Six of Cups — Part II
Sometimes it’s valuable to consider a card in light of other cards that seem similar or related to it. A few weeks ago I posted an article about doing this with the Six of Cups. In that article I discussed similarities and differences between the Six of Cups and the Two of Cups and as a result, I saw that we can see the Six as advice to “Pay love forward.” Today, I am going to expand on this card by comparing it to a couple other cards.
One way to explore a Minor Arcana card is to compare and contrast it with the Major Arcana card having the same number. In this case, that is the Lovers card (Key #6). A common view of this card comes from its title, but another, traditional interpretation is that it indicates a choice in one’s life, especially an important, defining choice. One message that I like for this card, which incorporates both of these views, is that love is a choice. This is not to say that we choose who we fall in love with, but rather it says that we choose how we treat each other – with love and compassion … or not.
The same may be said of the Six of Cups. Who knows how well the two people represented by this card know each other? Are they old friends or new acquaintances? So this card says that we can treat everyone – from lovers to strangers – from a place of love (vs. from a place of fear and separation) when we choose to do so and not when we wait for the feeling of love to come to us. Again, love is a choice, and, as we see in the image on this card, it is an offering we make to one another too.
Another way to deepen our understanding of a card is to consider what card either precedes it or follows it numerically in its suit. In this case, I chose to consider the Five of Cups, a card commonly seen as loss and grief. A couple of inferences we can draw from this sequence (the Five to the Six) are:
* Everyone has suffered loss, everyone has felt grief, and everyone can use a smile and a kind word when they are in such pain. It’s easy to smile at a happy person, but it’s harder to smile at someone who looks like a poster child for the Five of Cups, even though they are the ones who need it the most. As Dolly Parton (as Miss Mona) said in the movie Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, “When I see someone without a smile, I give them one of mine.”
* It is through our grief that we become able to empathize with the suffering of others. And through such pain, we can become better able to connect with others on a deep, heart-to-heart level.
I hope that these musings on the Six of Cups have given you food for thought about this card as well as about new and interesting ways to consider other Tarot cards.