Six of Swords: State of Transition

It always catches me off-guard when I pull a card and it seems so perfect for what is going on in my life at the moment. Today, I pulled down and packed away my Christmas decorations with a heavy heart. Christmas and the months leading up to it are my favourite time of year — it’s why I love fall (also because my skin can’t deal with the sun or heat). With the holiday season over I’m not sure what comes next, and what I have to look forward to anymore.

You could argue that if Christmas makes me happy, I should just leave the tree up, but we all know it’s not the same. So I reminisce about the happy times these past few weeks and months, and think of new things to get excited about — like new cushions and refreshing decor, along with the hope of the vaccination bringing an end to this isolation at some point this year.

Six of Swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

\What you see: A man rows a boat within which a cloaked woman and child are sitting, along with 6 swords upright in front of them. The water on the right appears turbulent but on the left it is calm. In the distance there are islands with trees, and the sky appears grey overhead.

What it means: The body language of the cloaked figure appears dejected, the covering suggesting sadness or loss. The swords in the boat represent baggage from their past that they may be carrying into the future. The change of the water suggests calmer times ahead.

The story: The Six of Swords represents a transition; leaving behind troubling times and moving forward, though some grief still lingers.

Reversed meaning: Reversed, the card represents resistance to change or unfinished business that prevents you from moving on.

Reflection: Though this card is about transitions, it leans heavily into the grief that accompanies difficult ones. The card shows the early stages of a transition when the focus is on the loss rather than the excitement for what comes next and the positive side of transition. Perhaps this particular transition is one where the future is unknown and it is hard to anticipate what you can’t see clearly.

My research sources:
A Complete Guide to the Tarot, Eden Gray, 1970
Tarot Card Meanings, Biddy Tarot
Card Meanings, Labyrinthos
Root Lock Radio: A Tarot Podcast



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Tarot Stories

A Canadian marketing strategist learning storytelling through the Tarot, and maybe finding the meaning of life along the way.