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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Journey through My Decks: 6 of Cups (by Zanna)

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the SIX OF CUPS from the Fairytale Tarot designed by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov, with artwork by Irena Triskova (published by Magic Realist Press).

Hansel and Gretel, one of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's Household Tales, can be read HERE. The tale is categorized as Aarne Thompson type 327A (a subtype of type 327: "The Children and the Ogre"), and includes an episode of type 1121, "Burning the Witch in Her Own Oven."

In her introduction to the Minor Arcana, Karen Mahony provides several keywords and phrases for the suit of Cups: emotions, inner feelings, creativity, aesthetics, love, affection, sensitivity, intuition, and compassion. The focus of the suit of Cups on inner experience can also lead to a tendency to be too fragile or sensitive, morose, or neurotic.

The story of Hansel and Gretel is a very familiar one to many people. Also known as "The Babes in the Wood," it depicts innocents surrounded by possible danger, unprotected by the adults who are supposed to care for them. Although the story ends happily (thanks to Hansel's cleverness and a kindly white duck), it is a harsh tale. Inexperience and naivety are presented as liabilities that can be exploited. The loss of innocence can be a traumatic experience that triggers lifelong cynicism and suspicion. Or it can simply make us wiser and more careful without destroying our ability to trust.

Keywords and phrases provided by Mahony: "Allowing yourself to be as open and trusting as a child. A period of nostalgia and sweet memories. Sharing and caring."

About the Deck: Karen Mahony tells us that in creating The Fairytale Tarot, she and Alex Ukolov "wanted very definitely to make a deck for adults, a deck that acknowledged and appreciated these tales as they were originally told B complete with shadows and, sometimes, a dark sensuality." She writes that the cards are designed to "clearly relate to accepted tarot meanings, but in ways that are thought-provoking and expansive, and most importantly of all, transformative."


  1. This is such a wonderful card just in general and I love the association with Hansel and Gretel!

  2. The Hansel and Gretel association really is perfect, isn't it? I find that the fairy tales are extremely well chosen in this deck.

  3. I loved this card and its association as you say is just perfect for the 6 of cups. I shall look forward to seeing more from this deck.

  4. I just realized my links were incorrect, so I fixed them. I find the Aarne-Thompson Fairy Tale classification system to be quite interesting!


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~ Zanna