Love. Passion. Choice.
The Lovers tarot card represents love, passion, and relationships, but it can also represent choices or decisions to be made. A choice between two lovers or two loves (in another area of life) could also be a reading of the card.
When you draw the Lovers, pay close attention to the kinds of choices you make. Make sure that you choose what you really want, and that what you choose aligns well with your values.
The more modern cards also suggest a union. The Steampunk lovers tarot card below suggests this, as do cards like the lovers of the Wild Unknown tarot deck, with a pair of geese flying beneath the sun. This could be in love, and the card can indicate marriage, or a close bond, depending on the other cards drawn. It could also be a union of values, either with another or an alignment of values within yourself.
The Lovers tarot card can suggest sexual attraction. Also desire more generally.
It can indicate attraction to another person or to a project or idea. Inspiration is another possible meaning.
Harmony, perfection, and beauty are other meanings.
In the Marseille decks, this card was called the Lover. A single person with a choice to make. Typically, the older cards portrayed a young man with an older woman (possibly his mother) and a younger woman of his own age (his lover). The choice was between two types of love—or could be. Cupid readies his arrow above the figures.
But the Rider-Waite-Smith deck changed the imagery drastically. The card became the Lovers, with two naked figures in the Garden of Eden, with the Tree of Knowledge, of good and evil, with the serpent crawling up it.
The serpent represents the bad consequences of making wrong choices. Both figures are naked, suggesting that they have nothing to hide from each other.
The angel above the figures is Raphael.
The flames on the tree behind the man represent passion, and also the twelve signs of the zodiac.
More modern tarot decks often focus on love and union in their imagery.
Astrologically, The Lovers tarot card is related to Gemini.