(The above image is a copy of The Six of Swords card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 6 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
The Six of Swords illustrates our journey in-between environments. Perhaps we are transitioning to a new job or a new environment. The Six of Swords captures the ambiguity of the future without harping on any regret.
For more information about The Six of Swords card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – FERRYMAN
The ferryman is an illustration of the swords suit in that he exercises his conscious control over the subconscious waters. He is a mediator between the intellect and the real world, much like the sword is. In relation to the woman on board, he also illustrates masculine energy.
Point 2 – WOMAN
A passenger on the boat, the woman in the card illustrates us as we sail through life. We only see her back, so it is difficult to understand the woman’s mood in her journey. In relation to the ferryman, she also illustrates feminine energy.
Point 3 – CHILD
The child has no authority in this card; he is just along for the ride. He therefore represents our indecisions and unconscious passivity. Together, with the ferryman and woman, the child completes this portrait of a family.
Point 4 – SWORDS
The six swords in the card are stabbed upright at the front of the boat. Together they block the view of the ferryman and add unnecessary weight to the boat. They therefore represent the emotion baggage that we sometimes carry around without, consciously or unconsciously.
Point 5 – RIPPLED WATER TO THE RIGHT
The rippled water to the right of the boat symbolizes the fluidity of our subconscious. Paired with the still water to the left of the boat, the ocean that the boat sails in illustrate the paradox of our being.
Point 6 – STILL WATER TO THE LEFT
The still water to the left of the boat symbolizes the constant of our will or consciousness. Paired with the rippled water to the right of the boat, the ocean that the boat sails in illustrate the paradox of our being.
An Upright Six of Swords is indicative of all Tarot cards. It encourages your journey into the unknown. Perhaps you are moving cities or are single again. An Upright Six of Swords asks that you embrace this transition while at the same time suggesting that you reconcile with the emotional baggage that holds you back.
A Reverse Six of Swords suggests that you are currently in an agitating environment and are resisting healthy change. In this case, the swords are weighing you down and preventing you from evolving as a human. A Reverse Six of Swords thus encourages you to deal with any emotional arrested development so that you can transition into a better life.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.