By Sarah Taylor
I tend to look at movement depicted in tarot cards as an indicator of a particular sequence of events. As with the Weekend Tarot Reading of April 29, the only figure who is in motion is the one in the central card — this time, the Six of Wands — and this sets the direction for all three cards as they work together. In a nutshell, this reading is inviting me to read it from left to right, and it feels straightforward in terms of form, although the content will be unique for each of us, especially that of the third card, The Devil.
The Four of Cups and Six of Wands form a pairing that stands in visual contrast to The Devil. Both share similar colours; both are bright. In the Four of Cups, a male figure sits under a tree, either ignoring or unaware of the Cup being offered to him by a hand issuing from a small cloud. I often refer to this single cup as the Ace of Cups in miniature, the Ace of Cups being the source of all love — in other words, divine love, before it is manifested in its many different guises in our lives.
Divine love comes from another place. We can feel it, but it defies description, which tries to limit to words something that is limitless. The closest my words can take me today is the moment when we ‘click’ into oneness with everything, and that feels painfully insufficient. In the Four of Cups, the young man is so preoccupied with something — perhaps the three cups on the ground that he feels are not giving him what he wants — that he is failing to notice something else that has the potential to give him so much more. He has the opportunity to reach out and take a gift that would end his sense of isolation, self-absorption and disillusionment.
Does he take it? I think the Six of Wands suggests that he does, the solitariness of the preceding card giving way to victory and recognition.
I find the echoing of the grass of the Four in the green of the horse’s caparison in the Six interesting. It is as if the figure is grounded in something that is supportive and revivifying even while he is on the move. He carries his roots with him, and so he can draw on the strength of his connection to nature no matter where he is. It is not required of him that he stays in one place. In fact, this reading suggests that staying in one place is the stuff of torpor — and by ‘staying in one place’ I mean both emotionally and creatively.
Looking at the past and somehow holding on to an idea of how things ‘should be’ comes at the expense of greater inner freedom. When we choose to let go of our disillusionment, we can look up and see that not only is there an alternative, but that alternative offers us something we might not have believed was possible if we had chosen to keep our eyes focused downwards. Instead, here, the figure has raised his sights, and finds himself on the move again, supported, lauded. The effort has paid off.
Nevertheless, the Six of Wands is not the destination, but a waypoint: graduation implies movement to the next level. It is The Devil that provides him with the forum in which he can apply his newly found heart wisdom and his increased connection to the creative fires.
How The Devil manifests will depend on our own paths. The Devil is anything that enslaves us because we fail to acknowledge it as a part of us, and it is most often through relationship that we are given the opportunity to look into the darkness — our shadows — to illuminate what is there. What we find asks to be integrated: to be embraced with compassion and temperance, just as we can embrace with compassion and temperance those in our lives who are facing their own shadow natures.
And so I return to the Ace of Cups and a message that it gives us that feels central to this reading: to remember what real love is, to know that we are worthy of it, and to draw it into our hearts so that we can work to transform ourselves, and to create a space where others can do the same.
If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.