Card Meanings,  Cups,  Sacred Circle

Journey Into: 6 of Cups

Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

Continuing her series, Emma Sunerton-Burl looks into the cards of The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn:

I look at the card and see the faded cups amongst a beautiful lake in autumn, there is a monument and autumn colours in the trees and hillside surrounding.

I walk into the card.

I feel I have walked into the side of the lake – my feet are ankle deep in cool water and I look out ahead of me. It looks very beautiful but doesn’t quite seem real. The colours are bright and vibrant of autumn just the cups themselves seem muted. I ask the cups for their message.

“We are here, but not really, we are an overlay on the way you are seeing the world from previous times. The phrase ‘through rose-tinted spectacles’ would be applicable. As you look back you only see glimmers of the truth and the present perceptions can be coloured positively or negatively by these glimmers. As you recognise the overlay is there, so you can navigate this time. We are the love and emotion of the past, we are the wishes and hopes of what could have been. We are the heartache and the joys, the dreams that never happened. We are also the source of your future if you see us in the full context of the scene before you.”

“Thank you. That is useful, I know you are speaking the truth. Yet it is easy to just not notice you are there. Would this be your reversed meaning?” I reply.

“Yes indeed – we are the refusal to see the past as the influence of the present – thinking what we are is true in the now when its time has actually gone. We challenge you to accept things as they are and when reversed, the person is not accepting the reality of the present moment.”

“Thank you.” I say.

I look to my feet in the water and ask of the lake and my connection to it:

“What is your message for me?”

“We are the lake of your unconscious – your memories – and the beliefs formed from these memories. Often we are happy times gone by, these selectively rising to the surface, other memories being kept to the bottom of the lake. You have your feet in the water – you are tasting the memories of old at this time, ankle deep in your emotional experiences from the past and from your unconscious, do you want to explore? Are you comfortable where you are? We as the lake will just wash past you and allow you to experience anything you wish to – We will bring to you the positive and the negative, what do you need of us?”

“I need to know the truth of my past to move forward and become whole.” I say.

“It is right you immerse yourself in the recollecting experience, as you recollect the knowledge of all of your past experiences, with kindness and loving energy, you can point out the fading cups – the old experience – as such, and create a new growth once you have cleared the old. Before then it will colour everything. The new has yet to arise and it is unclear what the new will be at this time. We can only follow the path of passion and desire, as you do so, with open eyes, you will be able to navigate in the coming winter; as in order to make the new, the old has to die, as the trees die in winter. Once the death has occurred then so new life can come. Do not fear the death, your connection with others is often beyond this lifetime you will always be energetically linked as you always were. Cleanse the link with these waters of past clarification.”

“Thank you.”

I walk away from the lake and then round it to the monument.

“What do you signify?” I ask of it.

“I am the monument to the past, the honouring of the memory, the pain, the loss, as well as the successes and joy. You can come here and sit and honour all that has made you you. It is not a bad thing to do, but allow this monument to also allow you to grieve the losses you have experienced, to make yourself whole again, ready to trust and to love again.”

“I am also the symbol of masculine power and can represent a male figure – particularly a lover – coming back into your life when I come up in a reading. Sometimes the passion will rekindle as a healing tool, be aware of the old and act with awareness in the present. You will know what to do. The lake can be the symbol of a female lover re–entering someone’s life, you will be drawn to the image to know which is apparent in a reading.”

“Act with your masculine power, know your own boundaries and limits – they will be needed as you experience the past in the present. Notice the fading leaves and how beautiful this transition from full bloom to death can be; see the bright colours and the intensity of the visual song they make together. This can be a illusion of permanence, but do not cling, allow the process to unfold in its own time. This time can be one of great joy and pleasure emotionally and you can really love those around you and yourself also. Appreciating you have always done what you were able to, given your skill and knowledge at the time, even if in retrospect you would have liked to have done something different. As you see yourself with compassion you will be able to enjoy this time of reflection. Just don’t get lost in the past to avoid the now. Understand the threads that link all time periods together.”

“Thank you.” I say.

I look to the forests and the hillsides:

“What do you represent?” I ask.

“We are the growth that is unstoppable, we are in the process of letting go of that which we have grown; the process is beautiful and natural. We say that letting go is part of the gold that can come from nostalgia – as you let go of old ways, old beliefs and allow time to give you understanding as you reflect and contemplate the past, so we allow the changes that are needed to let go of our leaves. Not forcing the leaves off the trees just allowing the process to take the time it takes, not clinging to that which was, but allowing a change. We trust that after the letting go and rest, there will be new growth again which will be stronger and more appropriate for the time.”

“We are on hillsides and if you walk up our slopes you will find yourself reaching for the heavens, whilst you go over old physical experiences, your soul ascends heavenwards, you gain the lessons you were here to achieve and you can walk closer and closer to the one Love of all. The Source. Allow your love to take you there.”

“Thank you that is very beautiful.”

“The reverse of all of you – ” I say “is to resist change, to see the past as the present, to avoid letting go – clinging too tightly, or forcing distance, for fear of feeling the reality of the past. Emotional stagnation and avoidance of the ultimate truth. Would that be right?”

“Yes indeed” the card’s voice replies, ” – you understand well.”

“Thank you for your messages.” I say. I leave with gratitude.


Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details:

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.

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