Emily Carding's Tarot of the Sidhe.
In the companion booklet, Emily talks about the symbolism in this card, and the fact that it was just the second card of this deck which she created. As she says: "This may explain why I enthusiastically hurled every symbol imaginable into the mix!"
From the Fire and Water at the bottom of the card; the black and white birds just above that; the pair of Sidhe figures, the female holding a cup, the male holding a sword; the Great Glyph of the Sidhe symbol on one tree, and the egg in the same place on the other; the two little faery figures, the female holding a moon, the male holding a sun, in the cruxes of the trees; the two trees with branches entwined; and the green and red snakes plaited around each other on the entwined branches of the trees - lacking in symbolism this card is not!
So, what to make of this wealth of symbols? Clearly, the issue of polarities dominates. Where there is black there is white, where there is love there is hate, where there is a man, there's bound to be trouble ;-b Seriously, though, for me this card speaks of the need to recognise the way we often polarise things in our life. For example, if you are the type of person who considers yourself to be kind, you may not allow yourself to be angry or bitchy. But those are normal responses at times. Likewise, I am rather a tomboy, and so trying to fit the ideas of the soft, giving, receptive, passive female may not always sit well with me, despite that being the more "feminine" way to react according to our culture. This, perhaps, is where Emily's Lovers speaks to me of choices - we can choose which polarity we associate with, but it does not need to be a stereotyped decision. Maybe one day what jumps out at me from this card is the sun in the male faery's arms, another time it may be the water pouring from the "woman's" tree, while a third it may be the warm fire. Sometimes we may side more with one polarity, but at other times we are drawn to the other - and that sounds pretty healthy to me. By polarising so starkly, the in-between speaks to me - the place of the river running towards mountains. In the end, we choose our own middle path, and that's probably for the best.
And so to gratitudes:
I am grateful for having choices in life.
I am thankful for having a beloved with whom to share my life.
I am grateful for the diversity of the world, and in myself.