The Pamela Smith artwork on the Rider Waite Tarot deck (seen here on a public domain vintage deck) lends itself very well to the idea of “innocence” that is often associated with the 6 of Cups.
Here is a different aspect of innocence than the ‘remember to play’ message often associated with the Fool card from the major arcana.
This is more the clear-eyed way children have of seeing the world. They think anything is possible because they have not been told about or experienced the seemingly impossible. Their view is fresh and free, unencumbered by preconceived notions or expectations.
This unfettered point of view is critical to tarot and other psychic readings – that is why intuition is often called clairvoyance, literally “clear seeing”.
Expectations are blinding in a reading. Devastatingly so sometimes. Once I had a sitter so focused on her ex-boyfriend that she didn’t seem to hear the message about her children (thankfully older) who were sending support, and wanting her to shift her focus back to other things…that sense of the message was clear, even though it involved others, as memory serves, the four of cups was part of that spread too. The four of cups don’t promise romance. To both of our frustration, she didn’t seem to get the message about the wonderful thing being offered to her. I hope the message came to her in some way she could hear.
Which takes me back to one of my favorite TV shows. If you are familiar with “Doctor Who” there is an episode where his ship/time machine, the TARDIS, takes human form and they talk. He complains that she was unreliable…didn’t take him where he wanted to go. But, she points out, she always took him where he needed to go. And so it is with readings. They may not tell us what we ask, less often what we want to hear, but they pretty reliably tell us what we need to hear. That’s kind of the point of them…if we could see right to the heart of things right at the start, we wouldn’t need intuition’s help.
The Doctor Who example hints at a more contemporary way to understand the 4 of cups. Think alien comes to Earth. Think, Echo, ET, Starman, or Lilu from “The Fifth Element”. They come to a situation utterly without frame of reference of preconceived notions. They see us through utterly innocent eyes.
That is the innocence the 4 of cups brings to a reading. It asks us to look again, with clear eyes, with innocence, with the freedom of mind and thinking that childhood gave us all. Look at your situation as if from outer space.