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How I finally found the healing within the 6 of cups (!)

I know I have caused a fair amount of debate with other readers by referring to the 6 of cups as the “Darkest card in the deck” when so many people connect it with nostalgia, innocence, childhood, and happy times.

Of course partly this is coloured by our own childhood. Not everyone’s childhood was innocent and simple. Perhaps my perception of this card has a lot to do with my personal childhood– this concept of childhood as a sugar sweet experience is simply not my experience, and even as a Tarot pro I read the cards based partly on my own personal connection.

I have found a little more of the positive in the 6 of cups recently, though it took me a while to fully understand.

After my marriage broke down I was in such a state of trauma that I could not read fiction. Now this may not sound like much – but I was OBSESSIVE about reading. I read an average of a novel a week (I’m a speed reader), would utterly lose myself in the story, and never went any where with out a book or my Kindle. Reading was my joy, my comfort, my pleasure.

Then BAM, my mind just couldn’t connect to story. It kept drifting. Or I’d over connect- not able to hold the emotion with in the book I’d find my self crying, shaking with fear, but unable to laugh at humour. Its as if reading had either become elusive, or too real- depending on my mood. I gave into “box sets” and gave up on reading.

Then last Christmas I made concerted effort and read a book on boxing day that had been recently released my a favourite author. I found some enjoyment, but it felt like homework.

In the end (like most things in life) I turned to Tarot. The number one card that kept coming up- that blasted 6 of cups. I got angry. I knew I was in a dark place, I knew I was trapped by my past, and boy what I wouldn’t give for that “sugar coated comfort” of the 6 of cups.

The card kept coming, and I kept avoiding. I wrote a whole damn book to avoid the wisdom of that bloody card (shameless plug- you can find my book on my website, or all good online bookshops- Tarot a life guided by the Cards.) But once the book was finished, there was that damn 6 of cups still waving at me from every spread.

So I listened, perhaps the solution is in the trauma?

I thought about the books I read as a teenager, when for various reasons life got really tough. My favourite author of the time was a dystopian futurist called “John Christopher”. I knew my kids had read a couple of his books (perhaps best known for the Tripods trilogy) so I upended the house searching for the books. There was my copy, read as a teen, and I re-read it. The magic happened- I was lost in the world of reading once more. I was finally able to recapture that feeling of being "in" a book, instead of reading the words.

I sourced more books by John Christopher and dived headfirst, the Tarot had not been mocking my trauma, it had been pointing me to how I had survived an earlier trauma through reading. I started to go to bed a little earlier- candle lit, whisky poured. I started to look forward to re-engaging with childhood worlds, and it had a huge positive affect on my mood and mindset.

So I have shifted slightly my view on the 6 of cups (after all- I am still learning and growing). I always read it as the duality of childhood nostalgia/childhood trauma. I have mentioned it to numerous clients as “nurture your inner child”, but now I have experienced first hand just how powerful that expression is.

I still point to the 6 of cups as the darkest card, but the light is there too.


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