Six of Swords

Time heals all wounds

This is a restful, peaceful card, but it is also heavy with thought and emotion. It shows us that process of moving on after a difficult time – tired, but wiser and stronger. Sad, but determined to start over. It’s a healing journey.

Many decks show a person in a boat. They sit, perhaps with their face hidden, facing forwards, away from us. Six swords accompany them in the boat – they are not being left behind. A stranger rows or steers the ship, carrying them to safety. In the distance, we see the coast: a new land.

After trauma, conflict, heartbreak, or tough chapters in our lives, we don’t have the choice of forgetting everything. We can’t simply forget the lessons we learn in life, even when we want to. They stay with us. These experiences may or may not form part of our identities – it may feel empowering to define yourself as, for example, a trauma survivor or a sober alcoholic – or it may feel important not to claim your experiences within your current identity. This is a choice you can make. Either way, though, you carry with you the wisdom and the scars.

The stranger in the boat may be significant – someone who guides or supports us in our healing. We are not alone in life, this figure may be a real person, or a spiritual helper of any sort. Or, they may be time itself, whose slow, inevitable passage heals wounds and moves us forwards.

The boat itself is significant too: it travels over water. Whilst this is a swords card and thus concerned with our minds, there is an emotional journey happening too. To cross a body of water is symbolically to move forwards, emotionally. There is a quiet, supportive sense of empowerment in this card.

In a reading…

In its simplest sense, the Six of Swords advises you to begin or continue the process of moving on. This may be easier said than done, but accepting and embracing your own healing journey is the core message of this card.

Healing is transformational. Experiences that may once have been painful or buried deep gradually become a part of your life that you can learn from. Part of who you are, but not you. They are with you, not of you.

It is time for healing to take place, or perhaps it is well underway. You’re moving on. You’ve seen some tough times – perhaps recently, perhaps long ago – and are moving beyond them. You won’t forget what you’ve seen, but will learn to lean on these lessons in the next chapter.

Allow yourself to be helped and supported if you need to. You don’t have to do this alone. The Six of Swords can advise counselling and other forms of therapy, anything that helps you to turn experiences into lessons.

Know that there is no need to rush this process. Trust that it is happening.