In its depiction of a crossing over, the Six of Swords suggests a period of quiet transition; the postures of the figures in the boat hint that there may be sorrow in this, but there is acceptance, too, and peace. The presence of the Swords in the boat can indicate that the card relates to a situation that has gone on for a long time; a continual source of sorrow: we have become so used to this aspect of our lives that we often barely notice that we are experiencing it.
The Six of Swords can appear when we have decided to make a change, whether in our physical circumstances or mindset and have found that the passage from our old life to our new one is proving to be an easier one than we had anticipated.
When the Six of Swords comes out of the deck reversed in a reading, it can often mean that the transition from one state to another has become a turbulent one. The boat’s journey is not smooth, and the churning of the waters threatens to capsize it. The card assures us, though, that we will reach our destination, no matter the obstacles before us.
Sometimes, the reversed Six can symbolize what can happen if we try to remove the Swords from the boat: the water floods into the holes that they have left. Despite the rough ride, this can then precipitate, the message is clear: removing the block that we (or others) have placed on our emotions may be the only way to bring about honest communication, and the chance to move our boat forward.
The Six of Swords comforts us that a transition is possible and suggests that, once we arrive, that our best course of action would be to let go of all the things that no longer serve us and to embrace the chance for profound and lasting change.