In this article Six of Cups Symbols, I refer to the Six of Cups card from the Rider Waite Tarot deck, also known as the Waite-Smith, or Rider-Waite-Smith, or Rider tarot deck. In the Thoth Tarot deck this card is called Pleasure.
The symbolism found on this card is primarily drawn from mythology, history, and religious text.
Six of Cups: Key Symbols
Children, white flower, village, X inscription on pillar
“Children in an old garden, their cups filled with flowers.”A.E.Waite
The Original Rider Waite Pictorial Key to The Tarot
6 of Cups images and imagery: meaning, symbol, metaphor, allegories and legend
What Do The Children Symbolize in The Six of Cups?
The Six of Cups shows two children playing in a medieval, old-country square setting. An adult is in the background, maintaining watch at a respectful distance. There is a sense of safety, where innocence can flourish.
Children symbolize innocence, memories and childhood in Tarot. How to interpret the message of the children in the Six of Cups, or really any Tarot card, depends on the question you ask. However, the presence of the children can mean that whatever question you ask, the answer lies somewhere in your past, or by embracing an optimistic outlook.
This card is not encouraging you to linger too long in the past nostalgia. Rather, you are coaxed to take what you need, practically or emotionally, and use it to fortify the present.
What is The Meaning of The White Flower?
A white flower is planted in each of the cups in this card, and the flower has five pointed edges. Traditionally, white is a symbol of innocence and purity, and flowers are symbolic of love. In this instance, the flower is symbolic of innocent love, and purity of feeling and intention.
It is not clear what flower exactly, if any, is represented in this card. It could for example be the Plumeria, the 5-petal flower used in the hair of Hawaiian women to indicate their marital status. This flower has deep symbolic meaning, and signifies new life and new beginnings.
The flower also reminds me of an edelweiss, but the edelweiss has more petals. That said, I feel the words from the Sound of Music song could apply to this Tarot card:
Every morning you greet me
Small and white, clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless my homeland forever
What Does The Village Symbolize?
In Tarot, a town or village represents a place where people meet. It can signify that whatever you are trying to do in life, you cannot do it alone. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. The message here is don’t be afraid to ask for support if you need it, or to approach old friends or family for a favor.
The cottage in this card can indicate that ‘home’, parents or siblings are at the back of your mind.
What Does The Inscription X on The Wall Mean?
Notice the letter X inscribed on the pillar of the wall, behind the young man? This X could represent a coat of arms, symbolizing family history or aristocracy. It can indicate knowing people for a long time, living in a place for generations or acting in a traditional manner. It may even mean you have a karmic connection to some and shared a past life together.
The X might also refer to the Roman numeral ten. If so, it suggests that whatever the reader is focused on when they draw the 6 of Cups, has the possibility to turn into the Ten of Cups, a happy-ever after, in the future.
Or maybe the author Arthur Edward Waite intended the marking simply to say ‘X marks the spot’. This is, or was, a moment to remember.
What Sphere Does The Six of Cups Represent in Qabalah?
In Qabalah (Kabbalah), the 6 of Cups depicts Tipareth in Briah. Tipareth is the sixth sphere at the center of the Tree of Life. It is the heart and the sun. It is known as the sphere of beauty, and emphasizes mindfulness, the feeling of being present, being here.
Complete List: Tarot Card Symbolism
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.
The Ultimate Guide to Six of Cups Symbols