Mary El Tarot - Six of Cups

Bat Chicken

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The six of cups shows an angel rising from the depths of the sea. Cliffs, or possibly ancient glaciers rise up in the background. His hands are the claws of the crab or crayfish, crawling from the depths. This card has more in common with the traditional Moon card at first glance. All it is missing is the Moon.

The Angel here is the archangel Uriel. He is a Patron of the Arts and carries the Fire of God. He is inspiration. Perhaps this is why he is plunging and exploring the depths of the Unconscious to mine for that inspiration? He brings it to the surface with him.



An interview with Uriel, star of The 6 of Cups.

Hi Uriel! Or do you prefer 'light of God?'

- Uriel's fine. My buddies, they call me Ur... you know what? Just call me Ur.

Thanks, Ur. I see from Marie White's book that she also refers to you as 'Sun of Tipareth.' What's that all about then?

- Yeah. No, that's not me, it's just the place I'm hanging out. It's pretty sweet. Beauty, harmony, balance. Ole Al had a nice way of putting it. "The effect of Sun on Water." Yeah, he was probably talking about evaporation and alchemy and whatnot, but you and me, we're not about E=MC squared or any of that. Right?

No, you and me, we're about the stuff you can't capture with numbers and signs and facts and figures. We're about that moment when you crest a hill and see the ocean for the first time. It hits you right there, right? You'll probably gasp and grin and just stand and look and feel yourself filling up. Bits of words, snaps of music. You feel yourself swelling with something you don't even know. And what's hitting you is the way the light washes the water and then they both dance. Yeah, light dancing.

And it's so bright, just for a moment, you squint and don't breathe and forget everything else. You step away from your hindbrain and just be about the beauty.

Yeah, the sun on water. Your response to it. It's what makes you human.

To want to capture it, hold onto the moment...

- Yeah! Exactly. Animals just enjoy beauty. Look at a cat in a sunbeam. They're just in it. But you guys, you humans, when you see something beautiful? You try to capture it. It's what you do. You can't bear that it's gonna end, so you try and make it last forever. You guys want to hold onto those moments of sheer perfection, bask in the beauty of mortality, forget its brutality. Cos it's uncompromising, either way.

So that's what you're doing? Rising through primal waters to a higher state of consciousness?

- Woah, LOL! Higher states? Nah, that's not what I'm about. What this six is about. Nah, I'm just rising to the pretty cool state of being human, you know? Not thinking yourself a God, not fearing yourself as a Devil. Just you being human. Part animal, part magician. Trying to capture your true self.

And here I am, bursting up from the water, helping you with that. Us angels, always the messengers. It's what we do. I'm telling you to capture the moment - or go back to one, times are hard - and I'll help you with that. Capture it without destroying it.

The lobster claws? How do they help? They must make it a bit tricky.[color]

- Ha! Well, it's my nature. Water boy. The moment was subtle, but the ways of capturing it can't be. Gotta be all in. Won't get anywhere close if you dance around it. Worse, the moment dissipates. You let it, you'll forget why it meant so much to you.

You know, when I first pulled the card, I thought you were sinking down into the water, which I read as your subconscious. Yet you say you're rising...

- Yeah, but it's a matter of perspective. Could be a moment you sink down - dig deep and all that, go back to your sun-on-water moment. That's nostalgia.

Or it could be the moment that you'll be forever trying to capture. You know? All artists know this... but yeah, that moment when your see the light and the water, dancing together, and it all just comes rising up out of you. Love, sadness, fear, peace, joy...when you're so human, it hurts?

And it all rushes out and you sing, or paint, or shout, or write, or dance? Anything to try and become it. Just describing it won't work. The moment is too big, the feelings to formless. It's gotta be inhabited and expressed, not just said.

That's this card then. That's me. That moment of utter perfection and humanity, when you forget those basic animal needs and become something more. That thing that needs beauty as much as water. And having seen it, spends the rest of your moments trying to recapture it.

It's pretty special. It's what makes you guys you.

You're taking about our response to the sublime, then? To our expression of our experience of the sublime through the arts?

Yeah. Probably. Whatever works for you. Course, some guys, that harmony'll be best expressed through perfecting E=MC squared. But, you know, I've got another guy on another card can help you with that...

Thanks, Ur! I'll be sure to check that out.


For some reason, Aleister Crowley's phrase "The effect of Sun on water" really resonated with me. It brought me to the very human need to create, to produce, art.

Bat Chicken, like you, I first read this card as being the rising from the depths and having to dig deep to find inspiration.

But those words, combined with the sense of movement and energy - it's like opening a champagne bottle, he's about to burst out of the water - made me link it to the moment before the words (or the dance moves or the paint strokes) come bursting out of you. Anybody who has created anything knows the feeling: adrenaline starts flowing, the hairs on the back of your neck prickle, you feel breathless but excited, and you know that what you're about to do is the most amazing thing any human can do: you're about to create. Something's about to come out of nothing.

It's a very pure feeling. Very beautiful. And this card asking us to embrace it.


Six of Cups

The subconscious rising to the surface. It is currently underwater, but it is rising to the surface: above water. Or: active emotions, the red. What was passive, blue, is now active, red. One was passive about an event but now becomes active and involved.

Meanings: Subconscious becoming conscious. Passive becoming active. Flight. Movement. Travel. Progress. Growth. Consciousness. Awakening. Dream interpretation. Choosing a path. Accepting responsibility. Finding your voice. Joy.


Rising or sinking? At first I thought rising, now I'm not sure.


Rising or sinking? At first I thought rising, now I'm not sure.

Good question, Debra.

I was thinking rising ... now you have me looking at it again.

I think it could be read either way ...

I was reading rising as I was interpreting his wings are flapping and the red as energy as he emerges, but I can see how it could be sinking, as well.