Six of Swords


I really love the six of swords in this deck. It's such an interesting card. I see the man as travelling away from something he's left behind and towards something new. It's interesting that there is a ghost of some sort behind him in the boat (the ghosts of his past maybe) that is taking him towards something new. The fact that the boat is a swan makes me think of some kind of transformation... from ugly duckling to beautiful swan maybe. I like the light shining on the bank of the lake - it's like it is beckoning him to come but I also get the sense he has no idea what he is going to, only what he is leaving behind. I wonder if up on top of the hill is a dolmen? Aren't they burial places. Maybe this indicates he is burying the past and moving on.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this card? I really should get myself the book.


6 cups

this could be leaving his past but also you can see he seems stuck on a rock and also seems to be blindfolded, the waters are still and calm, seems all movement has stopped , he doesnt seem to be paying attention to things around him


I like the boat in the form of a swan. It seems to be a variation of Charon. But instead of transporting souls, he is invisible and his passenger is a living being.


As Robin has mentioned in her book, the "Six of Swords" has a distinctive fairy-tale look and feel, complete with a swan-boat and a young, prince-like man as passenger. Robin wrote that she drew the card in this fashion because the Six of Swords deals with RIGHTS OF PASSAGE, as do the old fairy tales, which " with children, or people barely out of childhood, who come face to face with the hard lessons of life; death, cruelty, viciousness, betrayal; and yet learn, through their own actions, that if you remain true to the goodness and generosity within yourself you will win in the end..."

The six, unsheathed swords which are stuck into the swan (Ouch! Sorry, a swan, boat or not, is a swan with feelings in my eyes...) represent for me knowledge (swords being an air card) that has already been absorbed and understood by the man. Since the edges of the swords appear sharp, the lessons learned have not always been easy ones. Robin pointed out that each of the swords have a different "hilt" because the challenges the young man faced in order to learn such knowledge were all different. If this card comes up in a reading, perhaps the querent or someone inquired about has learned quite a lot, but has more lessons to be mastered...more miles to travel. He/she has got an ethereal helper. Often I see this being as an inner guide. But also it could be seen as a helper from otherly realms. If an inner guide comes to mind, I remind the querent to trust his/her intuition and the common sense that was acquired in the past. If the helper represents the spirit of someone else, I'm comforted that we're not alone on our journeys, be these journeys easy or difficult.

I appreciated how Robin, in her book, explained that the hill in the distance (above the cave) has a stone gate or table. Robin wrote, "These were seen as the doors to the Faery realms..." I have to admit, from just looking at the card I would have had a hard time noticing the gate, let alone guessing the meaning regarding it. It certainly continues the fairy tale theme of the entire card, making one contemplate the mysteries and magick of such an ancient hill (a tor...I have been to such places in England myself...there's something indescribable about such hills) and what may lay ahead for the young man once he reaches it.

Of course the man could also consider going forth directly into the mouth of the cave. The darkness of the cave represents for me the ultimate unknown and would require a brave soul to venture in. Thankfully, a twinkling, friendly light comes from within the cave so that the prospect might not seem so scary. And then there's that inner guide we carry within each of us who'll surely not fail us. If the cave seems very important in a reading, perhaps there's some unknown or at least unfamiliar situation that needs to be considered for further growth. The star-like light might be seen as reassurance that any fears are unfounded.