Love IS the Time for Idealism

Two of Cups reversed, King of Swords, Samurai Tarot
from the Samurai Tarot: the Two of Cups (reversed) and the King of Swords (the monk Takuan)

“All’s fair in love and war”? No. It isn’t. If there was ever a time to be true and faithful to your ideals, it is in matters of the heart (Two of Cups). There is no better time to be idealistic (King of Swords — in this case, the monk Takuan).

What does that mean? It means taking the feelings of your lover into account. It means being kind and compassionate. It means being tolerant of your lover’s bad habits (or supporting your lover’s efforts to overcome those habits if they are self-destructive or harmful to others–being supportive within reason, of course, and still being sure to take care of yourself). It means not betraying your lover’s trust. It means being honest with your lover even when that means telling your lover something that he or she may prefer not to hear. And the Two of Cups, a card of commitment, says to me that a part of love is being committed for the long haul. Love is not purely physical; it’s spiritual. It’s a sacred covenant (whether or not the lovers are married). Well, as a Scorpio, you’d expect me to say that, but I also think that it’s true. It’s very bad karma to violate that covenant or to deliberately do something that will break your lover’s heart.

Though Takuan was a monk, he could tell us quite a bit about love. He could tell us about tough love (this is the guy who hung Miyamoto Musashi from a tree and then arranged for Musashi to be imprisoned in an attic for several years in order to tame his ego). He could tell us that love means being present, not dissociating from the situation. He could tell us that a loving presence includes not being afraid to be laughed at. And he could tell us that sometimes love means following your lover faithfully all over the countryside (as Otsu followed Musashi). He could tell us, as well, that true love is unconditional. Which is another way of saying that true love forgives.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

–Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116

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