Six of Swords
The Six of Swords (Also 6 of Swords, VI of Swords)
Title: Lord of Earned Success
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Decan: Mercury in Aquarius; January 30 - February 8
Thumbnail Meaning: Success after anxiety and trouble; patience, labor, work.
The Six of Swords is one of the most pleasant cards in its suit. Granted, the suit of Swords includes cards of defeat, ruin, sorrow and cruelty, so that isn't saying much.
In the Rider-Waite tarot, this card shows a man ferrying a woman and child across the water. The water to their right is choppy, while the water ahead of them is smooth. They have struggled on their journey, but they are heading towards a period of calm.
The Six of Swords is titled "The Lord of Earned Success." It doesn't imply a sudden end to all troubles. Earned success is exactly that––earned. The ferryman had to use ingenuity and skill to steer the boat through choppy water. Had he trusted in providence, they would have drowned. Because he persisted, they have come through the difficult patch.
This card is strongly associated with journeys by water. See, for example, the Alchemical tarot:
Since the suit of Swords represents the element of air, this card can represent a transition, a "change in the winds," which will benefit you if you work with it, instead of against it.
This card is associated with keen intelligence and analytical ability, balanced by a strong moral sense. People born with Mercury in Aquarius, from January 30 - February 8, are said to have sharp, analytical intellects. This card can therefore suggest a balanced approach to a problem: use your intelligence, work diligently and be patient.
Do not expect perpetual success. In the Rider-Waite tarot, the boat still has six swords stuck in the bottom of its bow. In the Alchemical tarot, three of the six are pointing at the ship. Earned success should be enjoyed, and the struggle should not be forgotten.
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