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Six of Swords
Tarot Card Meaning

Six of Swords. (Aquarian deck published by US Games) Six of Swords. (Morgan-Greer deck published by US Games) Six of Swords. (Universal Waite deck published by US Games)





Keywords Applicable to Six of Swords Tarot Card Meaning:

  • Adrift
  • Escape
  • Motion
  • Leading
  • Guidance
  • Transition
  • Distancing
  • Avoidance
  • Reparation
  • Being lead
  • Navigation
  • Compromise
  • Temporary relief
  • 'Band-Aid' action

I'd like to point out a few interesting symbolic tidbits in the six of swords Tarot card meaning that are uniform in most deck renditions:

  1. Note the Pattern of the Waters:
    Do you see the choppy water illustrated on the forefront of the card (the starboard side of the boat)? Now notice the port side gives way to serene, tranquil waters.

    What does this mean? Succinctly, it indicates we are moving away from troubled waters (hard times or emotional tribulations) to calmer seas (peace is on the horizon).

    In seafaring language, the term starboard refers to the right side which is traditionally the steering side of the boat. Symbolically, those uneasy waves on the "action" side of this card may indicate rash action may have been taken and we're taking further action to soothe the raging seas in our lives.

    Port, the left side of the boat, was originally the side seamen loaded cargo into the boat. We could take this as an intuitive signal that as we seek (move into) more tranquil states of emotion, we shall be "loaded" with the precious cargo of peace.


  2. Look What the Swords are Doing in this Card:
    To my intuitive eyes, those six swords are acting as plugs. When this card comes up in a reading, it often indicates there are holes in our boat (holes in our stories, those we tell ourselves and others, or holes in our theories, etc.).

    Recall, logic is represented by the suit of swords. Plugging up leaky (self-deluding) stories with logic is a common theme in this card. This is what I mean by "band-aid action." Stuffing ineffective solutions into a problem is a temporary fix. Further, running away, as the six of swords Tarot card meaning suggests, may give us some relief but isn't always the most fitting answer.

I frequently bring attention to the directions of the figures in the cards. When we see backs turned in the card, it's often a sign of turning away from past events. In this case, we're moving away from the past, moving into the future with the hope and promise of being "loaded up" with the peace we seek.

I'm not painting a grim interpretation of the six of swords Tarot card meaning. On the contrary, any action to move away from pain is always a step (or oar-stroke) in the right direction.

This card simply asks the questioner to:

  • Know the implications of his/her actions - there is a ripple effect.
  • Know he/she is not alone; there are other lives in the boat to consider
  • Know bandages serve a good purpose; they are not permanent solutions

Some Focal Symbols Relating to Six of Swords Tarot Card Meaning:

click for a larger view of all cards with an Boat symbol

Boat: Boats are a sign there are some pressing thoughts rumbling within the subconscious. These thoughts will have a tendancy to put us in motion, and this is another symbolic trait of the boat. Boats deal with deeper thoughts and the motion (to action) these thoughts produce. In a reading boats may also indicate travel, or movement in a different direction (usually after much thought and deliberation). See also the "Ship" symbolism.




click for a larger view of all cards with the Ship symbol

Ship: Yes, of course ship symbol meanings deal with travel and journey's. However a commonly overlooked factor is the medium upon which they said - water - it deals with the deeper levels of the psyche and the subconscious. When Ships sail across your vision in a reading, take into consideration where your thoughts (psyche) are traveling - what kind of baggage (cargo) are you carrying around, and are you charting (navigating) out the best course for your thoughts and emotions? Click here to see other cards with ships sailing in them.


click for a larger view of all cards with an Children symbol

Children: Children represent promise, hope, fresh starts, new beginnings, new ideas, and a fresh way at looking at the world. Children are full of promise for the future and as such they are a symbol of this promise. When they show up on the cards in a reading it could mean the beginning of a new venture, the promise of a new beginning, or it could literally mean children are on their way (new births/adoptions). Click here to see other children in the cards.


Some Questions the Six of Swords Asks Us:

  • Am I running away from my problems?
  • What are some healthy strategies I can take to deal with turmoil?
  • Am I applying temporary solutions to problems?
  • When I pay attention to my thoughts, which ones do I most avoid? Why?
  • Who else should I consider in the choices and actions I take?
  • Can I accept that sometimes the best solution is to remove myself from the situation?
  • Is there shame in leaving? Why does there have to be?

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