The shadow side of the Six of Cups is a breach of trust that is made by the party holding the greatest power in the relationship. Children are not little adults, employees are not friends who get a bonus, and constituents are not business adversaries. In relationships wherein the ultimate power to choose resides with one party, navigation requires a mature rationality from the powerful party. Immaturity will lead adults to believe they are the victims of the children they harm or the employees they underpay or the voting bloc that elected them. However, arbitrary or punitive uses of authority will be called out. Personal and public grievances will be heard, because even in its darker moments the Six of Cups is still an exchange. Now is the time to state our commitments and prepare to work in conjunction with others to establish a boundary around the behavior that has shattered our trust.

The Three of Swords means sorrow and we will feel it. We will face a variety of forms of loss and disappointment, all of it impossible to deny. It will take both intention and effort to integrate our emotions and to make a useful truce with reality. This is an active process through which feelings and people change. We might grapple to make sense from what we have learned about those we knew or thought we knew. This motion will loosen our entanglements and some, perhaps many, of the narratives we have used to contextualize ourselves and understand others will undergo an unraveling.

The Six of Swords is the ideal medicine for this moment as it represents our process through changes beyond our control. Our feelings of loss and regret don’t have to make sense to exist, but we still must process the mental activity that comes with those feelings. What we leave behind might seem like a dream that got broken on the nature of the world but even more than this, the dream itself was full of bad takes and entitlement (yours or someone else’s). Taking responsibility for our own honest thoughts is a strong move that automatically offers tools for negotiating and renegotiating the roles we play in life. In the Six of Swords we travel in contemplation to care for ourselves. Being our own internal parents means we listen to our hardest feelings and soothe our confusions, with another part of the self gently guiding us to physical and emotional safety. It is extraordinarily important to keep going. May accountability and resilience be an alchemy for your resolve. 

illustration by Karla Rosas