Six of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

Six of Swords tarot card image
Meaning Indicator


Six of Swords’ Upright & Reversed Meanings

Six of Swords (Reversed, Lacking)

Ideas: Consequences, disembarkation, reluctance

Traits: Careless, clumsy, cowardly, forgetful, graceless, narrow-minded, tactless, timid

Emotions: Defeat, disappointment, frustration, guilt, insecurity, regret, rejection

  • Actions:
    • Becoming aware that things have changed
    • Facing the consequences of your actions
    • Identifying the essential lessons
    • Looking for someone who can help you
    • Preparing yourself for a transition
    • Wondering what you have done wrong
Six of Swords (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Adjustment, aid, passage, travel

Traits: Adaptable, anticipative, farsighted, flexible, helpful, kind, studious

Emotions: Caring, compassion, hope, melancholy, nervousness, uneasiness

  • Actions:
    • Broadening your perspective through study or travel
    • Changing the way you see the world
    • Helping others who find themselves in dire circumstances
    • Making allowances for unexpected circumstances
    • Making the best of a bad situation
    • Recovering from defeat
    • Resetting expectations
Six of Swords (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Drag, seasickness, victim

Traits: Cynical, dependent, fatalistic, paranoid, repressed, skeptical, ungrateful

Emotions: Anxiety, apprehension, pity, sympathy, worry

  • Actions:
    • Comforting someone who shows no signs of improvement
    • Dragging yourself through the passage
    • Failing to acknowledge the help received from those around you
    • Playing the victim
    • Refusing to talk about what is bothering you with others
    • Worrying that the future is worse than the past

Six of Swords’ Advice

Personal Growth

Reaching out to others in need will rapidly advance your growth and maturity. Don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone wants what you want; ask people what they need, and find a way to supply it without strings attached. Know why you do what you do.


Relationships involve give and take. Prepare for some compromises. Someone may have to adjust expectations in order to be happy. Look around; you may find better options elsewhere. How long since you sat down and discussed what works and what doesn’t?


Times change, and the wise businessperson changes with them. Reinvent yourself and your approach to work. Seeking inspiration, go places you don’t normally go. Find out what’s on the “cutting edge.” Now is a good time for business trips, seminars, and training sessions.


Attend a workshop or seminar and learn new spiritual techniques. Consider taking a trip exclusively for the purpose of enhancing your spiritual perspective. If a discipline isn’t helping you, abandon it, but not without defining what worked, what didn’t work, and why.

Six of Swords’ Symbols & Insights

The Boatman

On Rider–Waite–Smith versions of this card, a boatman steers a craft bearing one or two huddled figures. Lending aid to others in need encourages personal growth. In your situation, who needs help? To what extent are you positioned to supply that help?

Swords in the Boat

Many decks depict six Swords embedded in the deck of the boat. Do they form a defensive barrier? Are they needed in case of attack? Or are they products, being ferried to market? What might your answer suggest about your perspective?

Ways of Knowing

Extended analysis or going with your gut: either approach can foster greater understanding. Which is your default? What might happen if you tried the other approach now?

The Marseilles Image

Six curved blades form a tight lattice. This careful placement would require a great deal of collaboration to construct; once complete, it creates, once again, a space for growth. How might thoughtful collaboration impact your situation today?

More About Six of Swords Tarot Card

You’ll soon go on a long journey over water.
Actions have unexpected consequences, so be prepared.
Between January 30 and February 8
“I keep an open mind.”
Numerology Number
(the adjustment: cooperation, collaboration, interaction)
Astrology Element
Astrology Planet in Sign
Mercury in Aquarius
The main character comes up with a creative solution to handle an unforeseen complication.
Questions to Ask
What assumptions govern my thinking?
How willing am I to lend aid to others? To request it when I need it?
How prepared am I to deal with change? With unexpected outcomes?
Related Pages
Tarot Card Meanings Guide
Exploring Today’s Tarot
Consulting the Tarot
Traditional Tarot Card Meanings
Thirteen Fun Things to Do with Tarot Cards
Where to Go to Learn More
More Tarot Card Meaningss