Six of Cups
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination
The Six of Cups is a happy scene indeed. A young boy hands a young girl a cup with a white flower in it. The white flower symbolizes a pure life. And what is more pure and innocent than two young children? Five other cups surround them, each with a white flower growing out of it. They’re in a city square, safe from harm and the outside world. On the left, there’s a walkway up to a turret. A guard heads up there. Something is either locked away up there, or he’s going up there to get a vantage point to watch out for intruders.
The town is safe. The boy, who is taller, bends down and gives a cup to the girl, who is shorter. The boy represents the innocent years gone by, passing the cup over to the years in the future. One generation of youth passing on the sweetness of life to the next.
The Six of Cups is nostalgia, of looking at the past as being better and rosier. It’s also enjoying innocent and living a carefree life. Moreover, while it’s not possible to live a completely carefree life, everyone needs to experience being protected from harm and being nurtured in order to be emotionally healthy and to know how to protect and nurture others.
The Six of Cups can also indicate the joy of childhood and the joy of having children. Being a parent is personal Renaissance of its own, in that one grows in new ways and rediscovers themselves and what they’re made of through the eyes of their children. It reminds us of the importance of play, of being open-minded, and cutting through the mental BS we accumulate as adults from other adults. It reminds us that sometimes, things really are simple, and there is no need for prejudice or
The Six of Cups, however, can also indicate an adult who refuses to grow up. Growing up doesn’t mean becoming dour and unimaginative, but it does mean taking on responsibility, self-soothing, and protecting themselves and others. Thus, this card can indicate an adult who expects others to take care of them and make their world a gentle, safe place the way we do for children.
When the Six of Cups is Reversed:
When the Six of Cups is reversed, it can indicate that the querent has grown cynical, or thinks they’re too cool for school. They may have lost their joie de vivre and don’t appreciate it when they see it in other people. They may actively quash the exuberance in others.
The Six of Cups reversed can also indicate someone stuck in the past, clinging to nostalgia even after they know that it does them no good. Usually, they’re foisting their anachronistic view on others and force others to enable their denial or their illusions.
This card reversed can also indicate a person whose childhood was robbed through abuse or neglect. They may be haunted by it and can’t heal or cope with the memories.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: In the past, the querent lived a charmed life away from the worries of life, which has brought them to the present.
Present: Currently, the querent is enjoying an easy life, possibly steeped in nostalgia, or is re-experiencing childhood through their own children.
Future: The future brings the querent nostalgia, a relief from their cares, and a simpler, more childlike outlook on things.