Six of Swords Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

Six of Swords upright

Six of Swords At A Glance

Keywords: Moving on, travel, vacation, promotion, travel for work, distance, accepting new direction, stuck in the past, running from our problems
Season: Spring
Element: Air (thoughts, ideas and communication)

Six of Swords Tarot Card Description

The Six of Swords is the sixth card in the minor arcana suit of Swords within tarot. It originally depicted a woman holding a swaddled child as a man stands and rows them in a small boat.

On the other side of the water there is land stretching out into the horizon and the sky above it looks blue and clear. This is the direction they are heading in. The expressions of the people in the boat look pained as if they are rowing away from a great loss.

The stark difference between the sky in the distance their facial expressions show that whilst there are better times waiting for them in the future when they reach their new home currently they are not in a comfortable place in their life. Though we don’t know why these people are forced to leave everything behind but we can tell they have no other choice and they have intense mixed feelings about this.

Six of Swords Upright Meaning

The Six of Swords means that we have recently or will soon go through a period of change or a transition. It can be a physical move, travel or relocation of any kind or even a physical, spiritual or emotional transition/ awakening. However it is not going to be a particularly comfortable transformation that feels good whilst we’re going through it. Instead it is going to be difficult and possibly unpleasant temporarily but it will be much better for us in the long run.

Take for instance the following example: the process of moving home. One day we’ll be settled into a beautiful new home and we can imagine this vividly but in the mean time there is sorting, packing, transit, unpacking and decorating, not to mention all the paperwork of the old place and even more paperwork for the new home.

Though this can be very stressful we are motivated to go through this ‘sticky middle-phase’ because we keep the image of our finished home in sight. So we know that the temporary discomfort will be worth it. This is just one example of how it might feel uncomfortable going through a transitional phase.

The situation that the reader experiences could be very different in nature but it may have the same message: stick with it through the uncomfortable middle because it does get better.

“The only thing a person can ever really do is keep moving forward. Take that big leap forward without hesitation, without once looking back. Simply forget the past and forge toward the future.” - Alyson Noel

Six of Swords Reversed Meaning

Six of Swords reversed

When reversed the Six of Swords carries a very different meaning to its upright themes of travel and moving on. It implies we have a desire to move on in someway but we are struggling with the realities of actually making this happen. Whether this is caused by a lack of resources or motivation the feeling we get is the same: stuck and frustrated.

It can also suggest that trying to move or travel physically at this time might not be the best solution we think it is. It could be just an expensive distraction or we could be running away from our problems.

Sometimes we are stuck because we are trying the same thing over and over again and we need to formulate a more detailed plan that takes the reasons we are stuck into account.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” - Alexander Graham Bell

Six of Swords: Yes or No

The 6 of Swords is quite a difficult card to neatly slot into either a yes or no answer. This is because it’s themes are more like movement vs stillness instead of yes vs no. Depending on the situation the reader has asked about travel/movement could be the right thing to do or it could be us running from our problems.

So it is up to the reader to determine based on the specifics of their question if they think the card is guiding them to either move away from X or be still and out wait X (X being the situation/question.)

This is the same whether the card is upright or reversed.

Let’s Break Down the Six of Swords In Our Lives

How the Six of Swords can change as it discusses different areas of our lives.

Six of Swords In Love

Receiving the Six of Swords in a love reading is a very good sign. It can suggest that an argument or conflict has been reconciled once and for all. Whether in a platonic or romantic it means we went through the uncomfortable moment needed to truly address the situation and now we have found a long term solution to the same argument which would usually repeat over and over.

Now we have finally moved past this conflict for good it is no longer a wedge in the relationship.

Reversed it means we may be haunted by the-one-that-got-away. This phrase usually implies an ex-romantic partner but it could just as easily mean a platonic relationship. We may have had a friend that we loved deeply in the past who we no longer have a connection with.

Regardless of the particulars of the relationship we are missing them and subconsciously comparing each new potential friend/lover to them. Doing so is keeping us stuck and we are unable to form deeper relationships. We need to take new people as they are and not compare them to our rose-tinted memories.

Six of Swords With Money

Receiving this card regarding financial queries can suggest we have managed to stabilize our finances. After a recent upheaval or upset to the usual routine in which we received our income we were left no choice but to hustle our hinnies and get to work. All of that work and budgeting has either already paid off or is about to shortly.

Reversed it can imply that we are failing to adapt to a situation which is calling out for change. We are clinging on to a method of earning money or a job/side hustle even though it has steadily been bringing in less and less results.

We don’t need to drop this pursuit entirely, but the methods surrounding it need a thorough shake-up and quickly. We must adapt to the situation at hand, find ways to save time, reduce costs and maximize efficiency.

Six of Swords At Work

If we ask a question about our careers and we get the Six of Swords in answer it can mean that some form of travel will be integral to upcoming changes within our work. This could mean a new job role within the same company, a move to a similar role at a different company or even a complete career change.

It can also mean that we may be invited to travel for work. Or perhaps even that our commute is changing because we may begin working from home.

Reversed it can suggest that we feel stifled and blocked at work. This can be for any number of reasons but we are being guided that this is for a reason and we must analyze why we feel this way. Are we bored temporarily or is this a long-term feeling?

Though things might be difficult temporarily as we try to understand we should listen to this feeling because in the long run it will bring back the feeling of job satisfaction we once had.

Six of Swords With Others

When we receive this card in relation to questions asked about others it can mean we will soon have a new friendship group or a new social circle caused by a move or relocation. This might be meeting someone who new to our town or it can happen because we are the one who is relocating.

Either way, the meeting of this person eventually introduces us to a larger crowd that we really vibe with. Reversed it can suggest we are feeling the loss of a friendship group or relationship because of a relocation. The relocation could be ours or someone else’s.

The Six of Swords says not to despair, we can make changes to our schedules and find new ways to still hang out with them. Instead of felling upset we can talk with them and plan meet ups to have something to look forward to together.

Six of Swords With Self

When we ask questions about the self and receive the 6 of Swords upright it can hint at a change of identity and or the shedding of a label that no longer serves us. This could be as simple as a haircut or change to our appearance or it can be a deeply held identity marker which we no longer identify with.

This is often because a new identify or part of us has been revealed and we realize that to accept and move towards this new one means shedding the old one.

Reversed it still discusses the themes of identity and labels but how we may be resisting change. We are holding on to them because they make us feel safe, even though we have outgrown them. It could also mean we are currently mourning the loss of a label or identity marker but we haven’t yet found something new which serves us better.

We are just aware the old one no longer adequately describes us. We shed it and feel a little lost: unable to fit into the old one but unsure of where to find the new one.

Six of Swords As Feelings

The Six of Swords is a mixture of both positive and negative feelings roiling within us all at once. Excitement about what we are moving towards whilst at the same time mourning what we are leaving behind.

Nervousness about what the future holds now we have taken our fate into our own hands and also feeling freedom that we have made a decision for ourselves.