The Six of Swords

Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Minor Arcana Tarot Card Meaning

Symbolism and Interpretation

The Six of Swords





Upright Meaning

The ferryman with passengers. Are you the ferryman who is helping others on their journey or the one in need of help for the passage?

Refugees. Fleeing a situation does not end the peril. Difficulties ahead that may take months or years to overcome. A change of situation and perspective. Hard choices from which there is no turning back. Making a change that is difficult but necessary. There is no certainty of outcome.

Travel, a long journey. Entering the unknown. Travel away from imminent danger. One has allies but they may not be immediately apparent.

Movement and change that brings resolution and the solution to current problems. Staying put is not an option. Obstacles will be overcome, though it may not appear so.

A journey after travail. Change for the better. Moving away from turbulence and difficulties. More peaceful and calm times are ahead.

The swords and the two people sitting wrapped in blankets represent thorough preparation: bringing the tools of one’s trade and the resources necessary to succeed and being dressed and protected/prepared appropriately for the current conditions and activities.

Preparation brings success even in challenging environments and endeavors.

A good time for focusing on preparedness and emergency planning, for worst-case scenarios. What is in your bug-out bag?

Anxiety about the future and about the work/situation ahead. Don’t let fear stop you from making necessary changes.

Charon ferrying the dead across the River Styx at twilight. Taking on the role of the Ferryman.Supporting others in their grief and struggle, assisting others in a difficult transition, whether as a counselor or with material actions and support. 


Reversed Meaning

A stormy journey.

Necessary Evils: An unpleasant situation that must be accepted and endured to achieve one’s objective.
Be careful in making changes, as the price for change may be higher than you expect and that which you consider a problem may instead be a necessary protection. The swords have been in the boat plugging the holes for a long time and removing them will sink the boat.

If you attempt to address a long-standing situation, it will stir up difficult emotions. Communication can be painful, but it also brings healing.

Attempting to make change and improvements but bringing the problem with oneself. Problems will not be resolved by the current course of action: they will simply take a new form. More planning and preparation is needed, otherwise the proverbial ship will sink.

Self-destructive habits and patterns of behavior. You are creating your own obstacles and your choices are adversely impacting yourself and others. Holding on to and obsessing on unhappy thoughts and memories.

Fleeing a situation will not improve things.

Wasted efforts. What appears to be the right transition or choice instead brings increased danger.

Creative Process

The Six of Swords
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