Six of Cups Meaning

Six of Cups Meaning: Upright and Reversed

The Six of Cups follows the Five of Cups in the Minor Arcana. It is a card of innocence, childhood wonder, and happiness. But it also serves as a warning to not live too much in the past.

This Tarot card can also be interpreted as revisiting childhood memories and nostalgia as well as learning from family traditions.

Read further to get more in-depth information on Six of Cups meaning!

Keywords for the Six of Cups Upright and Reversed:

Keywords for the Six of Cups Upright:

  • Childhood
  • Nostalgia
  • Wonder
  • Happiness
  • Joy
  • Traditions
  • In touch with your inner child
  • Innocence

Keywords/phrases for the Six of Cups Reversed:

  • Forgiving
  • Stuck in the past
  • Not in touch with your inner child
  • Fear of being judged
  • Moving from your comfort zone
  • Achieving independence

The Suit of Cups

The suit of Cups has to do with love and human relationships but also psychic intuition and the subconscious. The Cups and the element of water challenge us to delve into the unknown within ourselves in order to confront the best and the worst of our inner workings.

Cups are also referred to as chalices, vessels, and cauldrons, amongst other things. The name they are referred to as varies with the Tarot deck, the artist, and their chosen expression.

Cups are associated with the element of water and therefore are also associated with the water signs of the zodiac or astrological calendar. Those three signs are Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio. If you pull this card in any tarot reading, you should stop and reflect if any water signs are involved in your question.

The Six of Cups specifically relates to Scorpio: the fixed or, in other words, most stubborn of the water signs. Scorpio stands in frozen water: immobile and resistant to change. All of the fixed signs have these personality traits.

As far as the Cups suit having to do with love and relationships, relationships come in all shapes and forms, so these are not necessarily all romantic cards or interpretations. The suit of Cups will apply to your relationship with yourself, your loved ones, and even your enemies. Pay attention to the cards around it and remember what you asked the deck before jumping to romantic conclusions.

The Sixes in the Tarot 

The Sixes in Tarot decks often refer to support, charity and giving.

Because the Sixes follow the Fives, which are the struggle cards of each Minor Arcana suit, the Sixes can indicate a period of exhaustion. Pulling Six means you’ve experienced the emotional, mental, and physical drain of a Five and therefore need to lean on others for help.

Of course, this could also be indicating a person nearby needs your help too. If you haven’t experienced struggle recently and pull a Six, take a moment to think if anyone around you might need your support right now. If they do, the Tarot card is telling you to offer your help.

Symbolism and Imagery in the Six of Cups

The Six of Cups depicts two young people: a young boy and a girl, the girl a bit younger than the boy. The boy leans over to give the little girl a gift of a cup filled with white flowers. This is a gesture of passing on traditions.

White symbolizes innocence and purity, and the green in the Cups also represents a connection to the earth. The boy is handing the little girl a bounty, a gift, and something without ulterior motives. This is a pure gift of love and tradition.

Around them is a lot of yellow, connecting them to the higher consciousness. The boy and girl both wear a little bit of blue, tying them to the element of water and the subconscious and the sky itself is a light blue.

The boy’s hood and pants are red, as are the little girl’s shoes. Red represents fire and ambition. The red being on the little girl’s feet shows her journey is just beginning. The young boy has already had a bit of a journey. His boots are orange, as is her hood, showing challenges in their future. Right now, though, they are pure, innocent, and safe.

Behind them is a quiet town, signifying security and stability as it is in good condition with an adult guarding it. This is a rare moment in childhood where everything is perfectly alright. The future and the present are both bright for these two and for whoever drew this card upright.

Upright Six of Cups Meaning

Pulling the Six of Cups upright in any reading is not necessarily negative, but it’s no place to stay because it can indicate living in the past. While it’s okay to reminisce, it’s not okay to delve too much into childhood nostalgia, and it can prevent you from living in the present.

The Six of Cups can be telling you that you’re reminiscing too much. Do you feel your happiest days are behind you? If so, it’s time to stop and look forward. More blessings are coming, but they won’t if you’re not present.

The Six of Cups upright could also be telling you that you’re in touch with your inner child. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re still living up to your adult duties. This card easily signifies being naive so take caution from it if you feel as though it’s possible someone near you could take advantage of your trusting nature.

No matter where you pull this card, even if it signifies something positive for you, it is laced with the warning of living in the past.

Reversed Six of Cups Meaning

The reversed Six of Cups in a reading is also trying to usher you along. This Tarot card blocked, though, can also be telling you that you’ve done a good job at revisiting the past enough to forgive and forget.

If the Six of Cups is reversed, it could be telling you that you are no longer in touch with your inner child. This is a danger zone; being in touch with that pure innocence is healthy, and without it, you can become numb and cruel.

The Six of Cups reversed could also indicate that you are unwilling to aid someone near you. Sixes are charity cards, remember so if this is blocked, it is telling you that support is not coming your way or you are not giving it where it is needed.

The Six of Cups Upright in a Love Reading

Pulling the Six of Cups upright in a love reading could indicate a few things.

Firstly, since this card refers to the past, the obvious place to start is an ex coming back into your life. This could be a good or bad thing, as all exes can go either way in that sense! Be cautious, don’t let yourself get caught up in the good memories. If this person has hurt you, you need to address how they did and why before letting yourself fall back in love with them. Don’t get so caught up in the good times you had that you forget if they were ever abusive, toxic, or dishonest.

If you are still with your partner, you’re probably going to experience a time of affection and love. This is going to come from a period of remembering your honeymoon phase or reconnecting with the activities you did when you were falling in love. This is going to be a lovely rekindling of affection for you both. Enjoy it!

The Six of Cups Reversed in a Love Reading

If the Six of Cups is reversed in a love reading, the ex-factor is still relevant. If you’ve been thinking about them a lot and the Six of Cups is reversed, this isn’t the person for you. Yes, I’m sure you had happy moments, we all do, but that doesn’t mean the relationship was good or right for you. I encourage you to do what you can to get out, distract yourself romantically, and do your best to put that ex out of your mind.

You also may be already chatting or dating your ex but keeping it from your friends. You’re doing this because you know your friends don’t like the ex. Is their distaste warranted? Did this person hurt you before? Whatever their reasoning, you’re keeping it from them because you’re afraid of being judged by them. This isn’t a healthy situation; figure your way out of it.

If you’re in a relationship and you pull the Six of Cups reversed, this could be a kick in the butt to stop living in the past. You may be thinking of an ex; you may be unable to let go of a betrayal or argument between you and your partner. If you have forgiven, it’s time to move forward. If you cannot forgive, it’s a different conversation which you owe your partner. Don’t hold a grudge: either move forward with them or move forward without them.

The Six of Cups Upright in a Money and Career Reading

As far as your career, when you pull the Six of Cups upright, this is a good time for you to look back on how you got to where you are now professionally. We all learn a lot over the years at our various jobs, and the Six of Cups is encouraging you to stop and do so right now.

There are lessons to be learned for how you rose through the ranks in the past, what you learned, and who helped you get there. The Six of Cups upright is telling you to stop and think about those lessons and how they can help you right now.

More focused on money, the Six of Cups is about support and charity. You may be getting an inheritance or a low-interest loan for a new venture. Whatever you need financially, it will be given to you, and it’s possible that it will be given without a need to be paid back. You may also be the one offering this support depending on where the card falls in your Tarot spread.

The Sixes are about support, so perhaps a family member will fund your next project, or maybe they will gift you their home to move into rent-free, maybe they will give you a down payment on your own place.

Because the Six of Cups is so tied to charity, I’m inclined to believe this loan or donation will be given by an elderly family member.

The Six of Cups Reversed in a Money and Career Reading

If the Six of Cups is reversed in your money and career reading, you may be dwelling too much on the past to excel in the moment and future. All industries change and evolve, and if you aren’t doing so with them, you’re doomed to be left behind. Take a class in a computer program you feel you’re weak in, or ask a coworker if you can buy them dinner in exchange for a quick tutorial. Improving these skills will improve your work productivity.

This could also indicate that the work you are doing is no longer challenging or interesting for you. What once thrilled you now bores you. If you feel this way, I advise you to move on and find a new job.

The good news is that pulling this card reversed in a money reading will indicate you are financially stable enough to become more independent. If you’ve been scared to move out of your parents’ house, now is a good time. You are no longer a child, which is illustrated by this card behind blocked, so it’s time to become more independent.

If the Six of Cups appears reversed to you and you’re considering making any moves towards more independence, the time is right. Go for it!

The Six of Cups Upright in a Home and Family Reading

Pulling the Six of Cups upright in a home and family reading is telling me that you are very connected to your family. This card is all about childhood, childhood wonder, tradition, and taking care of one another.

You may be looking to an elder, though not much older, for help right now. Is there something an older sibling or cousin can share with you at this time? It might be money, but it is more likely a family tradition. Have you wanted to try some of your grandmother’s recipes? See who in your family has them, ask for their help.

This could also indicate an act of charity from a family member. Your older sibling, cousin, or parent may be planning to give you some kind of support to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; your family wants to support you in whatever way they can.

The Six of Cups Reversed in a Home and Family Reading

As we discussed in the career and money reading, the Six of Cups reversed indicates a movement towards independence. So if you’ve pulled this card reversed in your home and family reading, it’s telling you to make your move and move out of your family’s home.

If you don’t live with your parents or a family member or any kind of situation where you aren’t paying rent or are perhaps paying a very low rent, consider your current state. Are you ready for another challenge? The Six of Cups thinks you are. Since it’s in your family and home reading, this is telling me that it’s time for you to physically move on. Look for a new place, probably farther from your family than you’ve ever lived before. You’re ready!

The Six of Cups Upright in a Health Reading

If the Six of Cups appears to you upright in a health reading, you or someone you know needs support right now. You may not realize it (even if it is you), but the moment to act is now.

You or your loved one may need a small loan, or maybe just a home-cooked meal. Whatever the support is, you need to stop what you’re doing and think about who might need you and if you need someone else right now.

The Six of Cups is telling you in this Tarot reading that it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s also okay to offer help. It will improve your health or the health of a loved one if you do.

The Six of Cups Reversed in a Health Reading 

If the Six of Cups is reversed in your health, reading could be indicating that a health issue you’re currently experiencing is actually genetic. Look into your family’s medical history if you are able to. Talk to relatives, reach out. This could be the missing puzzle piece to a health issue.

Furthermore, the Six of Cups reversed could be pointing out a current mental, emotional, and/or physical issue you’re having that stems from childhood trauma. You should talk to a professional and address these issues; they won’t get better on their own. I know it’s hard, but the Six of Cups is telling you that you need to address the trauma.

Six of Cups FAQs

Question: I don’t have strong family traditions or a strong family bond, but I pulled this card in the home and family reading upright. What does that mean?

Answer: Families come in all shapes and sizes. For me, I have a strong tie to my friends and family. If you’re the same way, maybe someone you see as a sibling but who isn’t technically your relative is at play here. Stop and think about who you see as family, regardless of DNA. How you see them is how the Tarot cards see them.

Question: How does this card relate to the Five of Cups before it?

Answer: While the Five of Cups is about picking up the pieces of a loss or trauma and moving on, the Six of Cups is about receiving support in your next venture. The two tie together well in telling the story of a life with perfectly normal ups and downs.

Question: Why is there so much yellow in a water sign/element card?

Answer: Great question. This is really to tie us to the higher consciousness. The card is pulling you to the past, which is done through the mind. The subconscious is the sublayer of your memory. They are both present in this card because they both ask you to consider them in your next move.

Final Thoughts on the Six of Cups

The Six of Cups, no matter the reading or if it’s reversed or upright, is warning you of the past. While reminiscing is nice and healthy, living in the past is a danger.

The Six of Cups calls us to learn from our pasts; whether it’s past mistakes or successes, past lovers, or family traditions, it’s all valuable. Now the question is, what will you do with the lessons learned?

Continue reading:

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