The Two of Cups
The Lord of Love
A White Radiant Hand, issuant from the lower part of the card from a cloud, holds lotuses. A lotus flower rises above water, which occupies the lower part of the card rising above the hand. From this flower rises a stem, terminating near the top of the card in another lotus, from which flows a sparkling white water, as from a fountain. Crossed on the stem just beneath are two dolphins, Argent and Or, on to which the water falls, and from which it pours in full streams, like jets of gold and silver, into two cups; which in their turn overflow, flooding the lower part of the card. Venus and Cancer above and below. Harmony of masculine and feminine united. Harmony, pleasure, mirth, subtlety: but if ill dignified - folly, dissipation, waste, silly actions.
Therein rule the Angels
“The Two always represents the Word and the Will. It is the first manifestation. Therefore, in the suit of Water, it must refer to Love, which recovers unity from dividuality by mutual annihilation.
The card also refers to Venus in Cancer. Cancer is, more than any other, the receptive Sign; it is the House of the Moon, and in that Sign Jupiter is exalted. These are, superficially, the three most friendly of the planets.
The hieroglyph of the card represents two cups in the foreground, overflowing upon a calm sea. They are fed with lucent water from a lotus floating upon the sea, from which rises another lotus around whose stem are entwined twin dolphins. The symbolism of the dolphin is very complicated, and must be studied in books of reference; but the general idea is that of the “Royal Art”. The dolphin is peculiarly sacred to Alchemy.
The number Two referring to Will, this card might really be renamed the Lord of Love under Will, for that is its full and true meaning. It shows the harmony of the male and the female: interpreted in the largest sense. It is perfect and placid harmony, radiating an intensity of joy and ecstasy.
Of necessity, the realization of the idea in the Four (as the suit develops) will gradually diminish the purity of its perfection.”
— Crowley, The Book of Thoth