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Six of Swords Upright Meaning

by MoMoTarot

Stay away from right and wrong, and gradually return to peace after the chaos.


Card Details:


A small boat with six swords in it contains a woman, a child & a boatman. The boat is slowly moving towards the far shore, while the water is rough at one end and calm at the other. The six swords, symbolizing injury, are stuck in the hull of the boat, and the sad backs of the three protagonists form the slow, low tone of Six of Swords. The heavy body of the sword makes the boatman only move slowly, and the process of healing is the same. But we can't pull the sword up or the boat will sink, just as we can't uproot the grief of the past, only gently soothe it. Perhaps you should be thankful that these swords do not sink ships.


The card of the Six of Swords depicts a man sailing a flat-bottomed boat, away from the turbulent, evil waters, toward calm waters. A mother and son are snuggled together on the boat to accompany him on this journey, and are surrounded by six upside-down swords. The cloudy sky represents their feelings, and the scene emphasizes the fact that they are drifting away from their troubles and heading for calmer conditions. The six swords are these people's shared beliefs about life, and they are committed to first understanding what is true, what is sane, and what are the results of negative patterns of thought and behavior.


The Six Swords are about shifting from old thinking about life to understanding yourself, your life, and the various possible actions you can take towards it. This card can also represent the process of moving you away from complaining and blaming your surroundings and switching to a willingness to take responsibility for pursuing your personal goals.


There are six swords on the ship, representing past and present beliefs about life. Their weight makes progress extra difficult as the ship sinks, but if they were removed six holes would be left in the ship and it would sink. This card suggests that your beliefs about life are making you slow to act, but don't try to make hasty changes because progress is supposed to be slow and steady. Rushing to change may lead to more problems rather than bring a cure for them.


Card Meaning Deduction:


The Six of Swords doesn't have the frightening imagery of the Three of Swords or the Nine or Ten of Swords, or the unpleasant conflict of the Five of Swords; there's just a faint melancholy. Things aren't very bad, but they aren't very good either, and what surrounds the person in question is downtroddenness and faint frustration. Maybe you want to shed tears, but you can't; maybe you want to play strong, but tears are falling in droves at this point. Perhaps you can learn from the cloaked protagonist in the card, hide yourself away, isolated from the crowd, and then slowly heal.


This is the process of healing from an injury, and no matter how bad it is, it always heals. Water symbolizes emotions. The raging water at this end is your troubled past, and the large expanse of calm water in front of you foretells a future of peaceful emotions. The boatman is holding a black Penny, black symbolizes potential, anything can still happen in the future, don't trap yourself. The Six of Swords is a channel that leads you towards a future of happiness and joy, with brighter days ahead.


This card suggests that you are taking your swords (problems) from the past into the future. Perhaps you don't even notice them, yet they are close to you. This is a transition from a difficult time to a more balanced state. Even if the problems and difficulties of the present are complex, they will eventually be resolved and the querent will naturally feel much more relaxed. This card can also indicate a pleasant journey or a move to a more harmonious and happy environment.


The Six of Swords can also be a card of sorrow. It suggests a peaceful transition, such as the calm that follows an injury or the slow acceptance of the end of a situation. The calm waters pointing to the land ahead (representing stability) is this card telling us that more peaceful times are coming. The reversed Swords on top of this card suggests that your thoughts have returned to the real situation, in other words, life is reflecting your beliefs.


The Six of Swords in positive position means a phase of rest after a period of turmoil. When the Six of Swords appears in the Money Matters card shape, it indicates that you are able to pay off your debts and save for your goals. It is also a metaphor for finally understanding how your spending behaviors have contributed to today's financial situation. It will bring an opportunity to calm your financial time down and give you time to think deeply about your spending behavior and its consequences. The mindset about money is slowly changing now. There may be an overseas job waiting for you now, or a work-related trip abroad, as the ship in this card will carry you across the ocean.


The flatland ship pictured in the Six of Swords signifies overseas travel, especially if this card is accompanied by the Sword Servant, Eight of Scepters, Three of Scepters, or Temperance. The Six of Swords may be indicating that as you move on to new experiences, you are also slowly moving away from hardship, emotionally released from the past.


After a stressful phase, the Six of Swords in the positive position signals the arrival of a healing period and a chance to think deeply about yourself and the direction of your life. Are there unimportant issues or problems that are adding to your worries and stress, or things that are out of your control that you are struggling with? These issues are debilitating. It's time for you to take a moment and think, "Are these things really that important in your life?"


The Six of Swords means that any difficulties in your relationship will soon be put behind you and your relationship will grow and develop. A new physical or spiritual state will give you the opportunity to experience the relationship in a very different way.


Now that the struggles are behind you, it's time to let go of the past and leave it where it belongs. While many things are gradually improving, you may be struggling a bit financially right now, though.


A case in point: Theo and Christina purchased a house while he was laid off for six months. Successive financial woes have put a strain on their relationship, as Christina works a lot of overtime to pay the mortgage. In Theo's analysis, the Six of Swords appeared in the Present, which I interpreted to mean that the past was slowly being worked out of their lives.


A month later we ran into each other at a local shopping mall, and he enthusiastically told me that he had found a new job and was slowly breaking even.

Core Tip

The Six of Swords indicates that you are going to take one step at a time to move on from your injury; the process may be long, but it must be put into action.
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Knowledge Expansion

"Problem solving" is also one of the meanings of the Six of Swords. Look at the imagery of a ship filled with swords slowly moving forward, like a step-by-step process of solving a problem.
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Card Meaning Extension

There are many Tarot cards that represent travel, each with a different meaning, and another important meaning of the Six of Swords is travel, especially travel related to water. Examples include beaches, rivers, boats, and cruises.
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