Story: The Emotional
Element: Water

We overcome the hardship in the Five by the lesson taught by the Sixes. Keywords: Remembering, movement, sharing.

Card meaning

One of the ways we can overcome the grief and mourning of the Five is to look to our past and the happy memories found there. This is the story of the Six of Cups.

Here, the cups are all turned up again, but instead of watery emotional energy, now the cups are filled with blooming flowers, impossible to spill even if the cups are toppled.

The Six of Cups is one of the only Tarot cards that refers explicitly to the past. There is a difference between reflecting on the past to draw strength from the lessons we’ve already learned and applying those lessons to help us in the present, and dwelling or getting stuck in the past. When the Six of Cups appears in a reading, it is because there is a lesson you’ve already learned that could help you now.

The past is immutable. Avoid the desire to look back with a mind to wishfully change the past (for this is how we get stuck there). Instead, look into your memories for moments of joy and gratitude, for these are the gifts of the past that are relevant in the present.

This is also another card that can refer explicitly to sex and childbirth. These things are represented in the childlike nature of the card, because we tend to look back on such events without regret—with a sense of wonder and fullness.