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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Old English Tarot: 6 of Cups

In today's blog entry, Helen Howell continues her exploration of cards from the Old English Tarot by Maggie Kneen (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)

Old English Tarot
6 of cups
by Helen Howell

Now I had to study this card in order to get some sense of the meaning from it, as the Old English doesn’t automatically give out that feeling of nostalgia or memories as does the traditional Rider Waite card. However it does express a sense of happiness in its depiction.

Let’s take a closer look. We have six cups arranged in two sets of three, equally placed one set above the other on the card. Just looking at the cups alone gives me a sense of balance, as though the top set influences the second. What has gone before, now exists in the present. The cups seemed to be in harmony with each other. From this if we think of how the Rider Waite 6 of cups leans towards harmony and the past influencing the future, then we can see this symbolism in the placement of the 6 cups in the Old English.

The figure at the bottom of the card is a woman who looks almost as though she is about to dance while holding two bells. Bells tend to catch our attention and bring us to focus on whatever it is they are calling us to. The sound of bells can be a happy thing, and depending on the bells and their ring or chime, even an uplifting spiritual experience. Perhaps the lady in this image is celebrating because the effort from the past is now paying off. Or maybe she is remembering something that makes her happy.

I think the key to interpreting this card (and it’s only my opinion; you may or may not agree) is the arrangement of the cups, and how one set follows on or repeats from the other. This helps us to see that either something from the past is now influencing the future, or that they are in perfect balance and harmony with each other. Coupled with the figure, this indicates that perhaps something that has been long held and hoped for is now coming to fruition. Of course in a reading the cards that surround it will help you decided how to interpret it.

I admit that the symbolism in this card at first look is not so easy to interpret, but when you apply your knowledge of traditional meanings, you can see how it reflects those.

LWB says:
Memories, nostalgia, longing, past influences.
Reversed: Future, new opportunities.


  1. Hi! :)
    In my opinion, the sense of past and present is given by the dance position of the lady.
    She spreads her arms and looks toward (our) left: to me, left bell is the past, what lies behind us, that is also what lies "below" us (left bell is lower than right) in the sense that we construct the present "over" the past. The right bell is the present. So her spread arms in my opinion are a sort of bridge between these two temporal points and her eyes looking left mean past memories or influences that flow in the present situation :)
    (sorry for my english, it's not my mother tongue)

  2. Thanks for your insights into this Card Rose.


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