By Sarah Taylor
In this week’s reading, the seed of the third card — the card on the right, the Six of Cups — is found in the first — the card on the left, The Magus (The Magician in the Rider-Waite Smith tarot). This feels important to note: what is to come has its roots firmly in what has just passed.
Because it might not be easy to hold to this idea when you start to move through the deep inner transformation of the card at centre, the Death card.
Remember: you might temporarily lose sight of perspective, shifting as you are into the underworld or cocoon in order to emerge, skin-shed; the old wintriness of your outer husk removed to reveal something altogether more colourful.
And someone altogether less alone, it seems.
The Magus is Mercury. He is the principle of action that comes after the stepping into the infinite potential of The Fool. He takes the energy of that quantum field of possibility and starts to shape it into manifest reality. In the Rider-Waite Smith version of the card, the Magician stands before a table that has on it the four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. He has one hand pointing up towards the heavens, the other pointing down towards the earth: as above, so below.
Above The Magician’s head in the RWS card — and in this version just below his hand — is the lemniscate, or infinity sign. You, as The Magus, represent an endless mode of creation. You use the flow to form your world — this flow coming from a masculine connection with Spirit, depicted in the light that radiates from The Magus’s crown. You are creating yourself into a metamorphosis. Your mind is about to undergo a shift, moving away from something light, airy, Mercurial and in constant motion, and towards a downward movement into emotional embodiment.
But first, before embodiment, the Death card, which you are currently moving through. It might seem that the activity of The Magus is a distant memory as you immerse yourself in the sloughing off of a particular way of being. There might be a felt sense of having ‘gone to ground’. Maybe there is grief — maybe a sense of ‘not-knowing’ — at the falling away of what once felt so much a part of you. It was a part of you, indeed — and it still is, even as it dissolves, changes and reveals what you are becoming.
Again, bear in mind the phrasing: “as you immerse yourself.” Yes. You are immersing yourself. This isn’t happening to you. You are happening to yourself. Through any confusion, there is a part of you that is complicit in your own transformation. The most obvious wording on the Death card is not “death,” but “rebirth.”
And so, finally, you are reborn — into communion with the beloved, or the Beloved, or both; this may be something you experience alone, or with another. What is clear, though, no matter the nature of that communion, is that this love affair is one that you have experienced before in different ways. It might feel new but at the same time deeply familiar. You fall into the arms and embrace of a presence that feels like a home-coming. And it is passionate, surrendered, love-infused. You are filled with love. The Six of Cups is the heart-based knowing of what you only knew intellectually in The Magus. It was a whisper that has now become blood flowing through your veins, beating through your heart.
You have come around again, and you are held. Feel the warmth as you re-emerge from the chrysalis and into the light once more.
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: The Magus (Mercury), Death (Scorpio), Six of Cups (Sun in Scorpio)
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.