As a reminder, the suit of cups is driven by feminine energy and channels the power of emotions and feelings in every shape and form. Scholars and academics have connected the suit of cups to the classical element of water, and most of the cards from that suit embody the symbolic attributes of this element, one way or another.
Minor Arcana: Positive elements of Six of Cups
A boy and a girl are usually depicted on the six of cups minor arcana, and in most versions of tarot deck illustrations, they are both very young, probably under 10. They are standing next to a series of cups and chalices that have been refilled with flowers instead of any liquid. The boy and girl are facing one another and seem to be halfway through a conversation that catches their full attention.
The emotions conveyed by the suit of Cups are now deeply tainted with nostalgia but in a good way. Through basic daydreaming, the Querent can get reconnected with their inner child, channeling its essence in order to restore the candid innocence that used to be theirs.
Just like the two young children in the illustration, the Querent can experience the joy of simple pleasures and boundless affection, doing something for someone without feeling the need to receive anything in return.
Finally, this minor arcana also represents past memories coming back to the surface, visions, and images of your past taking shape before you.
Negative elements of the Six of Cups
Fond memories and daydreaming can turn into a gilded cage if they are not kept in check. When you have to face an extremely stressful everyday life, it might be tempting to turn your back on all your duties and responsibilities to simply close your eyes and experience your story and memories again. This can work, for a while, but might create a feeling of nostalgia that will be very hard to escape. As such, the presence of a reversed six of cups in a reading should be read as a word of warning against spending too much time in the past through the dark recesses of their mind.
Six of Cups and love
There are two possible interpretations when the six of cups is drawn for a love tarot reading. The first simply suggests that the Querent is constantly or almost constantly lost in their own memories, trying to reproduce a much simpler time where love and relationships were not so hard to keep up. This is not necessarily a bad thing when done with moderation, and could provide a much-needed change of pace in a relationship that might have otherwise fallen apart.
The second interpretation might be a desire to channel the innocence and youth of the boy and girl on the illustration by making a child of their own. This interpretation becomes even more likely when this minor arcana is combined with other thematic arcana for nature or motherhood like the Empress or the World. In that case, this is clearly something that should be discussed more seriously with their significant other.
Six of Cups: Traditional meanings
While a clear aftertaste of nostalgia and melancholy can linger around this card, the six of cups embodies a return to a simpler time when love and emotions were much easier to process and did not hurt nearly as much. These happy memories can act as a reference guide, a beacon providing a kind of long-term goal and something to look forward to. But these fond memories should not become an excuse to stay away from everyday life and neglect basic survival routine by shutting oneself away from the rest of the world. It should be used to provide further meanings and incentives to live life to the fullest, and not simply to daydream about an irresistible Utopia that would stay forever out of reach.
Happy memories, childhood, innocent joy, selflessness, and children.
Reversed: Living in the past. Apathy, lack of motivation, and out of touch with the real world.