About Six of Swords
Meaning in Tarot
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 the six of swords card, 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.
Keywords Applicable to Six of Swords Tarot Card Meaning:
- Being lead
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
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:
Boat: Boats are a sign there are some pressing thoughts rumbling within the subconscious. These thoughts will have a tendency 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). For more information, check out my page on ships and boats in tarot meaning here.
Ship: Some renditions of the Tarot show a ship on this card (depending on the deck you’re consulting). Ship meanings deal with travel and journeys. 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?
Children: Children represent promise, hope, fresh starts, new beginnings, new ideas, and a fresh way of 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).
Some Questions the Six of Swords Asks Us:
- Am I running away from my problems?
- Am I applying temporary solutions to problems?
- Is there shame in leaving? Why does there have to be?
- Who else should I consider in the choices and actions I take?
- What are some healthy strategies I can take to deal with turmoil?
- When I pay attention to my thoughts, which ones do I most avoid? Why?
- Can I accept that sometimes the best solution is to remove myself from the situation?