The six of swords is a card of transitions, it is a card of stepping away from everything you've known and venturing into the unknown with just the clothes on your back. It is also a card about putting yourself in the hands of a guide or pilot and trusting them to take you where you need to go. And as I look at this card, I realize that this card reminds me of my journey out of a bad marriage and into a better future and that that journey started around the same time my journey with tarot started.
When my marriage collapsed in 2010, I was left feeling bereft and alone. I felt as if my entire world had collapsed around me and I was seeking something or someone to guide me and help me find my way out of the darkness. It was a dark and stormy afternoon when I found myself in a small metaphysical store on the south side of Chicago and I met the man who would become a friend, an adviser, and a student. I wasn't sure what to think of him at first because he was bearded, cranky, and willing to call me on my shit and wasn't concerned about my emotional fragility. But there was something about him that kept me coming back for readings, guidance, advice, and friendship.
Scott was the first of many guides on my journey to wholeness (god, that sounds so cliched), but he's the one that I think of when I think about my journey out of the darkness because he challenged me and like the boatman on the Six of Swords, he helped guide me through my period of transition and helped me to find myself. My other guides on that journey were the members of Al-Anon who helped me to see that my ex's alcoholic bad behavior was really about him and not about me and my acupuncturist who helped heal my body.
On the surface, the six of swords would appear to be about relying on others and not about earned success as it is about accepting help and not using our own skills and talents to move us forward. However, opening up and accepting help can be one of the most difficult and powerful ways of changing our life. Chris-Anne in the guidebook to the Lightseer's Tarot said, "Allow the gentle support of others to move you through this ocean of change as you lean toward the silver linings on the horizon (more sunshine? Yes, please!). It’s time to chase guidance in the form of hope, and explore the fresh beginnings on the other side of a new shore.”
The Six of Swords is also about the mastery of logic (air) over emotions (water) and it is about getting in the little boat and rising about emotion as you paddle through emotion to reach the other side. Rising about emotion, especially fear, is difficult and asking for someone's help and guidance is a tremendous act of strength and courage and coming though on the other side is definitely an act of earned success.
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