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Everyday Tarot Deck
Upright: Transition, change, rite of passage, releasing baggage.
Reversed: Personal transition, resistance to change, unfinished business.
The Six of Swords shows a woman and a young child being rowed across a body of water towards a nearby land. The woman’s head is covered, suggesting that she feels sadness or loss as she moves away from something in her past. The child is cuddled in close to his mother, looking for safety and comfort as they make this journey. In the boat stand six swords, suggesting that the woman and child are still carrying past memories or baggage from their past, into their future.
While the water on the right of the boat is turbulent, the water to the left and between where they are going is calm and tranquil. This suggests that they are leaving behind a tumultuous situation, in favour of moving towards a more peaceful and comforting environment.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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Everyday Tarot Deck
The Six of Swords indicates that you are in a state of transition, leaving behind what was familiar and comfortable and moving towards the unknown. You might be moving house, leaving a relationship, changing jobs, going through a rite of passage or feeling a mental shift of some kind. This change may be as a result of your doing, or forced upon you. You may feel sad and upset to leave behind what is so familiar to you, however you know that this move is essential for your growth and personal development. The sadness over what you have potentially lost and let go of will soon be replaced by greater mental clarity and a renewed acceptance of change. You will ultimately become a better person as a result.
The Six of Swords invites you to let go of whatever it is that is holding you back, be it from your past or your present circumstances. Instead look to your future and choose the best option that is most in alignment with your Highest Good and long-term potential. You will need to make some tough decisions and compromises along the way, but this is ultimately a rite of passage that will take you into a new phase of your life. You are ultimately headed towards a much better position in life, so long as you are willing to make the transition and shed whatever you no longer need. Do not dwell on the past or what you have left behind. Instead, use this as an opportunity for changing your beliefs about yourself, moving away from whom you used to be and towards whom you really want to be.
Similarly, the Six of Swords asks you to reflect on any emotional or mental baggage that you may be carrying as you move from one phase to the next. In the boat, there are six upstanding swords – a sign that you are still carrying a heavy weight from your past as you move forward and it could potentially slow your personal growth down. This may be past memories, relationships, habits, behaviours, thought patterns and beliefs that are no longer serving you. While in this state of transition, look at what you need to take with you and what you can release and let go.
When the Six of Swords reversed appears in a Tarot reading, you may be going through a personal or spiritual transition or rite of passage, so that you can leave behind a situation, relationship, belief, or behavioural pattern that is no longer serving you. This is a very personal and private journey and you are working in isolation to make it happen. You have identified what you must release in order to embrace a new way of thinking, and now you are bringing this to fruition in your personal life.
At times, the Six of Swords reversed indicates that you know you need to make a change or transition in your life, but you are hesitant to do so. You may be hoping that it will go away and you won’t need to deal with this difficult decision. Or you may be trying to fool yourself that you can put up with it, even when you know deep in your heart it is time to move on. It is natural to want to avoid discomfort, but sometimes it is necessary to go beyond your comfort zone so that you can grow and evolve as a person. That feeling of discomfort can also be a positive sign that change is happening, so feel into that energy and let it be encouragement to keep moving forward and expanding yourself.
In some cases, the reversed Six of Swords suggests that you are resisting change and transition because you feel that it has been forced upon you or that you were not included in the decision to move. For example, your partner may be required to relocate for work, and you must go along with him or her. What is important is that you look at the benefits of the transition rather than focusing on the drawbacks so that even if this transition is out of your control, you can at least look forward to something and get some sort of personal value out of it. And, go within and reaffirm to yourself why you need to make this transition and how it aligns with your personal values.
If you are trying to move on from the past but struggling to do so, the Six of Swords reversed indicates that there may be unfinished business, unresolved conflict, or lessons which you need to fully understand before you can completely and whole-heartedly move forward in your life. Look at what is holding you back from making this important transition, and seek to resolve those issues so that you can move forward. There may also be moments when you doubt whether you are making the right decision in leaving behind your past, but this card gently encourages you forward, reminding you that you are heading towards a better future.