The Difference Between the Lovers and the Two of Cups in Tarot

October 1, 2022

TAROT CARD MEANINGS: Difference Between the LOVERS card and 2 OF CUPS

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The Lovers card and the 2 of Cups are very similar tarot cards upon first glance. A lot of people ask what the difference is between these two tarot cards.

In today’s post, we will dive into a few key differences between the Lovers card and the 2 of Cups so you don’t have trouble with interpreting them ever again. After reading this post, you’ll understand these two tarot cards better and be able to give better tarot readings when these two tarot cards come up in your spread.

Ready? Let’s take a look at three essential differences between the Lovers and Two of Cups. Watch the video or read on below!

Similarities Between the Lovers and the Two of Cups

First, let’s talk about the similarities between these two tarot cards. The more I look at them, the more similar they appear actually! So I completely understand the confusion.

First, there are two figures in both cards. And in most decks, one figure presents as female and the other presents as male, which indicates a duality or binary.

Next, each card contains two similar features or symbols between the two figures: a winged creature as well as a hill or mound structure.

So what’s the deal? What are the different interpretations or messages of these two tarot cards that look so similar?

[Related: What’s the Difference Between the Two and Three of Wands?]

The key is in noticing some essential differences between them. Let’s examine three of them now.

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Difference #1: Major or Minor Arcana?

The Lovers card is a Major Arcana card, while the Two of Cups is a Minor Arcana card. That’s the first major difference.

The Major Arcana deals with major life lessons or themes in our lives, whereas the minor cards deal with more everyday circumstances or conditions of life.

Two of Cups and Lovers Tarot Cards in Rider Waite Smith deck

So if you get the Lovers card, you’re dealing with a larger, more significant issue or lesson n your life. On the other hand, if you pull the Two of Cups, you’re dealing with a more passing, minor detail in life. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s not important – it just means it’s not a major, overarching life lesson.

[Related: 6 Tarot Spreads for Love and Relationships]

Difference #2: Nude or Dressed?

Another key difference between the Lovers and the 2 of Cups is that the figures in the Lovers tarot card are nude, while the figures in the 2 of Cups are fully dressed – and quite nicely I might add!

Nudity is a very common and powerful symbol used throughout the tarot. I talk about the importance of nudity in my online tarot course, Read Tarot Today. But briefly here, I’ll say nudity represents honesty, openness, and vulnerability.

So the fact that he figures in the Lovers card are nude, in addition to the very name of the card, is where most people jump to the conclusion that this is THE SEX CARD in tarot. But that’s not entirely accurate.


The Lovers Tarot Card in Modern Witch Tarot Deck

It can mean sex, but only because sex is a type of intimate connection. That’s what the Lovers card is bout: authentic intimate connections ,either with all aspects of yourself or with another person, as well as the willingness to be open and vulnerable.

On the other hand, the 2 of Cups clearly shows a connection between two people who are meeting. However, they are fully dressed. So what? That means an intimate, soulmate, authentic, divine connection is not what the 2 of Cups is about.

So the intensity of the connection is another key difference we can discover between these two cards by looking more closely at the imagery. Cool, right?

Difference #3: Interaction of the Figures

What about the way these figures are looking at, or facing, each other? How the figures interact can be very enlightening when studying the imagery of tarot cards.

Let’s start with the 2 of Cups. The figures in this tarot card are facing each other and looking right at each other. This indicates a meeting or encounter, perhaps some kind of partnership since they are offering each other cups. While this could be a romantic encounter, it could also indicate a new friendship, business collaborator, etc.

The Lovers, on the other hand, are a little more complex. One figure is looking at the other, while that other figure is looking up.  this detail, coupled with the fact that it’s a Major Arcana card, tells me that it’s not just about two people meeting each other. The Lovers card is thus about a more divine ,authentic, almost spiritual connection.

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The value of studying tarot imagery

Pretty neat how deep we can go with our interpretations just by studying the imagery in front of us, right!? That’s why studying tarot imagery – rather than memorizing tarot keywords – is always the way to go with tarot!

If you want a complete course on tarot that dives deep into tarot card imagery and how to learn the cards without having to robotically memorize key words, you’ll love my self-paced online tarot course, Read Tarot Today. Click on the image above to check out all the details and see if it’s right for you.

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  • Reply Callie February 12, 2023 at 10:42 am

    OMG! Your explanation is so clear! Thank you so much! I’m learning to read for myself what others are posting in their readings. So Fun! These two cards are pivotal in the reading I’m digesting bite by bite for my Self.

    • Reply HappyAsAnnie February 20, 2023 at 5:06 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Callie! I’m so glad you’re benefitting from my posts. <3 - Annie

      • Reply Ananya Sen January 9, 2024 at 9:23 am

        Thank you so much.. you explanation is so amazing and clear ❤

  • Reply Iris June 4, 2023 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you so much !!!! I have been mistaking the 2 of cups for the lovers card all along and I didnt notice

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