The Six of Cups represents memories, friendship, reconciliation, the past, and childhood. When this card appears in a reading, it foretells that an old face from years gone by will put in an appearance. It also alludes to repetitive situations and scenarios.
In the Rider Waite deck two children are shown, one offering the other a cup. Since cups are associated with emotions, this can be interpreted as an offering of friendship or a gift of some kind.
The Six of Cups is the quintessential reconciliation card. If you are hoping for a renewal of affections of someone, this card is a favourable omen. The scenery in the background shows an old village and as such hints at childhood upbringing and nostalgia for times gone by. Creating an ideal family environment with children is also a potential interpretation, or this card can symbolise the desire for something wholesome and innocent.
In a love reading the Six of Cups is quite a dynamic card to appear as it can be extremely positive or very negative. The positive is that it can signify old wounds being healed, that your lover feels very familiar to you or shares your culture or background. It can also reveal that the two of you have quite a childlike and innocent way of relating to one another. Between established couples, it can represent an idyllic family life or that they will in the future create a picture-perfect home complete with children.
More negatively it can warn you that you are not seeing your partner for who they truly are, that you have an outdated perception of them and how they used to be and this bears no correlation to what the reality of your relationship is. It can also show that the two of you have not really graduated beyond the “puppy love” phase or started to build your relationship on a mature and stable foundation. More dramatically, this card can warn you that your love interest is still heartsick over someone from their past and that you are competing with "the one who got away.“
In a work reading the Six of Cups can foretell that someone from your childhood or home town will bring news of a job opportunity or that you already work with, or will work with, long-standing friends. Less positively, it can hint that you have been in the same role for a long time and you are craving something new.
Positive Aspects: childhood, home town, reconciliation, nostalgia, comforts, idyllic family life
Negative Aspects: seeing things through rose-tinted glasses, being stuck in a rut