Weekly Tarot Reading for October 20-27th 2015: King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

Centennial Waite deck - King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

Centennial Waite deck – King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

This week’s reading is a continuation of last week’s reading, you can view it here.

This week seems to be all about discernment discernment discernment.

With the King of Cups, we attained this new level of emotional maturity, the culmination of the virtues of love – forgiveness, compassion, mindfulness, tolerance. He is able to see the multitude of humanity’s complexity and hold no judgement. Which is great!

But then on the other side we have the sword of judgement with the Queen of Swords. She’s all about deciding what takes precedence in her life, she realizes that we live in a world filled with imperfect people, and decides, with her head and heart aligned ,what she allows in her sphere of influence. She is all about boundaries.

Flanked in between these two mature figures is the four of cups – the focal point of the reading. The card of “divine discontent.” I am immediately drawn to the 3 cups in the forefront – the thing the figure is preoccupied with, kept at a distance (he is not engaged with those 3 cups – although he is staring at them intently – a sign that the cups/relationship/emotional situation do not currently offer what he truly wants/needs, and/or are otherwise unavailable, or perhaps he’s reflecting on those cups and has distanced himself to take time for this reflection).

I see these cups as the precursor to the 3 spilled cups in the 5 of cups. Something about those three cups left something to be desired – perhaps they’re people or situations that have caused the man in the figure to be cynical. I always refer to a cynic as someone who had high ideals that were dashed. So perhaps these cups are the cause of strife and longing, or fall below his expectations, so that he is wary of the cup currently offered to him, with the notion that the 4th cup will be just as disappointing as the other cups.

And, you know, who can fault him. I know we’re taught to have gratitude for the things we DO have, and that’s great, but when do things in our lives become too limited for our new outlooks in life indicated by the King of Cups? Perhaps you’ve learned to love yourself and others more, and with that, relationships and situations may actually need to be reviewed, perhaps you need to discern and allocate your time accordingly, you know the container’s too small kind of stuff. You will have to use the Queen of Swords cold blade of discernment. In one sense, yes, accept people and situations as is, love, forgive, etc. But, use your head. You don’t want to find yourself repeating the same patterns with people and situations that ultimately do not fulfill your needs.

There’s an element of meditation involved in the 4 of cups. He’s looking within. He’s sitting under a tree…there’s a sense of grounded stability in this card. Sometimes I think that people magically wish to wish away negative emotions if we simply meditate….and while that is true to an extent the momentary bliss high etc, sometimes the work of moving past blocks is to simply feel those negative emotions – are they petulant like the male figure in question? feel it. Is it anger? be with it. Meditation has a way of bringing up euphoric feelings, as well as the not so desirable feelings. I think the man in the four of cups is somewhat aware that this is taking place, even though intently staring at those out-of-touch three cups.

As well, that 4th cup being offered – I dunno, I my sense is that there is something positive there. How do we react to the cup offered? The two court cards are clues. The past does not have to be repeated if you can skillfully trust yourself, and know that you don’t have to take what’s on offer if it doesn’t suit you. However, be open enough to receive opportunity with an open heart…….there are still 2 cups standing in the 5 of cups. Perhaps one of them is the cup that was offered from out of blue in the four, still standing, waiting for you to engage with it.

In threes...an Abbey in Rome, Italy.

In threes…an Abbey in Rome, Italy.

Never Trust a Six

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The Sixes in Tarot: A Cautionary Tale, Morgan-Greer Tarot Deck

Never Trust A Six, by Carrie Sanders

Sixes in the Tarot Deck are a wily lot. At a glance the Sixes are represented pretty positively in the traditional Rider-Waite deck – the nostalgia and childlike innocence of the Six of Cups, the charity and gift giving of the Six of Coins, the Six of Wands victory lap on horseback, the Six of Swords image of a family rowing away from troubled waters- but they are often much more complex than what meets the eye. Sixes are usually journey/ departure cards and signal a relief from the sexy instability of the Fives. Whatever the situation the reading is about, it is definitely changing. The problem I see is that the Sixes usually indicate that the querent is choosing the cheap and easy way of getting out from under the current conflict. Take note, my fellow tarotizers: sixes are short term fixes!

I think the most easy to interpret is the Six of Coins. The rich man doling out coins while holding a scale overhead is pretty easy to interpret. Sure, it may be helpful to take that offer of cash now, but strings will be attached. There is judgment and superiority in the position of the benefactor. You can be sure the favor is expected to be reciprocated. A Six of Coins makes me wary and asks the question- can you afford this “charity” because this shit sure ain’t free!

Similarly, the Six of Cups is pretty easy to interpret. Emotional nostalgia is alluring- who doesn’t want to return to an easier time of innocence in love. I often see people getting back with some old flames on FB when I see this card. The thing about innocent love is that it is often irresponsible – and returning to a time of “innocence” is usually in avoidance of the reality at hand. If you are bored or unfulfilled a nice little stroll down memory lane with your 8th grade crush can give you a bit of a boost- but the feels of the Six of Cups are not sustainable. Be careful with the Six of Cups and rekindling old flames – it’s all fun and games until someone has to change their status.

The Six of Swords is usually referred to as the “moving away from trouble” card. Again, make sure this is not a rash move and really examine the long term consequences. This card can sometimes make me cringe a bit as the people in the boat usually are depicted as having a child or children with them. Questions to ask are how a move away from any situation will affect the family and anyone you are taking along for the ride.

When I was working as a ghostwriter on a group writing project, the card I separated from the deck and placed on the nightstand to meditate on was the Six of Wands. To me, this image of a triumphant mounted horseman with the laurel wreath represented the desired result of my effort – reward, pride and accomplishment . What I didn’t consider was this card depicts a one person victory parade – and one that alienates through its showboating arrogance. Sure, my work was done according to my schedule and I was pretty satisfied with the end result – but I was closed off to any feedback and marched right out of that unfinished project on my own. The Six of Wands is especially arrogant. The card is represented by Jupiter in Leo, so think of the expansion of all that “Me Me Me” Leo energy in any spread. In a relationship spread, this card can represent a kind of trophy spouse situation- All Eyes On Us! It most likely is a temporary situation designed to instigate some kind of jealous reaction.

Biblically a six represents man and human weakness. That said, I assure you that Sixes are nothing to fear, tarot friends. Just stay savvy to the slippery Sixes – particularly if you get several in a spread. This could mean there is deception, irresponsibility, or arrogance at hand. Trust your sixth sense.