass of existence that our number line attempts to describe, we can see how each couple represents the intercourse of opposites, as well as the reciprocity and integration that the Apart/Together model is known for (see Apart/Together model elsewhere on this site). In other words, they both share parts of both. As this is so, we see how the couple in the lovers card are in a productive and ameliorate interdependence, an honest, sharing relationship based in love and passion (beneficial and appreciating - in an abstract way, a growing mass). However the couple in the devil card are chained to an unproductive deteriorate interdependence that does not allow either an honest expression (detrimental and depreciating - in an abstract way, a crumbling mass). They are together out of lust and the loosely fitted chains around them represent their willing participation in this destructive destiny.
To The Numerical Tarot, the pillar the devil stands on represents the destructive attachment some people have to their aggregate mass of possessions, both physical and emotional. While conversely the mountain in the distance, behind the lovers, represents the accumulation of a mass to be shared by all, an entity that cannot be possessed.
When these cards are interpreted in their reversed, or upside down state, we see their opposite good or bad side (subjectively speaking of course). In the case of the Lovers card we can see the dangers of total 100% honesty, while the devil represents the concept of necessary evil. Thus each card becomes a double edged sword spanning a spectrum of possibilities.
There are of course many other numerical attributes that we can attach to the number 6 that are not adequately symbolized in either card. For example: If this deck were to show equidistant similarities, the male figure of The Lovers would be moved to card 4 and the female figure would remain in card 6 with the Hierophant between them (card 5) holding them together like a priest at a wedding. What this deck appears to be doing instead is showing more of a progression through to a 'state of marriage' at the number 6. So instead of the Emperor (card 4) being married, by the Hierophant (card 5), to a female symbol at card 6, card 6 symbolizes the growth of a relationship to a state of beneficial sustaining consequence (marriage) - in an abstract way, symbolic of the building up of the 4/5/6 mass of existence seen within our guiding model of patterns.
If this deck were laid out in an equidistant and symmetrical manner, it would enable us to view the 6 as a maternal, feminine, receptive, wombish, yin sort of number. And the 4 as a paternal, masculine, penetrative, phallic, yang sort of number, and the 5 as the glue that holds the two sides of our number line together. Of course, back in the olden days, when the template of tarot was being created, it was an even more patriarchal world than it is today. Thus many decks are depicted with a bias toward "the hero's journey" as it relates to a male figure. This being so, it is not surprising to see our hero 'take a lover' in card 6, instead of using card 6 to showcase the qualities of Yin / femaleness.
IN THE ISOMORPHIC TAROT DECK, I choose to follow an equidistant design, and proceed to change the lovers into a single icon that represents, to me, all the yin, maternal concepts just covered. I title the card Sustenance, the Altruistic Angel, and show a very maternal, angelic woman nursing an infant, to symbolize the sustaining nourishing environment, and wombish influence of the female side.
On the bad side I retain the image of a devil (to oppose my angel) and repeat the image of an infant, only this time the infant is being molested by the devil, to symbolize the detrimental subversive environment of a bad negative 6. I title the card Decadence, the Sinister Demon.
NOTE: Go to the DECK section of this site, to learn more about the NAMES and titles of this deck and how they are picked to describe a gridded pattern that utilizes extremes and in-betweens. Each card in this deck is but one possible expression on a spectrum of possibilities. There is a lot more to learn, than what is being shown here.