Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was.
~ Will Rogers
It is always interesting to see what the cards are going to tell us during a time when so many of us are beginning to step outside of our ordinary routines. As the winter holidays ramp up, with the magical Halcyon Days already underway, we welcome the Six of Cups.
The Cups are the cards of the element of Water, and rule emotion, intuition, dreams, and love. The Sixes offer balance and harmony, especially after the upsets of the Fives. The resolution of those conflicts comes from an exchange and sharing, bringing stability and understanding.
This card invites consideration of the bigger Six in the Tarot – The Lovers. Is this, then, a younger version – an exchange between innocent children (emphasized by the white lilies of purity) that will later be fulfilled in adulthood?
As I have discussed in past posts, once you look closely, you’ll discover a strange distortion in this card.
Is the figure in the left foreground an adult, an older child, or a dwarf? And is the right-hand figure a young girl or is she a tiny, little old lady?
This is compounded by the out-of-proportion perspective. Compared to the Cups in other cards of the suit, why are these cups so much bigger in relation to the people? Why is the cup sitting behind the boy exactly the same size as the ones in the foreground? If the rules of perspective are engaged, it should look smaller.
And who is the figure with the spear in the left background that is walking away?
Conventional interpretations of this card emphasize its sweetness, the joy we may receive from re-visiting fond memories, or perhaps a visit from a childhood friend. It has even been called the “Hallmark greeting card of the Tarot.” I would not argue with that.
But in a scene that looks so ordinary and sweet, there is something, not exactly threatening, but certainly slightly off-kilter. All is not how it seems at first glance.
There is a deliberate strangeness in this card, similar to how nostalgia can be a distortion of the way things really were.
The human heart has a tricky way of seeing what it wants to. Memories and expectations can become distorted, either by the actual passage of time, or by the filter of our imagination’s longing.
The timing of the Six of Cups’ appearance seems a gentle reminder of how easy it is to distort both our memories and our expectations regarding this Winter holiday season.
What happens when we connect with friends or family we have not seen in a long time? Sometimes those familiar places and faces have changed, but, as Tarot author Eden Gray wrote, this card may offer, “happiness and enjoyment that come from the past.”
So let us consider this an offering of peace, affection, and sharing.
Be on the lookout for an opportunity to give an unselfish token of love to someone who has been important in your past. What little acts of kindness may you find yourself able to offer? Refresh your spirit with happy memories, and reconnect with good people from days gone by.
Perhaps a long-lost lover may unexpectedly come visiting; there may be a reconnection with happy memories; something valuable you thought you might have lost turning up unexpectedly, or an important experience with a child or children in your life occurs. Please feel free to post about it here.
After all, there is nothing wrong with softening our gaze and overlooking the passage of time, when seeing our dear ones through the eyes of love.