Are you feeling a joy for life comparable to the carefree days of childhood? Is your innocence becoming apparent in a relationship? Were you naive in judging a person or situation recently? Did you have a playful emotional attachment to someone that contrasted the serious tone that they took in approaching things? You may find the Six of Cups in a Tarot reading soon if any of these circumstances sound familiar. This is the card of childhood play, creativity and a disconnection from the obligations and responsibilities of adulthood. Sometimes this card is quite a wonderful blessing in a Tarot reading when so much of life makes demands on you. Other times, though, this card warns you that you may be out of your league in a situation where adult wisdom would do you well.
A boy and a girl are in a village square. They are dressed for play. The cloudless blue sky above contrasts with the warm golden earth below and the strong buildings of the village that shield them from the outside world. Six cups from the suit of Cups are arranged about. One is often depicted standing alone on a pedestal near the children. A few of the cups are in the foreground of the card. One of the cups is being handled by the boy, and in some tarot decks the two children are handling this cup together. Each cup has foliage growing in it, with a prominent flower in full bloom emanating out of all six of these cups. The boy and girl are sniffing the flower in the cup he (or they) holds.
This card is a metaphor for the small joys of childhood – and yet a reminder that those joys have less relationship to the adult world than any of us would really like to consider. The children are not dressed to interact as lovers or business partners, down to the goofy red cowl that the boy is wearing. The suit of Cups represents emotions in the Tarot and to fill up a cup with dirt and plant life is not what emotions are to be used for. But that is what childhood is for – to not have to be an adult with emotional responses and commitments based on knowing the difference between right and wrong. The children hold onto love (represented by the cup) but have no idea that the flowers will not be there forever and that they will have to learn how to fill the cups they encounter in life with love and emotion.
Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions
Every Tarot reading is different, but each follows a format of setting cards in the position of the past, the present and the future. Each card tells a story about these parts of your life and together paint a more complete picture of your life and the possibilities facing you.
When the Six of Cups is in the past position, this indicates that at the foundation, you have an innocence about you that almost serves to protect you from the jaded souls of the world who want to complain about everything. This card is so inherently about childhood that it almost never means anything about your actual childhood in the past position. It brings the past position of your Tarot reading into the realm of the recent past. This innocence, or naive nature in the past has led you into your current predicament.
When it is in the present position, the Six of Cups is a card letting you know that you may be too trusting of an individual. It also may be a card that indicates your genuine affection for someone is the reason you are succeeding. This is a card of enjoying the moment without consideration for the consequences of your actions. Tarot readers at tourist resorts see this card come up seemingly more often than the laws of chance would allow for. People on vacation are inherently at play.
In the future position, the Six of Cups reveals that you are headed to a place of blissful peace and play. This could signal an upcoming vacation or a relationship providing for you to have a more relaxed and carefree life. Enjoy the satisfaction that your future will make you feel like a kid again.
Every Tarot spread sings the harmony created by the cards interacting with each other. Cards closest to each other have a deeper effect in coloring what each other indicate.
When the Six of Cups is combined with The Lovers card, look for a relationship to be idealistic and playful. You might have a hard time setting limits and establishing boundaries, but you will still be having fun. This card is the highest echo of the Six of Cups. On the flip side, the card numbered 16 in the Tarot is The Tower and indicates that a serious immaturity on your part has caused neglect to a situation that is due for a dramatic upheaval due to being radically out of balance from what is called for. Your behavior at this time will be under intense scrutiny and carry a burden.
When The Chariot card is drawn, you will be victorious over a more prepared opponent. This card combination is seen in many underdog sports victories and legal battles that emulate the David and Goliath tale.
When paired with the Temperance card, the Six of Cups is a card that allows you to enjoy the simple things in life. The Queen of Cups or The King of Cups works well with this card in giving you an appreciation of life as an adult with enough sense to remember to enjoy things as you did as a child and never be too weighed down with responsibilities.
Paired with the Two of Pentacles and you will spend your money irresponsibly, while you will hold onto something valuable for sentimental reasons if the Six of Cups is near the Four of Pentacles. One of the Tarot’s Major Arcana cards that goes great with the Six of Cups is the Strength card, as the purity of your belief is enough to fight off the criticisms of those with less than honorable intentions.