Six of Swords, Minor Arcana, Swords VI
The Six of Swords is a fascinating card with mysterious meanings. It makes a reference to the mythical Charon, the ferryman of Hades, who carries souls of the newly dead across the River Styx to the other world – to heaven and heavenly rewards – if they could pay his fare.
If you have Six of Swords in your reading, take a moment to focus on the card and notice whom you feel the most associated with. Do you feel drawn to the deft ferryman steering the small but heavy craft across a winding river? Or, do you feel like the silent passenger, clothed from head to toe, sitting right behind the swords? Did you notice the third person in the card – the little child? Perhaps you feel like him or her – absolutely powerless in the face of an unknown, maybe a little scared, clinging to the seemingly knowledgeable people around for comfort.
The meaning of Six of Swords is influenced greatly by the other cards that appear in your reading. It is a versatile card that can mean anything from a never-ending, difficult waiting period to moving forward, albeit slowly. It could mean a personal transformation is taking place within you (healing of wounds, death of unnecessary drama), without other people noticing it. The interpretation depends heavily on what you asked, which other cards appeared, and whom you feel drawn to in the card.
This card rarely means death (in case you were wondering, because of the mythology the card refers to). There is certainly a great amount of silence implied with the symbols (calm seas and skies), but silence doesn’t have to mean end of life. Silence can also be pregnant with new life – symbolized by the child, riding next to the mother (if the figure is indeed a she; we don’t know). The card could be showing the inside of a mother’s belly where new life is inching towards new shores with help from the universe.
If your reading is about your career and finances, the Six of Swords might be showing your slow progression towards new vistas. Gently but surely, you’re heading in the direction you want without any major obstacles or unwanted surprises. If things aren’t moving fast, it’s because your own thoughts and beliefs are weighing the process down.
Swords symbolize thoughts and mental processes – in this card we can see how they would slow the boat down. You might want to try to be more positive and find ways to believe in your own luck. Most likely, you are one of those people who assume you have to work really hard to get the things you want. You don’t believe in free lunches. These strict beliefs are making life more difficult for you.
If your reading is about your health and well-being, the Six of Swords might suggest healing, especially if you’ve been dealing with long-time issues and ailments that have to do with your bones, teeth, and skeleton. If you are a healthy person already, the Six of Swords suggests it is time you explore spirituality more.
What does the Six of Swords Tarot card mean for love?
For singles, having the Six of Swords in your reading might mean you are not ready for a relationship yet. You still have some inner work to do. Take this time to identify just how you want to work on yourself, and what you’d like to manifest, before you enter into a relationship.
The river is calm, the boat is moving, so you’re en route to love, but there’s time – time that needs to be used fruitfully. How can you prepare yourself for that special person you’ll meet when you arrive the shore? Would you want to be more open and flexible? Financially more stable? Emotionally calmer? These are just some ideas – you know your inner and outer life better than anyone else. Ask yourself, what should you work on now, before you meet ‘the one’?
For couples, the Six of Swords might signify a new, unexpected turn in the relationship, one that’s taking both of you together to a new shore. Have you recently shared a big secret with your partner? Or did they share something very important with you? This secret has brought the two of you together, and now you two are really in the same boat!
Enjoy the tenderness this new closeness has brought, and continue supporting one another through words and deeds. Show emotional support as well, as you’ve decided to stay together through good times and challenging times, and now you have the opportunity to prove this to each other.
What does Six of Swords reversed in Tarot mean?
The Six of Swords reversed shows haste in wanting to reach your destination. You’re rocking the boat, making splashes, and it’s not helping move you forward. Quite the contrary. There is a reason what you want hasn’t manifested yet. See the swords on the boat? Those are your very own negative thought patterns. They must be dealt with, one by one, before you can achieve your dreams.
Take some time to examine your beliefs. Do you believe that you’re worthy of what you want? Don’t just say ‘yes,’ try to feel worthy deep in your bones. If you find this difficult, don’t run away from the experience. Instead, be curious about it. Most likely, this is something from your childhood that needs to be explored a little, and then you’ll be fine. You’ll clear your way towards your goals.
Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun, the nightly ruler of Aquarius, makes a strong appearance in this card. In astrology, Saturn rewards hard work, tenacity, responsibility, discipline, and learning the hard way – all of which require a lot of patience and facing up to things we might have preferred to avoid. The Six of Swords embodies the lessons of Saturn perfectly!
Even though Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn, for a while it was held that it was also the ruler of Aquarius at night. The card might represent a Capricorn or Aquarius in your life. But more likely, it shows the type of energy you’re experiencing at this point in your life, and what you must learn from it.