Six of Cups

VI

A medieval town square. A young boy offers a white flower in a golden cup to a young girl. Behind the boy, another white flower sits in a cup on a pedestal, and in the foreground, four white flowers and cups are lined in a row. In the distance, a sentry patrols the square.

With the Six, our Cups have been transformed from a vessel that holds water to one that holds flowers. This reminds us that the power of love can rejuvenate us, it can also serve as the vessel through which new life can grow outside of ourselves. We experience this every time we perform an act of generosity or kindness for someone, no matter how seemingly trivial; we do these things not in our own self-interest but in faith that every positive emanation we ever make resonates across all of Creation for all time, and helps to restore harmony to the cosmos. This requires faith that is childlike in its simplicity, but as we have been told by one of God’s greatest messengers, we must “be as little children” before we can enter the kingdom of heaven.

Only a handful of cards in the Tarot contain images of children, and of them, this is the only one that shows the act of giving. It suggests that charity and mercy are instinctual to us—we are born with these traits, in other words, and we only lose sight of them as our egos develop and we begin to think of ourselves as separate from the rest of humankind. The Six is indeed a card of innocence and purity—as embodied in the white flowers—and it advises us to reflect on occasion and ask ourselves how we can regain some of that innocence again and see the interconnectedness of all things. Of course, we can make the mistake of over-romanticizing our childhoods—and most of us do, at one time or another—but we can reclaim some of that magic by doing right by each other instead of fighting each other.

This is Tiphareth in Briah, the station on the Tree where God’s love and man’s highest aspirations meet and compliment each other: It is the downward-facing and the upward-facing triangles that form the magic star, the magen David in the House of Divine Love. The house behind the children has six windows, as does the tower to the left, and the five-petaled flowers stand for the five senses of man. It reminds us of what we discussed with the Ace—only now, we are asked to pour all of ourselves, and all of our faculties, into the selfless act of love. There is nothing to fear or doubt in this task, for we are protected always; just as the sentry in the background watches over the children, so too our “heavenly sentry” will guard us from harm.

Meanings of this card can include: Childhood memories, childhood wisdom, mercy and charity, “the past recaptured,” innocence regained, memories or nostalgia, or love in all its aspects; but also delusions of childhood, innocence lost, forgetfulness, miserliness, lessons of the past forgotten, or separation from humanity. “Suffer little children, forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Dante DiMatteo

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