Exploring the Six of Swords

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Six of Swords and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.


Introduction of the Card

s6

The Six of Swords is card number 55 in the deck and the sixth card of the Swords Suit in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.


Card Examples

L-s6Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.


My Analysis of These Cards

In all of these cards except the Dragon Tarot, we see traveling in a boat. Even in the Dragon Tarot card there is a sense of movement with the dragon behind the swords. So here everyone is moving toward something. They are going somewhere.


Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • THE BLUES
  • RECOVERY
  • TRAVEL

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • REGRETFUL BUT NECESSARY TRANSITION
  • RITE OF PASSAGE

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.


What this Card Means to Me

The thing I find troublesome about this card is how many people focus on the sorrowful aspect with moving forward. Yes, that can happen but it doesn’t have to. I think instead we should be focusing on recovery and that forward movement.

So let’s think back for example on the Five of Swords. The loser got screwed out of a deal. Here they are recovering and moving forward. They are making new ground. This is a good thing. The winner may have realized they burned too many bridges in the process of getting their prize and also needs to move forward. Even if they don’t make this realization, they are still moving forward. Ever onward with both of them.

Let’s look back at the cards above for the Six of Swords in this post. In the Mythic Tarot and the Dragon Tarot there is a clear positive feel in the imagery. Meanwhile in the Universal Tarot and the Tarot of Dreams, the card depict scenes that are either sorrowful or apprehensive.

The feelings we have during our transitions have everything to do with where we’re coming from and how we are approaching our destination. And the same should be true for when we’re writing our characters in our stories.

The keyword I choose for this card is: TRANSITIONS.


Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.


The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.


I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!


Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

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