T. of Prague Cafe Club - 6 Swords


Got the deck for xmas and I love it. I wasn't sure at first but its just beautiful and so well done. I have spent some time tonight with the 6 Swords and thought I'd stick down my ramblings about this card before I go to bed.

:T6S The woman here is deeply engrossed in her child. I get the impression that she trusts the ferryman completely. Yes, she is in transition, on a journey, even escaping, but I think she knows where she is going. She has no need to look. Is she going home? The ferryman is focused also and is concentrating on the job at hand. A thought that struck me is that they are just under a bridge. Many homeless and poverty stricken people live 'under a bridge'. So are they homeless, poor, cold, but is it only temporary? This woman obviously has no possessions. The man looks a little incognito which does make me think he doesn't want to be seen. Is there some kind of secret?

Is she facing in the direction in which they have come? Or is she looking towards her destination? I feel confused by this. I dont really know which way they are going. I do feel that she has made a decision and knows it to be right for the sake of her children. This may represent making decisions with others interests at heart. The swords are not balanced though, there are four on one side and two on the other so maybe there is some imbalance and it hasn't been an easy decision. Her main priority to me looks to be protection and the swan in the background re-inforces this as swans are usually very protective of their young too. There is a message of hope but more importantly acceptance. This is the way it has to be!

J :)

Bean Feasa

Originally posted by Jewel-ry
Is she facing in the direction in which they have come? Or is she looking towards her destination? I feel confused by this. I dont really know which way they are going. I do feel that she has made a decision and knows it to be right for the sake of her children.

Something about the stance of the boatman makes me think that she is facing in the direction in which they have come. I think that the swan, the waterwheel and the white, red-roofed buildings may well be her destination, but that for the moment she has her back to them. I think she may not be ready, just yet, to look to where she and her little family are headed.
I always love the Six of Swords for its mystery, and I love the serenity of this Tarot of Prague version. Somehow it seems appropriate that the tree branches are bare. This is winter, and reassurance in the form of new growth, fruits of the woman's current actions are not yet visible. She has to act, to travel, and trust that these will come in time. I've read somewhere that this card can be interpreted as trusting to your Higher Self - a boatman who will take you where you need to go.
There's a wonderful tenderness towards her children in the woman's face, and I agree with you, Jewel-ry, that it looks like she has made a decision that hasn't been easy, but that she's made with their interests at heart, and that she knows is right for them. I think that the swords flanking the raft look quite protective.
The purse attached to the boatman's belt interests me - is it a reminder that the ferryman, like the piper, must be paid? It adds to the feeling that whatever the woman and her children gain from this journey will be hardwon. But the swan and the buildings and the waterwheel up ahead seem to promise the serenity that comes from change, a new life.


Bean Feasa,

My first reaction was that she was facing in the direction in which she had come and that she had no reason to look where she was going because she had absolute trust in the ferryman. It made me think that she was going 'home'. Then something about the stance of the boatman, he looks like he's pushing against the river bottom, made me query this. Then I read the book and they say that the Swan is following them??? All this made me a little confused??
I never noticed the bareness of the tree branches so thanks for that. Like you, I also looked at the purse on the belt and wondered about the payment issue. Interesting. I love this card in almost every deck but especially this one. Its so thought provoking. Thanks for your input here Bean Feasa, its always great to see someone elses view on a card.

J :)


This is a beautiful card. For some reason, I see this as the same mother in the 6 of Pentacles that has now realized what she has to do to save her children. What touches me most is the way she holds and looks at her children. I can feel what she is feeling. She doesn't just hold them, she pulls them close to her. The blue blanket representing her protection. She will provide for them as she indicates by feeding her baby. The weary boy rests against her shoulder. This woman is strong. Her look of love towards her baby tells me these children are well loved and protected.

The things in the backround seem to me what she is leaving behind. Notice the man is pushing off with the pole indicating she is facing her future and not looking back. In the backround the beautiful swan indicates that what is being left behind is something that felt secure and good. The mill represents a way of making a living of producing abundance. Yet the trees are bare. To me this said that it all seemed good, but she knew there was nothing left for her and her children there.

This card speaks to me of making difficult decisions. Knowing what you have to do even though we do not want to leave behind the life we know.

Bean Feasa

Hi Jewel-ry,
Oops, yes I've just looked in the book and I see where it says the swan is coming behind them. So I guess that must be it. It's funny 'cos I felt strongly that it was the other way round, and that she wasn't looking ahead just yet. So maybe it's the opposite, maybe she's leaving the houses the water-wheel etc., maybe she's leaving a very comfortable life. The idea of the decision being difficult would still hold. Maybe she's saving the kids from an abusive situation even if it means taking them into unknown waters and a situation that may be a lot less prosperous materially. The tenderness and the bravery and the trust are all still there, though, aren't they. The steadfastness of her decision to make the journey still dominates the scene.
My imagination just takes flight looking at these cards! It's fun isn't it!

Edited to say: Hello to you too, Mimers, your post hadn't yet appeared when I wrote the above. Yes, the more I think about it the idea of leaving it all behind makes more sense than going towards that cluster of buildings.


I don't really want to add anything much as I feel that the comments and ideas have taught me a lot. Thank you.
Oh - and my comments on the swan are one way of seeing it only - but my view is no more "correct" than anyone else's of course.

The only thing that might add another dimension is to tell you that this canal is called the Devil's Channel (or Brook or Stream) in Prague, although it is very calm and beautiful. I've always found the name interesting. Something about temptations and overcoming them?

It's also an area that was terribly badly flooded in the floods of summer 2002. We live quite near and so were very aware of the devastation on this area. The mill wheel you can see was almost completely submerged. For me, the card therefore carries an association of calm after tremendous difficulties. The area somehow survived and is now mostly repaired (though for a long time the scenes of mud and destruction were dreadful). There is a real relief in seeing it restored to its usual quiet beauty. All that is wrapped up in this card for me - struggle, strength and recovery.

If you scroll down on this page there is a little about Kampa island and a photo of the same area we used for the card. By the way, I don't think the explanation of the name "devil's stream" is convincing. I'd love to know the real reason for it.



Thanks a lot baba, its really nice to have your input here. It is much appreciated.

J :)

Bean Feasa

I second that, baba-prague, your additions to the discussions here really enrich them. And thanks for the link - it's kind of uncanny to see a scene first as a Tarot card scene and then as a photograph of a real place - gives me a little happy shiver!!


I apologize for piping in so late on this thread, but I hope to participate in all ToP threads sooner or later.

The Six of Swords has always been one of my favorite from the RWS deck. Even though it seems to have an inherent sadness to it, I somehow always felt it to be uplifting. In the RWS, I always felt a tinge of optimism. The woman in the boat, with the help of others, is resigned to the fact that a new, perhaps better, life is ahead.

The ToP version is more complex. Where in the RWS we actually see where the voyage is taking them, in ToP we see what they are leaving behind. Whereas the woman with child in the 5 of Pentacles shows us a woman agonizing over her fate, this card emphasizes my initial feeling from RWS that the woman is content. That is what I love about this deck - you do not merely see a shrouded figure and have to guess at their demeanor, you can actually see/feel it in both the 5P and 6S.

I want to think more on the waterwheel over the next few days. I feel there is significance there as well. My initial feeling is that it represents perpetuity - "life goes on" as it were.


Bean Feasa

Hints of the Wheel of Fortune perhaps...? Since baba confirmed that they did include 'references' to other cards within cards, it's becoming a little game for me to look out for them.
And Dan don't worry about late or early or anything like that - as Punchinella has mentioned that's why we called it a Café Club, so that we can ramble in and talk about whatever card or other aspect of the deck we like, whenever we feel like it. Just drop in whenever the mood takes you and you'll find somebody hanging around browsing through the deck with their elbows on the table, sipping on a mulled wine or a hot chocolate, looking out from time to time at the towers of the Old Town... :) Kate