Six of Cups Explained - Upright & Reversed Meanings
Last Updated: November 7, 2023
The Six of Cups is the sixth card in the Suit of Cups (also known as the suit of Goblets or Vessels) and one of the fifty-six suit cards from the minor arcana. In divinatory tarot, the Suit of Cups is typically associated with the element of water.
It traditionally represents emotions, intuition, relationships, and creativity. Each card of this suit can provide insight into different aspects of our lives such as love, friendship, family, and emotional well-being.
The sixes in tarot often represent the start of clarity, security or support, following the challenges of the five, bringing in some harmony and balance. This six is no different, and offers this support with reflections from the past.
Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.
In this article, we will discuss the meanings of the Six of Cups in various tarot reading contexts as well as the different symbols and nuances that can be found within this court card.
Pictorial Symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck
The artworks from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck contain deeper esoteric meanings that tarotists love to decipher.
The Six of Cups’ illustration depicts two children. The older child bends down to hand the younger child a cup of flowers. Another cup of flowers sits on a pillar behind the older child, and the remaining four cups can be seen, each full of flowers, in the forefront of the card. In the background is a large house, and a man is seen walking away in the distance.
This scene is one of security, innocence and childhood, with the focus on the children and their exchange, with the adult person walking into the distance symbolising letting your adult concerns go for a while.
The Six of Cups key correspondences
The past, childhood, nostalgia, innocent, reconnecting with past-relationships, reunions, familial support, memories and creativity
Being stuck in the past, resentment, lack of playfulness, maturity, unresolved childhood abuse, childhood issues, boredom, lack of creativity
|Yes or No|
Sun in Scorpio, November 3rd to November 12th
What does the upright Six of Cups mean in the Tarot?
The Six of Cups is all about childhood, play, innocence and nostalgia. It serves as a reminder of the joy and carefree nature of childhood, and encourages you to revive that feeling in your life today.
You might be revisiting the place you grew up in, or reconnecting with past relationships that take you back to your childhood days; use this as a relief from any present stress, and as inspiration to embrace more openness and generosity in your life. It can also relate to the children in your life and what you can learn from them.
Spending time with children can help you unearth playfulness and freedom in yourself, and you can benefit from doing more activities that allow that.
What does the upright Six of Cups mean in a love reading
Pulling the Six of Cups in a love reading can signify harmony, generosity and reciprocation in your relationship. If you’re single, this card can be a sign that you will rekindle a relationship from your past, or that a relationship from childhood might become more than it once was.
If you’re in a relationship, you are embracing the lighthearted energy of love and it feels like there is a rich generosity and openness between the two of you. There are times that a relationship requires a serious approach to challenges, but it’s important to remember to keep an element of playfulness and fun whenever you can.
What does the upright Six of Cups mean in a career reading?
The Six of Cups is a positive card to receive in a career reading, as it can signify collaborations, generosity and receiving money. Collaboration and teamwork will benefit you greatly; when someone close to you gets an opportunity, this will be favourable to you too, and you will all benefit from sharing knowledge and efforts.
Be open to connections and community within your work, because what you want will likely come from these connections.
What does the upright Six of Cups mean in a health reading?
Pulling the Six of Cups in a health reading can be a sign that you need to destress and take a break from the seriousness of life and enjoy more play. It may even mean stay home a little while. If you’ve been neglecting your fun and playful side and feel weighed down by stress, make time to embrace play and heal your inner child, for example by painting, dancing, playing a game or spending time with children.
The Six of Cups can also signify that you’re taking care of someone close to you who is suffering with their health. Your support is greatly needed and appreciated, so if you feel able to help someone who is struggling, reach out and see what they need. The Six of Cups can sometimes signify pregnancy, particularly in relation to siblings, but look to other cards to clarify this.
The Six of Cups as feelings/emotions
If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the Six of Cups suggests they feel secure and comfortable around you, and that you both have lots of memories together.
They equate you with feelings of innocence and childhood, so they might struggle to come to you when it comes to serious matters, but they feel a lot of love for you and your relationship brings them joy. They feel like they can be themselves around you and this relationship brings a sense of home.
The Six of Cups as a person
The Six of Cups as a person is someone who allows their inner child to lead. They are an innocent, and sometimes even naive individual, but always fun to be around. They are often controlled by their feelings and impulses and may struggle to take life seriously and make difficult decisions.
They might come across as carefree but seem to be stuck in the past, always longing for things gone by, and this can impact their ability to be present and to move forward with their life.
They are home-bodies and yearn for comfort and security, but will always be generous and keen to look after others, and will do it with a smile.
The Six of Cups as advice
The Six of Cups offers a gentle reminder to nurture your inner child and make time for play. Life can be really stressful, so it’s perfectly fine to take a break and let loose for a while.
You are doing well, and it’s time to lighten up a bit. Maybe you can find joy in revisiting places or people from your past to reignite your sense of fun and wonder.
Remember, it’s important to balance your responsibilities with a healthy dose of playtime. So go ahead, indulge in some carefree moments, and let your inner child shine!.
What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Six of Cups?
The Six of Cups is a card that embodies the water element and is closely linked to the passionate and loyal water sign of Scorpio. Scorpios are known for their unwavering dedication, intense emotions, and determination.
They are incredibly protective and have a strong desire to care for those they love, which is why the Six of Cups often reflects these qualities. It is ruled by the Sun in Scorpio on the tarot decan wheel, and typically associated with dates from November 3rd to November 12th.
Is the Six of Cups a yes or no card?
The Six of Cups is generally a yes card and is a good omen of positive energy around you.
Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of questions:
Querent Question: “Will I get the job?”
- Card interpretation: Yes, collaboration and teamwork will be most beneficial to you so be a team player and make valuable connections to progress.
Querent Question: “Is this new person in my life good for me?”
- Card interpretation: Yes, this relationship will be harmonious and playful, but don’t shy away from serious issues too.
Querent Question: “Will I achieve my current goals?”
- Card interpretation: Now isn’t the time for super serious matters, but an investment in something nostalgic or playful could pay off well for you.
Querent Question: “Should I start my own business?”
- Card interpretation: Yes, especially if it involves getting creative and playful. Be open to collaboration and mutual support to help your success.
What does the reversed Six of Cups mean in the Tarot?
Pulling the reversed Six of Cups can mean you’re stuck in the past and unable to move forward. You might find yourself feeling resentful or hung up on past experiences, interactions or relationships. If you’ve been finding yourself living in the past or feeling resentment for things long ago, it’s time to put the past behind you so you can truly be free. Practising forgiveness doesn’t mean that what happened was right, but it means you are able to let go of the past that’s weighing you down.
Similarly, if you’re spending too much time reminiscing on the past through rose-tinted glasses and the ‘good old days’, you’re going to be missing out on all the good things in front of you today. The reversed Six of Cups can also signify that it’s time to move forward and away from the comfort of childhood.
This might mean leaving the family home or walking away from relationships or places from your past. This can be scary and uncomfortable but pulling this card means you’re ready to do it. You can always return whenever you want, but you need to step away from the comfort of your childhood in order to grow.
What does the reversed Six of Cups mean in a love reading?
Pulling the reversed Six of Cups in a love reading can suggest someone from your past has returned or that you’re still hung up on a past relationship. Often the challenges that were present in the past will present themselves again in the future, so be mindful of addressing any concerns before you jump back into this relationship.
If you’re in a relationship, the reversed Six of Cups can suggest things have gotten a bit too serious, or even boring, and you need a new lease of life in your relationship. This relationship might be secure and comfortable, but you need to make time for some fun too. Make an effort to add some more playfulness and passion into your relationship.
What does the inverted Six of Cups mean in a career reading?
The reverse Six of Cups in a career reading suggests that you may be feeling disconnected from your work or finding it difficult to find enjoyment in your job. Perhaps you are struggling to connect with your colleagues or the work environment, and as a result, you may be experiencing feelings of boredom or apathy towards your work.
It’s essential to address these feelings and identify what changes you can make to reignite your passion and motivation towards your career. Consider exploring new opportunities or taking on new responsibilities that can challenge you and help you grow.
Embrace those moments to be creative and have fun wherever you can. Be gentle with yourself and trust that with a little effort and perseverance, you can rediscover your joy and fulfillment in your work..
What does the upside-down Six of Cups mean in a health reading?
In a health reading, the reversed Six of Cups can suggest ongoing or recurring health issues from childhood. If you’re suffering with poor health right now, it might be helpful to revisit issues from your childhood to help you deal with it.
These issues could also be inherited, so you might want to seek medical advice for any genetic issues you’re aware of, and seek support from your family during this time. If you are ever unsure about your health, however, always seek advice from your medical professional team.
In conclusion, the Six of Cups card is a powerful symbol of the past, childhood, nostalgia, innocent, reconnecting with past-relationships, reunions, familial support, memories and creativity. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you could potentially look back with a lot of love in your life, and bring in generosity as a part of your personal growth strategy moving forward. Romanticizing your life works for bringing in balance, harmony and building on the relationships in your life.
Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot practitioners, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.
The 56 lesser arcana cards relate to the day-to-day events of our lives, the more mundane aspects of our existence. Even though that part of the tarot is about the “smaller picture”, it symbolizes the constant choices we make that shape our lives, our characters, and ultimately our destinies.
Have you ever had a reading where the Six Of Cups appeared? What was the outcome? What does that card mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice?
Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below. Additionally, If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out my complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.
Written by Charlotte Hamilton
Charlotte Hamilton is an artist, tarot reader and founder of Sugar Storm Studio, a creative studio that empowers weirdos, rebels and outsiders through alternative fashion, creative workshops and tarot. Find out more at www.sugarstormstudio.com and follow on Instagram @sugarstormstudio.