Upright: Reunion, nostalgia, childhood memories, innocence
Reversed: Stuck in the past, naivety, unrealistic
On the Six of Cups, there are six cups filled with white, five-pointed flowers. A young boy seems to smell one flower, offering this filled cup to another young child. The small child symbolises the past and the taller child symbolises the future, and together they symbolise happy reunions with past friends or lovers. They share old pleasures with lots of nostalgia. In the background, there is an older figure walking away, symbolising our worries leaving us to be locked in the turret. The house symbolises comfort and security but the barren garden symbolises the lost happier times of the past. Everything is bright yellow which indicates great happiness in this overall scene.
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The Six of Cups is a card of childhood, nostalgia, naïve happiness, and generosity. You want to return to the happy memories of your past, whether as a child, teenager or adult. Oftentimes, though, these memories are indeed a thing of the past and reflect aspects of your life that have since vanished. You may feel that the only way to connect to this happiness is to escape into the past where you can reflect on your happy and beautiful memories, instead of dealing with current challenges. This is fine if you are simply taking a walk down memory lane but it is important that you live in the present and accept your current circumstances rather than always living in the past.
Oftentimes, there is nothing wrong with looking back at the good times for inspiration when things are not going so well. In the midst of change and crisis, the Six of Cups suggests that looking back at what you have endured is a good way to assure yourself that, whatever trials lay ahead, you will meet them and you will overcome them as you overcame others. After losses such as those on the Fives, the Six of Cups suggests that you need to take time out to heal, look back on the past and all the good that lies there. During this period of reflection, there is no need to focus on the negative. Instead, bring all of the positive energy from the past into your present and your future. The fallen cups are now full and upright again but with blooming flowers that cannot be spilled or washed away. Now that you have looked back, the way forward will be clear and enlightening.
The Six of Cups can represent a return to a familiar environment or to a childhood place. You may return to your home town, to your parents’ house, to your high school or even kindergarten. You could be going to a high school reunion or reconnecting with a childhood acquaintance. A teenage sweetheart or past lover may turn up again. Allow yourself positive, nostalgic memories of childhood, friends and family. If you can, spend time with younger people.
The Six of Cups can also point to your inner child and suggests a need to experience child-like joy. The child you were still lives within you and must be cared for. This is often referred to as working with your inner child. People with persistent problems such as addiction, depression, troubled relationships and chronic dissatisfaction can transform their lives with inner child work and find a new joy and energy in living. The source of your problems may be in past events that are triggered in the present. We are made up of many parts and inside we still have the little child and adolescent we were with all of its experiences and feelings. This can lead to the inner child reacting strongly to certain experiences, situations and feelings in the present, based on experiences of the past. Working with your inner child and getting to know where these feelings come from can change that and enhance your choices in miraculous ways. When we are being playful, spontaneous, creative, intuitive and surrendering to the spiritual self, our genuine authentic Self, who we know deep within us, our real Self is being welcomed and encouraged to be present.
The Six of Cups can also refer to children in your life. It can denote a pregnancy, birth or adoption, depending on the other cards in the reading. Or, it may indicate that you are about to spend more time with young children, playing, laughing and learning together. Children play a significant role in your present life, and can serve as great advisors. Children are good role models to follow when this card is present. They see the world as a completely perfect place and their hearts are open to experience the myriad pleasures of the world around them.
The Six of Cups almost radiates an aura of joy, because it represents the past with all its memories, the present with all its gifts, and the future with all its wondrous opportunities. The Six of Cups can thus signal a gift given or received, or some other similar gesture. You may be inspired to act kindly or charitably, or to do a good turn for another person. You are more open to sharing what you have and being well-intentioned.
The Six of Cups reversed may indicate that you are clinging on to your past. There may be issues from your past that you have not yet fully processed. It is important to explore the memories of your past but do not get stuck there. Your ideas and beliefs that were established in the past may be prohibiting your progress. Use your past as a guide for your future, and focus on living in the present.
The Six of Cups is a card of nostalgia, childlike love and generosity, and a carefree, naïve outlook on life. Reversed, it suggests that you may have had unrealistically rosy ideas about a particular stage of life, based on your dreams and ideals from when you were younger. For example, you may have always pictured yourself as married with children by 25, only to realise that once you hit 25, you had other goals in mind. Or you may be disappointed that you have reached a particular age but have not fulfilled your childhood dreams just yet.
The Six of Cups reversed can indicate fertility issues and problems with bearing children. If you already have children, there may be disciplinary issues that you are trying to get under control.
Sometimes, the reversed Six of Cups can indicate child abuse or sexual abuse sustained as a young person. You may still be working through these issues and trying to release yourself from the harmful memories. Alternatively, you may be working with others who have repressed memories from their childhood and who need your support.