Ooh, ouch. Swords in tarot always make me flinch, but luckily we’ve got a harmonious six to numerologically smooth this one out. At least a little.
The Six of Swords shows us a family fleeing on a boat. My perception of this card has certainly evolved since my very, very first glance at the Rider-Waite deck–in which I saw the trees in the distance as mushroom clouds, like explosions in the distance, and the swords sticking into the wooden boat’s bottom made me fear they’d cause leaks! And perhaps those initial thoughts were fair enough–that monochromatic, apocalyptic landscape in my imagination being the troubles we must escape, and the holes poked in the boat signifying that, even when we leave, we’re not totally free and clear of woe (making it all the more urgent that we skedaddle while we can!).
But generally I see this card more positively in the sense that sometimes we have to cut our losses and set sail for stiller waters. This can entail an actual, physical relocation or simply moving on mentally and emotionally. A change of scenery in our outer or inner landscape so that we can leave a negative situation or behavior behind and hold hope for brighter shores. So then, rather than threatening the boat’s seaworthiness, the swords here become a protective shield for these passengers, bracing them against winds of necessary change. And though swords are of the air element and mind–expressing our need to be rational and objective in making the best decision for ourselves–there’s a lot of water present here to convey the emotional aspect of moving on; it’s difficult to leave some things behind, and we don’t always do it without sadness and regret. Yet the man’s oar is like a wand evoking fire energy as well, a need to take action and go. There’s no promise of smooth sailing, but this forward movement is ultimately for the best.
I did a reading with The Raven’s Prophecy Tarot deck yesterday (which feels so nice and autumnal and Halloween-y for this time of year! Although it isn’t a seasonal deck, per se), and the Six of Swords showed up there, too, in the position of my subconscious. It made meaningful sense to me within the context of my question, so its reappearance today has greater impact. Pulling the same cards over and over again tends to happen to me a lot, like the cards are saying, Hint, hint? Get the message already, lady! Which I genuinely appreciate, as tarot’s become my esteemed and much-needed ball-buster. 😀
My chosen crystal pairing: apache tear + aquamarine for release and moving on.