Union of Desires

A couple clasp each other in the height of sexual passion, their desires finding sudden, mutual, powerful release in orgasm.

Growing beyond the Reacher of Desires, the couple in this card have learned that satisfying another's sexual urges is the quintessential erotic experience. There is profound mutuality here. His orgasm is triggered by hers, and hers by his. They clutch at each others' bodies with a kind of madness, not to enhance their own arousal, but to feel their partner respond, to feel the feedback of intensity, the amplifying passion of reciprocal arousal.

Our culture teaches us that sexual union is the exclusive privilege of those with glamorous bodies--the movie stars, the fashion models, the pin-ups. The Union of Desires image in the Intimacy Tarot gently stretches these stereotypes. The woman, though not obese, is fleshy and corpulent. Her lover is slender, with delicate features, challenging the image of machismo that looms over male sexuality. Most importantly, neither of these people is posing for a camera. They are lost in orgasm, lost in each other.

What is worse, centuries of moralizing from the pens of sexually dysfunctional clerics has left Western culture with a huge complex of guilt surrounding sexual union. This legacy has been somewhat abated in recent decades, but we are still reeling in the aftermath of its crusade of guilt.

The sexual impulse, when it matures, and its desparation is turned toward gratifying one's partner, becomes the most sacred of rites. The primal, fiery energy of sexual desire is focused on the lover, surrendered to the lover, dissipated within the body of the lover. There is no more innocent communion than this, no greater vulnerability or sacrifice. Sex is holy, when it is a crying, yearning, gift of the soul.