The 6 of Swords is a minor arcana card that often represents transition, change, and moving on to calmer waters. This card shows up when you are going through a significant shift in your life that may require leaving something behind in order to move forward.

In this blog post, we will explore the 6 of Swords meaning in depth. You’ll learn about the key upright and reversed meanings of this card for love, relationships, career, finances, health, spirituality, and more. We’ll also look at how to interpret the 6 of Swords in yes or no questions and examine the numerology, astrology, and common card combinations associated with this card.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a thorough understanding of the 6 of Swords tarot card and how to read it in any spread or situation. So whether you’re a tarot beginner or a seasoned reader, read on to uncover new layers of insight into the 6 of Swords!

6 of Swords Key Facts

Upright Meaning Transition, change, passage, departure
Reversed Meaning Resistance to change, fear of the unknown
Yes or No Yes
Numerology 6
Element Air
Planet Mercury
Astrological Sign Gemini

6 of Swords Tarot Card Description

The 6 of Swords shows a cloaked ferryman rowing a passenger toward the shoreline in the distance. The passenger is a woman and child duo, huddled with their backs toward us as they leave something behind on the banks of the river.

Six swords pierce the boat—representing thoughts, ideas, and beliefs—as the ferryman transports the two figures away. The waters are typically depicted as smooth and calm, though gray clouds loom overhead.

In the background, land comes into view, suggesting the promise of something new ahead. While the atmosphere of this card implies a somber departure, the figures appear to be moving toward a more peaceful future state.

The Upright 6 of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

The Upright 6 of Swords Tarot Card Meaning
The Upright 6 of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

When the 6 of Swords appears upright in a reading, it often signals a period of transition that while difficult, is ultimately positive. This card asks you to reflect on what needs to change and what no longer serves you as you prepare to move on to better horizons.

Love Relationships

The upright 6 of Swords in a love reading indicates a transitional period in a romantic relationship. If attached, this card can represent going through a difficult patch with your partner that requires compromise, understanding, and an openness to change in order to move the relationship forward in a healthier direction.

You may need to let go of certain expectations about each other or the relationship in general to allow for this evolution. Have faith that you and your partner can navigate these choppy waters if you communicate with compassion.

If single, the 6 of Swords can signify needing to let go of past hurt in order to be open to a new relationship. You may be carrying baggage from a previous breakup or betrayal that needs to be processed and released before welcoming love in. This card encourages you to heal so you are fully available for what lies ahead.


In career readings, the upright 6 of Swords often signals a professional transition period. You may be feeling stagnant or limited in your current job and sensing it’s time for a change. Look for opportunities to transfer departments, get promoted, or upgrade your skills.

This card can also indicate physically moving for a new job, like relocating cities. While this prospect may seem daunting, the 6 of Swords suggests this move will lead to career advancement, so have faith.


Financially, the 6 of Swords upright implies a period of belt-tightening and conservative spending. As you go through changes in other areas, you may need to cut back on expenses temporarily. Budget wisely, but avoid limiting yourself excessively out of fear. Have faith your situation will stabilize.


For health, the upright 6 of Swords indicates a recovery period. If you’ve been ill, this card suggests you are healing and moving beyond the worst of it. Listen to doctors and care for yourself as you convalesce. Don’t push yourself too hard; rest is part of the transition.

This card can also signal changing health regimes, diets, or habits to support your well-being. Make modifications gradually and stick to changes for best results.


In spiritual contexts, the 6 of Swords upright signifies a period of deep inner reflection to identify what no longer resonates in your life. Examine beliefs, behaviors, thought patterns, relationships, and anything else that drags you down. Then begin releasing what limits you.

This card encourages a spiritual practice like meditation to help process and let go. By mindfully acknowledging the past, you gain clarity to move forward unburdened.

The Reversed 6 of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

The Reversed 6 of Swords Tarot Card Meaning
The Reversed 6 of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

When the 6 of Swords appears reversed in a reading, it suggests resistance to necessary change, either by actively avoiding it or through fear-based paralysis. Progress may feel impossible, but this card urges you to push past perceived limitations.

Love Relationships

The reversed 6 of Swords in love and relationship spreads can indicate stagnation between partners where change is needed, yet avoided. There may be simmering tensions or issues that need addressed, but one or both parties sidestep the matter.

This avoidance maintains the status quo short-term but long-term, leads to erosion of intimacy and connection. The reversed 6 of Swords cautions against being complicit in dysfunctional patterns—have courage to acknowledge problems so they can be worked through.

If single, this card can signify staying stuck on an ex rather than doing the emotional work to move forward open to new relationships. Reflect honestly on what holds you back so you can release it.


For career, the reversed 6 of Swords often signals fear of change that leads to professional stagnation. You likely recognize a need to make a move—like finding a new job, asking for a promotion, going back to school, etc.—but anxiety overwhelms you.

Staying put seems safer short-term but limits growth long-term. Push past resistance by acknowledging underlying fears, making a plan, and taking small steps forward. Change expands your horizons.


Financially, the reversed 6 of Swords cautions against reckless spending to avoid dealing with problems. Don’t try to shop away sorrows. Look for the root cause of money issues, then make budgets and lifestyle changes to create stability.

Or this card can indicate financial paralysis—being too fearful of instability to make beneficial money moves. Consider advice then act. Change leads to prosperity.


For health, the reversed 6 of Swords suggests avoidance of necessary lifestyle changes to improve well-being. You likely know what needs modified but resist due to habit. Push past barriers; your health is worth it.

Or this card can signal recovery setbacks caused by over-exertion. Change requires adaptation. Don’t rush the process. Listen to your body and act accordingly.


In spiritual realms, the reversed 6 of Swords indicates fear of examining your inner landscape. Digging deep can be uncomfortable but liberating. Avoidance leads to stagnation. Find support if needed, but be brave to explore your shadow self.

This card can also signify clinging to limiting beliefs. What resonated before may now hold you back. Be willing to release outdated perceptions and evolve spiritually. Growth allows your soul to flourish.

6 of Swords Tarot Card in Yes or No Questions

The 6 of Swords card signifies “yes” in yes or no tarot questions. Upright, it indicates forward movement and progress, though perhaps not as quickly as hoped. With patience and trust in the process, desirable change will come.

Reversed, the card indicates a “yes” blocked by fears and resistance. Avoidance will slow progress. Say “yes” to necessary changes, face what holds you back, and breakthroughs become possible.

So in most yes/no questions, the 6 of Swords has an ultimately positive, affirmative meaning. But timing and your willingness to engage with transition impact how quickly you’ll arrive at your destination.

6 of Swords Tarot Card and Numerology

In numerology, the number 6 resonates with harmony, balance, caregiving and nurturing energy. As the 6th card in the suit of Swords, the harmony aspect provides a counterbalance to the mind-oriented suit, introducing more heart.

The number 6 relates to the planet Venus, associated with beauty, pleasure, and social connections. This brings softer Venusian energy to the 6 of Swords, representing moving toward more beautiful horizons through a period of change.

As the 6th card of the tarot’s minor arcana, the 6 of Swords also expresses the energy of the Lovers tarot card from the major arcana. This amplifies themes of relationships, choices, duality and integration of opposites—tying to the transitional nature of this card.

6 of Swords Tarot Card and Astrology

6 of Swords Tarot Card and Astrology
6 of Swords Tarot Card and Astrology

Astrologically, the 6 of Swords corresponds with the zodiac signs of Gemini and Virgo.

Gemini is ruled by Mercury, planet of communication, intellect and movement. This reflects the air energy of Swords and reinforces the transitional meaning of the 6 of Swords.

Virgo’s ruler Mercury also aligns with the card’s themes of analyzing problems and implementing solutions or improvements, represented by the figures moving toward a better shore.

The 6 of Swords may also relate to Chiron, the “wounded healer” asteroid that represents our deepest pains that motivate us to learn and grow. This fits with the card’s significance of painful transitions or experiences that ultimately foster growth when embraced.

6 of Swords Tarot Card Combinations

6 of Swords + The Fool: A transition marking a new beginning, chapter or opportunity. Embrace the unknown possibilities ahead.

6 of Swords + Death: Going through an intense or seismic change but emerging renewed on the other side of it.

6 of Swords + 10 of Wands: Letting go of burdensome situations, beliefs, relationships or commitments in order to lighten your load.

6 of Swords + 3 of Cups: Moving on from friendships or a social circle that no longer fit. Making room for new bonds aligned with who you’re becoming.

6 of Swords + Strength: Finding courage and resilience to endure difficult transitions. Drawing on inner fortitude to get through challenges.

6 of Swords Tarot Card Designs

The 6 of Swords imagery varies somewhat between decks, though the core elements remain: A boat, multiple swords, two passengers, and a ferryman crossing water toward land.

In the Rider-Waite Smith deck, the most commonly used tarot deck, the passengers are a woman and child duo wearing gray cloaks while the ferryman stands tall robed in red. The sky and water are subdued blues and grays.

Other decks may portray different variations – the passengers as both adults, their cloaks a different color, the ferryman absent or minimized, the sky stormy or clear, etc. But the transformative essence remains.

While art styles range from traditional medieval inspired designs to modern minimalist ones, the brooding feeling conveyed through somber colors and a looming departing prevail.

Some contemporary decks shake up this classic imagery – for example portraying the crossing as metaphorical rather than literal, or showing six swords raised in a archway shape. But again, the core transition meaning persists through reinterpretations.


Is the 6 of Swords a positive or negative card?

The 6 of Swords has a generally positive meaning, indicating moving from challenging times to calmer, more peaceful ones. However, the transition itself may be difficult or sad, so the card has poignant nuances.

What does the 6 of Swords mean in love?

The 6 of Swords in love indicates a significant transitional period, like going through a rough patch, recovering from heartbreak, or letting go of the past to make way for new relationships. Change is hard but leads to better horizons.

What does the 6 of Swords mean for career?

For career, the 6 of Swords often signals upcoming professional transitions, like changing jobs or responsibilities, relocating, returning to school for more training, or modernizing your skills. While difficult, these changes pave the way for advancement.

Is the 6 of Swords a yes or no card?

The 6 of Swords means yes in yes or no questions. Its energies are essentially positive regarding forward progress and transition. But resistance to change can slow the timeline.

Key Takeaways

  • The 6 of Swords represents transition, change and moving away from turmoil toward calmer times. This card commonly appears when you are going through a significant inner or outer shift.
  • In love readings, the 6 of Swords can indicate navigating relationship transitions, recovering from heartbreak, or releasing the past to embrace new love.
  • For career, this card often signals upcoming professional changes and transitions that are ultimately positive despite being difficult.
  • To interpret the 6 of Swords reversed, look for resistance to necessary change due to fear or avoidance. Pushing past limitations enables progress.
  • Numerology and astrology connect the 6 of Swords to harmony, communication, intellect, healing and growth energies.
  • In combination with other cards, the 6 of Swords retains its core meaning while adding additional layers based on the complementary card.
  • The classic Rider-Waite imagery of a somber river crossing endures through diverse tarot deck interpretations of this card.


The 6 of Swords is a tarot card of complex emotions—the sadness of departure mingled with the promise of brighter shores ahead. By honoring the pain of transitions yet welcoming necessary change, this card reveals how to navigate tumultuous times with grace.

When the 6 of Swords appears in a reading, rest assured that every ending enables a new beginning. Though the path may not always be easy, forward movement unlocks growth and happier horizons. With courage and an open heart, you will soon find the winds of change guiding your sails toward calmer, clearer waters.

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