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Guaranteed Safety: Healing and Re-parenting with The Star and the Six of Cups

Updated: Feb 8

Photo by Rose Erkul on Unsplash

We’re about to embark on the Lunar New Year. 

It begins with the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice.

Just as we begin celebrating the Gregorian calendar’s New Year on December 31st, the Lunar New Year celebration begins the night of the New Moon.

I’m in San Francisco, so for me the New Moon will begin at 2:59 pm on Friday the 9th. 

The New Moon is always a good time for intention setting, and the start of the Lunar New Year is especially auspicious. 

Since this is an Aquarius New Moon, today I’m offering some ideas on how to ground your Lunar New Year intentions with Aquarius’ card, The Star.

Side Note, if you want to listen to my playlists on today's cards, you can listen to The Tower here, The Star playlist here, and the Six of Cups here.

The Star: A Beacon of Healing

The Star card, Fountain Tarot Deck

In my opinion, The Star is the most healing card in the Tarot. 

When we arrive at The Star, we are in Line Three of the Major Arcana. Our lesson in Line Three is to learn: nothing that is real can be threatened, and there is no ‘self’ to defend.

In order to understand these truths, we must pass through some serious obstacles. A conversation about healing would have little context without some injury - real, or imagined.

For that reason, whenever we talk about The Star, we also talk about The Tower. 

The Tower Card, Smith Rider Wait Deck

The Tower comes to remove an obstacle in our spiritual growth that we could not remove on our own. 

The Tower is depicted with an actual tower being struck by lightning. The top of The Tower is a crown, representing both material wealth, hierarchical structure, and the mind. 

The Tower will never remove something from your life that was supposed to come with you. 

Most often, when we experience a Tower moment, we know that it’s been a long time in coming.

For example: You know that you’re an alcoholic, you’ve tried to stop drinking and you simply cannot. The addiction is too big for you to remove on your own. The Tower arrives to say, “Don’t worry, here’s a DUI.”

The consequence doesn’t remove the addiction, but it may force you into a program of rehabilitation. 

When we experience The Tower, we must face the truth that some element of our perceived foundation is a lie and inevitably, something must change.

The storm The Tower brings isn’t pleasant, but remember — it will never take anything away from you that was for you.

Enter The Star…

The Star Card, Smith Rider Waite Deck

In the aftermath of The Tower, The Star always shows up for us.

In The Star, our attention is directed towards the cosmos. The destruction that took place in The Tower makes way for an unobstructed view of the universe, and our right-sized place within it.

The Star is the calm after the storm. In The Star, our only challenge is to receive without limitation.

When I tell my clients that the only challenge in The Star is to receive, I try to underscore that receiving and healing IS a real challenge for most of us.

It’s common to want to skip over the healing energy of The Star, especially if we’ve been through something injurious and/or traumatic. It’s common to want to go back to ‘normal’, but remember, whatever we lost in The Tower was never supposed to come with us. 

To move forward on our spiritual path, we must experience healing and receiving, without limitations.

To feel whole, safe, and healed, without the toxic stratagems we had before The Tower (over-giving, co-dependency, body dysmorphia, substance abuse, consumerism, perfectionism, workaholism, etc.) we must allow ourselves time to heal.

In The Star, nothing is wrong — not because everything is perfect or even okay, but because in The Star, we find grace and feel our cosmic belonging.

If all that sounds like a tall order to you, you’re not wrong. To help put this healing into practice, I’m calling upon the Six of Cups.

The Six of Cups

When we’re looking at the Major Arcana, we’re dealing with big seasons, big themes. When dong our ‘field-work’ with the Majors, it’s helpful to turn to the Minor Arcana for practical guidance. 

If the Majors represent Nature, the Minors are our Nurture.

When it comes to the lesson of receiving without limitation, the Six of Cups is our greatest educator.

Similar to The Star after The Tower, when we arrive at the Six of Cups, it’s after experiencing some form of loss.

The Five of Cups Card, Smith Rider Waite Deck

In the Five of Cups, we see a figure grieving over three cups that have spilled. We liked those cups, we worked hard for them, and they were never supposed to come with us. 

In the Five of Cups we make space for grief. It can feel like all is lost, but there are two cups behind us. No matter. We’re not supposed to be cheered-up by looking on the bright-side in the Five of Cups. 

To move on, we must move through.

The Six of Cups Card, Smith Rider Waite Deck

When we arrive at the Six of Cups, not only have all of our cups been refilled, they overflow with flowers.

At it’s most basic level, the Six of Cups invites us into an experience of nostalgia

We see a child giving a full cup to a dwarf. They are inside the safety of the village. There is a guard in the background. Their safety is certain and absolute.

That a child is offering a small adult a gift of love and security is no accident. When we are children, we naturally identify with connectivity, safety and security.

Children inherently understand what it means to receive love, safety, forgiveness, and healing, without limitation.

Even if the reality of our childhood was dangerous, fear and distrust is a learned behavior. 

The Belief In Separation

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

Foundational to all my work* is an understanding that once upon a time we all were spirits. We didn’t have bodies, we were one with all creation, there was no separation. 

We chose to become embodied spirits so that we could manifest in physical form. 

The big joke that we knew we’d forget when we became embodied, but that we’re meant to recall, is that there is no separation.

That is what we re-lean in Line Three. Nothing that is real can be threatened.

When we come to The Tower, some belief that we held as a reality is threatened, and so we must make sense of reality in some new way. The same is true in the Five of Cups.

This belief in separation first begins in childhood. The stories we tell ourselves about it grow and change, but this fundamental belief and fear in separation never evolves.

All of us as children said at one point, “I wish I’d never been born.” And, we meant it.

That sad hopeless feeling we had on the playground when we thought ‘nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’ll just eat worms’, is the exact same feeling as when we go through a heartbreak, a job loss, a material setback, and the death of a loved one. 

That black pit in the gut, that is the belief in separation. It never evolves. It feels so real, like a home-base, because it’s so unchanging. 

And it’s NOT the truth.

You would never sit next to a kiddo that said, “I wish I’d never been born” and try to negotiate with her that her life was great based on all her stuffed animals. Similarly you cannot cheer someone up who’s mourning the loss of a pregnancy by saying, “At least you know you can get pregnant.”

All of our thoughts and feelings are valid. They are not all true.

When we work with the Six of Cups , we are being called to repair this false belief that identifies with separation. 

Self-Parenting and the Inner Kiddo

Six of Cups Card, The Light Seer’s Deck

As children we naturally identify with connectivity and safety, because it is the true nature of our spiritual existence. The false trust and belief in separation is acquired.

How you relate to your feelings of childhood nostalgia, gets to the heart of the Six of Cups’ medicine

In the Light Seer’s Deck we see an adult man with his senior dog fondly reminiscing about his own childhood. 

Simply conjuring and an image of a puppy can help lower blood pressure and raise cortisol levels.

And, as a dog owner myself, the reality that I will outlive my fury partner stirs emotions of grief within me.

How we allow our past experiences to inform our present understanding of reality, is at the crux of receiving without limitation in The Star and in the Six of Cups. 

If when we recall a moment of peace and serenity from childhood, we immediately feel separation from that halcyon time, we know we’re identifying with separation.

If we tell ourselves a story that the world is an unsafe place and that we were foolish to have ever believed otherwise, no healing or belief in security can ever take hold.

All of us have had traumatic experiences, paramount among them was becoming an embodied spirit that forgot she could never be separate from love because she is love!

To receive unconditionally, we’re called as adults to re-parent our fearful inner-kiddos.

“The proverbial inner child... phrase strikes me as maudlin, making it sound as if one were the living tomb for some entrapped and pitiable little creature. It has something of reality about it however, if we take it as referring to ones unmet psychological needs, underdeveloped emotional faculties, and the neurological circuits imprinted with implicit memory.” — Gabor Mate, Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder

I’m with Dr. Mate here. The term ‘inner-child’ evokes a pervasive trend in health and wellness which builds alters to trauma and makes sacred the belief in pain and separation. That is the opposite of what I’m getting at, so I’ll use inner-kiddo to try get away from that pitiful vibe. 

The point of re-parenting ourselves as adults is to acknowledge and then move beyond the fact that we all had imperfect parents and imperfect childhoods. 

Whatever traumas and losses we experienced in childhood, we made sense of them in universal ways, namely by creating a belief system that reinforced separation and isolation as the ‘truth’.

In The Star we’re asked to receive healing from Spirit, but imagining your embodied self alone receiving from Spirit can be hard to conceive. 

In the Six of Cups, we get to practice what that boundless receptivity feels like by visualizing giving security to our inner kiddos.

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

When we were children and our parents were afraid for us or for themselves, they did their best to hid it. If you’ve ever been a caretaker, you know what that feels like.

Kiddo: “Is everything okay?”

Caretaker: “Everything is FINE, now get back in the car like I told you!”

The scared feeling that that kiddo experiences knows that something is amiss. A neurological circuit is imprinted with implicit memory.

Now as an adult, when we feel frightened, that inner kiddo is going to come along and feel frightened as well.

If we never learn to re-parent ourselves as adults, our self-talk to our inner kiddos will sound a lot like the scared imperfect parent.

Here comes the good part: we can change that, easily!

Re-Parenting Visualization 

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

To experience what this unconditional safety and security feels like, I invite you to try this healing visualization exercise:

Find a quiet and comfortable place where you’re safe and you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and bring awareness to your breath.

As you settle into your body, begin to visualize yourself as a little kid. Notice what you are wearing. Are you holding anything?

Check in with your kiddo self and see if there is anything they want. A hug? A lap? See to it that your kiddo feels safe and comfortable, just like you are.

Now, you have a wonderful surprise for little you. You get to tell yourself, guess, what? When you grow up, you get to be me!

(For the author) You’re going to be 5'11" tall, and you’ll own over 40 wigs at some point. Your walls and your couch will be pink, and you’ll have a little dog that loves you with all her might. You’ll have a car, and you can drive, and if you want to eat ice cream, we can do it any time. We can watch tv as much as we like, listen to whatever music pleases us, and there will be no graded math tests, ever again!

Obviously your story will be unique. Take time to watch what your kiddo’s reaction is. Take it in. Feel the belonging. 

Now, for the promise.

The best part little Me? I promise you that I will NEVER make you sit in a room with a man who yells at you. Ever. I will NEVER forget to pick you up and take you where you need to be. When you grow up, you get to be me, and I will Never abandon you or tell you that you’re too much. If you get scared, that’s okay, I promise to keep you safe and to always love you, no matter what.

Nothing that is real can be threatened, see?

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Now that I’ve told you what the conversation with my inner kiddo sounds like, you get to find out what your kiddo has to say.

Allow yourself to bask in this healing energy. Feel the safety of your own cherished being. No one and nothing can threaten that love.

This is how it feels to receive without limitation.

Remember that it can be tempting to try and move past The Star without taking the time for receiving and healing, but you can’t rush past this. Instead, luxuriate in it.

Together, The Star and the Six of Cups kindly and gently show us the way back to our nature of innocence, without rejecting or judging any of our past experiences

This visualization would make an excellent intention-setting ritual for the Lunar New year, or any time.

I’m sending out big thanks from my whole self to yours, and happy New Year!

*My understanding that there is no separation is not an original insight. I’ve been informed by the teachings in A Course in Miracles via Maureen Whitehouse, and The Unteatherd Soul by Michael Singer to name just a few. 


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