Welcome to another edition of Tarot Odd Couples, wherein I randomly draw two cards from the Tarot deck, hope that they are SUPER INTERESTING together, discuss how they relate to each other, how to read them together, and then yammer for a bit about the bigger ideas contained within. Like I am some sort of wise person. Snort.
This one will meander a bit. You can see the TL;dr at the bottom, if you need quick answers to your pressing Tarot confusion!
I drew the cards in the morning, the Six of Cups and Temperance, and then had to run errands, which was good, as I had decided that I needed to let my brain percolate on the subject, and how to introduce the Six of Cups…the card of tender nostalgia. While driving, the sky put on a show.
The sky has been particularly dazzling this week, here in Austin town, deep blue with giant mashed potato clouds plopped flat on the bottom and left puffy on top, looking from here like an angelic bounce house.
I have been so delighted by the giant Texas sky. As a Los Angeleno transplanted to Austin by young widowhood ( I have close family here), I am used to a flat, washed out blue and mostly cloudless LA sky, too dry to form these fluffy masterpieces in front of me, delighting me in a way that is hard to describe. Making me feel a special kind of “safe”, which is a feeling on short supply since losing my husband, and, you know, the world now being Bizarro World.
Then it hits me. These clouds are abundant in November in LA. And November, to a kid growing up in the last generation of Angelenos who will know a Los Angeles that was affordable, that had streets filled with kids on Halloween in every neighborhood…a pre-internet, delightfully punk rock childhood free of tethers and low on hovering supervision, is one of the best times of the year.
Privileged? Hell yes. My mom’s single motherhood barely registered for me in a struggling way, the self absorbed, weirdo brat that I was. We just knew Dad lived somewhere else and we saw him on weekends. She was that good. She made it happen. She is AMAZING at holidays, my mom. The best.
And November is the Good Time, when you are lucky little kid growing up in LA in a sane, comfortably middle class family. That is Halloween, and then Thanksgiving and Christmas all smack up against each other. And, because you are a kid, you don’t really grasp all the WORK THAT WENT INTO THAT..all the cooking and shopping and planning..so it was all sparked with a gently spooky promise like a Ray Bradbury short story. Good smells of cooking, people dressed up for parties, atmosphere changing decorations, the special food (you don’t get to eat yet, stop it) and the personal holiday rituals, and that delicious, difficult to quantify feeling that is a mixture of “everything is ok and very, very safe”…and “everything is magical and anything could happen”.
OK YEAH BUT ABOUT THAT TAROT STUFF, JHONE.
Right..right. Ok. Everything you read above? That is the Six of Cups in a nutshell. THAT feeling. And missing it now. Wanting that so much. Wanting to Go Home Again.
Hard to come by these days, innit? That safe but exciting feeling? Oh we have exciting. I mean, we have little tinpot despots here and abroad making really dazzlingly dangerous choices, so that’s a VERY exciting thing, yesirree.
But safe…cozy? Noooooope.
In relationships, the Six of Cups is about that too. The desire to be with someone who gets you on a deep, soul level. Forget acrobatic sex and passionate drama, er, for the moment. This is about comfort. Being known. Being seen and accepted. It can also mean an old friendship that blossoms into a romance.
It’s what we crave once we grow past the desire to have constant newness, constant variety, constant excitement. When you want sanctuary. Someone who has your back.
The sanctuary Temperance provides.
I took a lot of stupid risks when I was younger. I would list more of them, but, um, my mom reads this blog and I ain’t sharing, and don’t care if I am in my forties. I did a lot of stupid stuff. I had fun while doing it, don’t get me wrong, but if I have a guardian angel, well, they were busy then. BUSY. I used to think the Temperance card was SO boring. So very plebeian. So settling.
Now I cling to this card, when it shows up in a reading, like a life raft that is sailing to paradise. And paradise is food in the fridge, improved health, and being loved by at least one person. There is almond milk for my chai. It is not being on fire. It is no one dying of melanoma. Right now.
The Temperance card is one of contentment. Of Everything is Going to be Okay. My gods, BRING IT. I will get spanked in a tent on a beach later. (Hm, that was pretty random.) Just so pleased there are eggs and toast.
When Temperance shows up as an outcome card in a reading for another, I breathe a sigh of delighted relief. It means whatever nasty is happening now will end. If you are estranged from your beloved, there is a good chance of reconciliation. In fact, this is a classic combination for just that. The conditions will improve, and you will be content. YOU WILL BE CONTENT.
Content in an age such as this is tantamount to bliss.
TL;dr: In love based readings, the six of Cups is a card of sweet, affectionate emotions, nostalgia and tender romance. Paired with Temperance, it speaks of a delightfully comfortable life and love. Treasure it as much as you might treasure fiery passion, because the world is wild and wooly. This card combination is also a classic one of reconciliation and being reunited with an estranged love one…..just be sure that is really what you want!
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2 thoughts on “The Six of Cups and Temperance: Nostalgic Longing in the Age of Anxiety.”
I have been thinking a lot about the issues associated with those cards this month. It has been emotional stuff all around for all involved … most of it internalized. So I liked reading this discussion.
It’s hard to find comfort right now, even if things are all going ok. The Collective Dread is a thing in America at the moment. I hope you are able to find pockets of peace.