Six Of Swords Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

The Six of Swords is about moving from troubled shores to calmer waters, and the journey towards a more stable or positive situation. It shows two people being ferried across water, by a third, and the journey looks easy and trouble free. When drawn, it means you’ll be going through a period of change, possibly after a time of hardship, but there is more hope in your future. When reversed, it shows resistance to change, or something in your past that still needs to be addressed before you move forward.

If you want to get a deeper and clearer understanding of the Six of Swords in all areas of your life, then keep reading to find out!

Numerology6, representing sympathy, gentleness, love and teaching
Zodiac SignGemini, symbolizing adaptability, communication, and the journey from one state to another.
Ruling PlanetMercury, associated with communication, intellect, and movement, highlighting the journey towards understanding or new environments.
ElementAir, reflecting the mental or intellectual journey away from conflict towards peace.
Yes or NoYes, suggesting progress and moving forward to a better place.
CrystalsAquamarine (for calm travels and clear communication), Amethyst (for peace and protection).

Symbolism Of The Six Of Swords

  1. The Boat: In the card, there is a boat ferrying people across water from one shore to another. This symbolizes transition and moving away from difficulty towards a place of greater safety or clarity. The boat represents the journey from a troubled past to a more hopeful future.
  2. The Figures: The card typically shows a man rowing the boat and two passengers, one adult, one child. The rower shows there may be a helper facilitating the transition, while the passengers represent those undergoing change. It reminds us of the need for support and guidance during times of transition.
  3. The Swords: The swords are in the boat, pointing downwards. They show us the challenges or issues being carried from the past into the future. The placement of the swords suggests that, while the issues are still present, they are not causing harm during the journey of transition.
  4. The Water: Water in tarot is associated with emotions, the subconscious, and healing. The calm water the boat travels on reflects the emotional state that’s currently being felt about the change.
  5. The Distant Shore: The far shore, housing trees and fertile lands, symbolizes the future or the goal of the transition. It represents hope, healing, and the potential for a new beginning after overcoming difficulties.
Six Of Swords Symbolism

The Six Of Swords Upright Meaning

The Six of Swords symbolizes a significant phase of transition and change, marking a journey from turmoil towards a more peaceful and stable state. This card reflects the process of moving on from past difficulties, accepting the lessons learned, and embarking on a path toward healing and new beginnings. When the Six of Swords appears in your reading, it’s a sign that you are in the midst of navigating through change, seeking a brighter horizon after weathering the storms of life.

This card often represents a literal or metaphorical journey away from what no longer serves you, urging you to leave behind situations, relationships, or patterns of thought that have been sources of distress or stagnation. It’s a reminder that such transitions, while challenging, are necessary for growth and renewal. The Six of Swords encourages you to embrace this process of change, to allow yourself to be guided towards new opportunities and experiences that await you.

The concept of accepting lessons from past experiences is a crucial aspect of this card. It suggests that the hardships you’ve faced have not been in vain; they have equipped you with wisdom and strength that will serve you well in the future. This card invites you to reflect on these lessons, to understand how they have shaped you, and to use this knowledge to navigate the path ahead with greater clarity and purpose.

Six Of Swords Upright Meaning

Change, as represented by the Six of Swords, is often a rite of passage—a transformative experience that marks a transition from one state of being to another. This card signifies that you are moving towards a phase of your life that promises greater peace and stability. It’s a journey that requires faith and courage, as you leave familiar waters and venture into the unknown. Yet, the Six of Swords reassures you that this change is leading you to a place of greater well-being and fulfillment.

Distance, both physical and emotional, can be an important theme of this card. It might indicate the need to create space between you and your current circumstances to gain perspective and heal. This distance is not about avoidance but about finding a vantage point from which to view your life and challenges more objectively, enabling you to make decisions that are in your best interest.

So to be clear, the Six of Swords is a powerful message of hope and forward movement. It acknowledges the difficulties you’ve faced but also highlights the promise of calmer waters ahead. This card encourages you to trust in the journey, to believe in the process of change, and to remain open to the lessons and opportunities that transitions bring. By accepting the need to move on and by embracing the changes that come, you pave the way for a future that is aligned with your growth, healing, and ultimate well-being.

Love and Relationships

The Six of Swords for love and relationships symbolizes a transition from turbulent emotions to a place of peace and understanding. For those in relationships, you’ll both be making an effort to move past difficulties and towards a more stable place of peace. If you’re single it’s encouraging you to release the baggage of past relationships, opening the path to new, healthier romantic beginnings. It represents a journey toward healing, suggesting that the future holds more tranquil and fulfilling relationships.

Career and Finances

For career and finances, the Six of Swords marks a significant shift. You may be leaving behind a job that no longer serves your highest good and moving towards opportunities that promise growth and stability. This card underscores the importance of embracing change within your professional life, even when the future seems uncertain. It assures you that this transition is a step towards achieving your career aspirations and financial security, guiding you to a path that aligns more closely with your personal values and goals.


On a spiritual level, the Six of Swords reflects a passage from inner conflict to a state of inner peace and enlightenment. It suggests that you are navigating through personal transformation, shedding old beliefs, and embracing new spiritual insights. It’s a reminder that true spiritual growth often requires leaving behind familiar but limiting beliefs to explore yourself further. It assures you that this journey, though it may be daunting, is leading you towards deeper understanding and spiritual fulfillment, and that there’s nothing to fear.

Yes or No

For a yes or no question, the Six of Swords is a ‘yes,’ particularly when inquiring about moving forward or embracing change. It suggests that now is an opportune time to let go of the past and step into a new chapter of your life. It encourages you to trust the journey of transition, reassuring you that this path will lead to a place of greater peace, stability, and well-being. It’s a signal that embracing change is not only necessary but also beneficial for your growth and happiness.

Book Recommendation – Transitions: Making Sense Of Life’s Changes by William Bridges

If you’ve drawn the Six of Swords, then you’re definitely going through a transition period in your life. With that in mind, learning how to go through these transitions is going to be massively helpful when it comes to facing change. And that’s what this book is all about! So if you haven’t checked it out already, you definitely should.

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The Six Of Swords Reversed Meaning

Resistance to change is one of the key themes of the Six of Swords reversed. You might find yourself clinging to the familiar, even if it’s uncomfortable or detrimental, simply because it feels safer than venturing into the unknown. Examine why you’re resisting the shift that’s calling to you. Confront your fears and consider the possibilities that lie beyond the current discomfort, and remember that growth often requires leaving your comfort zone.

Unfinished business is another meaning that can be drawn from the Six of Swords reversed. There might be unresolved issues or loose ends that need your attention before you can truly move forward. This could involve personal relationships, professional projects, or internal conflicts. The Six of Swords reversed is urging you to address these matters, to seek closure or resolution, so that you can free yourself from the past and open up to new beginnings.

Stuck in the past, returning to trouble, and running away from problems are cautionary messages of the Six of Swords reversed too. It’s warning you that without confronting and dealing with your current challenges, you risk repeating old patterns or returning to situations that have previously caused you distress. Instead of merely running away from problems in hopes they’ll disappear, take a more reflective approach, face what’s holding you back so you can truly leave it behind and move forward.

Six Of Swords Reversed Meaning

This card is also has elements in it that deal with feeling trapped. It reflects a state of mind where you feel unable to escape your current predicaments, not realizing that the power to change your circumstances lies within you. The Six of Swords reversed calls for a reevaluation of your perceptions and beliefs about your situation, reminding you that the first step towards liberation is believing in your ability to initiate change.

So, the Six of Swords reversed is a call to action. It asks you to recognize where you are resisting change, to tie up loose ends of unfinished business, and to confront rather than flee from your problems. It’s a reminder that while the process of moving on and embracing change can be challenging, it’s also an opportunity for growth, healing, and the discovery of new horizons. By facing what holds you back and trusting in the journey of transition, you can navigate towards a future that reflects your true desires and potential.

Love and Relationships

The Six of Swords reversed in love and relationships indicates a reluctance to leave behind unhealthy dynamics or to fully embrace the changes needed for personal growth, and growth in your relationship. For couples, it’s a sign that both of you are holding onto grievances or patterns that prevent the relationship from moving to a more fulfilling phase. For singles, it could signify a struggle to move past previous heartbreaks, hindering the formation of new, healthy connections. It’s a call to honestly assess what needs to be released to allow for love’s evolution and to take steps toward healing and closure.

Career and Finances

For your career and finances, the Six of Swords reversed shows a hesitancy to advance or transition despite knowing it might be necessary for your professional development or financial well-being. Perhaps fear of the unknown is preventing you from leaving a job that no longer serves you or from taking a risk that could lead to greater prosperity. You need to resolve any unfinished business and to consider what steps you can take to ensure a more secure and satisfying future.


Spiritually, the Six of Swords reversed points to a period of resistance against the natural flow of personal growth. You may be clinging to outdated beliefs or avoiding the inner work required to progress on your spiritual journey. You need to reflect on what aspects of your past are hindering your spiritual development and to embrace the changes necessary for deeper understanding and connection.

Yes or No

For a yes or no question, the Six of Swords reversed is a ‘no.’ Now isn’t the right time for the change you’re contemplating. Unresolved issues need your attention before you can successfully move forward. Take this time to address any lingering concerns or to reevaluate your direction, ensuring that when you do proceed, it’s with clarity and purpose.

Book Recommendation – Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat Zinn

If you’re feeling resistant to change, then this is definitely the book you need to read. It’s going to help you be mindful and just enjoy the journey, no matter where you are on your journey. Helping you move past any stagnation you are currently in and closer to the life you’re meant to live.

Journaling Prompts For The Six Of Swords

If you want to get a deeper understanding on what the Six of Swords is trying to tell you, then here are some helpful journaling prompts to ask yourself!

  1. Write about a current situation where you’re experiencing or anticipating a transition. What steps can you take to ensure a smoother journey?
  2. Think about a period of turmoil in your life that eventually led to peace. How did you find calm after the storm?
  3. Write about an aspect of your life where healing is still needed. What can you do to support your own recovery and well-being?
  4. Think about a situation where moving forward brought clarity and understanding. How did your perspective change as you moved away from the situation?
  5. Where has change has been a catalyst for growth in your life? And what important lessons have you learned through change?
  6. Consider the changes you’re currently facing or resisting. How might these changes be opportunities for growth and development?

Final Message Of The Six Of Swords

Leave burdens behind. Don’t let past hurts or worries anchor you. Embrace the flow, release what no longer serves you, and step confidently onto the ferry of progress.

Seek a calmer shore. Though storms may have tossed you, serenity awaits. Navigate towards peace, trust the current, and allow yourself to be carried towards healing and clarity.

Find strength in stillness. Rest your arms, weary traveler. Inner peace isn’t found in frantic paddling, but in the quiet trust that you are being guided towards a brighter horizon.


To summarise, the Six of Swords symbolizes transition, urging movement from troubled times to a calmer state, and reminds us that personal growth in life is a necessity. It reflects the journey of leaving behind negative situations or thoughts and embracing new opportunities for healing and renewal.

Reversed, the Six of Swords indicates resistance to change, unresolved issues, or a tendency to dwell in the past, suggesting a struggle to move forward. It calls for addressing unfinished matters, confronting fears, and recognizing personal power to change circumstances.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio, Owner & Editor of the Fools Journey!

I've been reading Tarot Cards/Getting my tarot read for over 10 years now! For me, what started out as a bit of fun and scepticism, has since grown into such a passion for me.

Tarot Cards are not just a great source of inspiration, but also comfort, and I love using them to help get in touch with the higher powers that are here to guide me through life!

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