Six of Swords Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations
The cards numbered 6 in Tarot are all, without exception, good cards to get in any reading. The complete opposite of the cards numbered 5 in the Minor Arcana which are all problematic. This is no coincidence but as a result of their shared numerology. The traits of the number 6 in numerology are being responsible, protective and compassionate to name a few. It is a family and community orientated number that puts the needs of the many before the needs of the individual. Under the power of this number you are expected to act responsibly towards your family and community. The 6 of Swords brings the element of Air's intellectual focus to the needs of those around you. It quite simply means thinking of others and not about yourself or your own problems.
The Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck depicts this mix of element and numerology in the 6 of Swords with a boatman ferrying an adult with a child across some waters. This is symbolic of helping others with their problems using whatever knowledge and skill you have to offer. Notice the water on the right side of the boat is rippled but the water on the left side is flat and calm. The right, which is the direction they are going in, represents the future and the left the past. Calm waters are symbolic of emotional calmness and rough water symbolic of emotional distress. The greater part of the visible water seen in the image is calm suggesting that this assistance provided to others will bring about emotional calmness. One way of interpreting this card might be to see it as explaining something to a friend or family member who is a bit confused or distressed about something they don't understand.
The 6 of Swords is one of a number of cards in the Tarot deck that is symbolic of travel. If your intuition is telling you that this card is referring to travel then, as you must do with any card with alternatives, question why this particular card is being shown to you? As well as element, numerology and character direction analysis another useful reference for interpretation is related cards. The 6 Of Wands is the only relative that also features travel and in the RWS this is a hero leading a group to what is assumed to be victory. It doesn't suggest a specific destination just a successful outcome. Looking to the Major Arcana the 6th card there is The Lovers which, in the RWS deck, is depicted as the Garden of Eden. This could be indicative of the 6 representing a good place or a better place.
The 6 of Swords is a card of providing, or promoting, mental and emotional calmness and peace to others. It can also suggest travel, moving to a better place or a journey across water. The element here is Air which relates to challenges, conflicts and the mental aspects of our lives. The storms on the path of life that we have to navigate through. The positive characteristics of the number 6, in numerology, are being responsible, protective, compassionate and of service to others with particular focus on the home, family and community.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
A ferryman carrying passengers in his punt to the further shore. The course is smooth, and seeing that the freight is light, it may be noted that the work is not beyond his strength. Divinatory Meanings: journey by water, route, way, envoy, commissionary, expedient. Reversed: Declaration, confession, publicity; one account says that it is a proposal of love.
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