• Rebbekah Vega-Romero

Tarot Poesia: The Lovers

The next installment of the Tarot Poesía is here! What is that, you ask? Allow me to quote myself:

"Why, it is a collection of poems inspired by each of the 78 cards in the Traditional Tarot Deck. I would promise to only do the Major Arcana or to work my way through the deck in some sort of logical order, but I am a Rebel & Nerd of the Highest Order, so I will be writing these poems as they come to me through my personal draws and readings for clients. It may take me a couple months or it may take me a couple of years, but I have a feeling this will be a fruitful adventure."

This next poem is inspired by the number 6 card of the Major Arcana: the Lovers.

Four Interpretations of the Lovers: the Starspinners, the Ethereal Visions, the Weaver, and the Rider-Waite-Smith.

Fun fact: next year, 2022, will be a Lovers year, so expect themes of duality, union, partnership, and mirroring. The immediate focus is on romantic relationships, but also asking you to bring attention to where you seek mirrors - what would it feel like to meet those needs yourself?

This card is often a reminder that what we seek in others can often be found within, what frustrates us about others is also what we seek to hide from in ourselves.

I drew my inspiration for the following poem from the ultimate mirror myth: the story of Narcissus and his Echo.

Echo and Narcissus - John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)

A tragic tale of love thwarted and cursed by the gods, Narcissus was an arrogant hunter, who rejected every advance, including that of the nymph Echo, who had been stripped of her voice as punishment for using it to deceive Hera. Echo was cursed to be only able to repeat the words of others; Narcissus rejected her repetitive advances in favor of his watery reflection, for his cruelty to others had doomed him to love his own reflection and waste away for want of it. In many versions of the myth, Echo wastes away repeating his declarations of self-love, as he starves by the vision of his own beauty.

The following poem is a villanelle, a form I chose for it's double-barrelled refrain, to embody Echo. The accompanying illustrations are by my friend Sam Hulsizer. We actually created these pieces simultaneously, in the beautiful crucible of Jen Waldman’s C.R.E.A.T.E. Lab for JWSOnline. Check it out, and thank me later ;-)


Echo for Narcissus: A Villanelle

Can love be wrong that sets your soul alight?

Pale reflection froze you in the mirror:

Narcissus comes undone for your delight.

’Twas a god’s curse ensnared my heart’s true sight

That’s how she bade him stay all day to hear her:

Is love so wrong that sets your soul alight?

Let the reflection in your eyes take flight

Trapped in the glass, find your desires freer:

Narcissus comes undone for your delight.

How yearning burns up all your appetite

And leeches every color, crystal clear:

Can love be wrong that sets your soul alight?

This passion reignites with every slight

Each switch a stitch to bind with watery fear:

Narcissus comes undone for your delight.

His life now sapped away to reunite

Heart and flesh in strange new hemisphere:

Can love be wrong that sets your soul alight?

Narcissus came undone for your delight.


I hope these words and illustrations inspire a new understanding of this beautiful card. Please drop a comment or share this with a friend. And click that subscribe button to make sure you don’t miss any of the Tarot Poesía series!


Ruby Reb

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