So as it turns out The Hanged Man’s message (seen in my last post) was much harder to take in than I expected! As those of you who have been reading my blog since it’s birth would know, 2015 has been a tumultuous year for me. But while there has been a lot of pain this year, it has also been a year of self-discovery and a deep questioning of what it actually IS that drives me! While this was spurred on by a negative emotional event, which to be honest has pretty much bled into most of my year, it has in turn helped me develop more positive and helpful ways of looking at pain and ‘negative’ emotions. But like most things, this is a stage of development that is going to require a lot of effort, and a lot of time! And during this stage there are of course going to be ups and downs, which I understand, but the fact that I have little control over this is starting to get to me! A month or so ago I was finally starting to feel like I was on the right track, and beginning to open myself up to the world again! To let my vulnerability see the light of day and venture out of the cage of safety I had created for myself since May’s events. But I never imagined it would be this difficult! It’s such an odd experience to feel like you aren’t the person you used to be, I find myself questioning every little thing I do, which is incredibly draining, and I no longer feel comfortable when in new or unfamiliar situations. I’ve tried to put myself out there lately, to meet new people, and get out of my comfort zone, but in these situations I find myself questioning every little thing I’m saying and wondering if the person sitting opposite me is even interested. And I am trying my best to listen to The Hanged Man and his message of letting go, I really am, but I think I’m scared that if I let go of the semblance of control I feel I have, I will be completely lost. And that thought frightens me! So after spending some time with The Hanged Man, I decided that it was time to pull another card of the day to see if the Shadowscapes had anything to help me through this process, and up came the Six of Swords.

The Six of Swords represents a state of despondency, those times when you feel like you are only just keeping your head out of the water, your not incredibly sad, but your not happy either. It’s a dull, listless feeling. But it’s not all bad, it shows that there is a way out! Quite often this card represents the beginning of a new phase after a time of upheaval, a journey away from a stage of unhappiness to a better place. It can represent a change in your frame of mind, or an actual physical journey away from a negative situation. And on top of that, there is help on this journey, you don’t have to do it alone!

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Six of Swords – Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Here in the RWS image we see a cloaked figure and a child, huddled together, being ferried off to an island in the distance. The figure is cloaked, which to me represents loss and sadness, that all too familiar feeling that occurs when you are leaving something behind in your past! Another important image that solidifies this is that the water to the right of the boat is rough and choppy, whereas the water to the left, towards the island and hence the direction they are going, is smooth and calm. This shows that the woman and the child are moving away from turmoil and conflict towards a calm and tranquil future. And this I think is the key to this card. Although we may be sad by our loss or predicament, as we move away from the past and its turmoil there is a sense of moving into a brighter future.

And then there is the ferryman, representative of the help that we may find along the way, and also importantly the 6 upright swords in the boat, representative of the importance of a logical frame of mind in these situations. Another way I like to look a these Swords is in the fact that they are not sinking the boat, nor weighing it down! In this respect it is important to realise that on this journey we may carry our past with us, but it will not weigh us down or sink us! Also I feel that the fact that they are coming with the woman and child on this journey shows that they represent something that the two figures have been dealing with for a long time, something that may no longer be painful but that stays with us throughout our life.

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Six of Swords – Shadowscapes Tarot

Above we see quite a different representation of the Six of Swords. Here we see an individual being lifted away from his/her troubles upon the back of a giant swan. This is a clear representation of relying on others for help. The Swan’s strength and calming spirit seems to soothe the young figure, calming his mind, and the rhythmic beating of her wings and the warmth of her body allow him to drift off to sleep. Probably the first peaceful sleep he has had in a long time. I feel that the Shadowscapes card clearly represents another aspect of the Six of Swords, that being recovery. There is an aspect of this card that talks to us about dealing with the effects of past traumas, of taking the time to get over a tough period and picking up the pieces to build towards a more positive place 🙂

I like the levels used in colouring this image. The lower level of the card is a darker purple/black, which makes me feel as if the world below, representative of the past, is darkened by the conflict and turmoil present there, whereas the top half of the card is brighter, and there is even an inkling towards dawn’s ray’s behind the swan. The future in all its brightness. This brings to mind the idea that when you look at your past, with all it’s pain, fear and tribulations, from the point of view of someone who is moving on, it seems unimaginable to believe that something so small and distant could cause those issues. It’s like in the card, as the boy wakes he sees the world and all the troubles it caused below him in the distance, and it seems so small and unimportant.

Another image I like in this representation are the Ravens perched upon the six swords. I feel that they represent the troubles the figure has experienced. Though they may caw raucously, doing all they can to keep there hold on him, his faith and confidence in the Swan and where they are travelling to is enough to assuage his fears. What I think is important to remember however is that they are below him not behind him, so they aren’t going to disappear completely from his life, like the swords in the RWS image they will be there, just with less power over him.

For me the Six of Swords in its most basic sense is a passage away from life’s difficulties. The Shadowscapes card has a real soothing quality to it, which I don’t feel from the RWS. It shows that there really is a chance to recover and re-establish yourself after the tribulations of your past. The decision to leave a situation can be quite a difficult one, you may feel as if you are giving up or giving in, in most respects it is hard to feel good about! But when life is unendurable, the decision to leave may be the only thing that will help you live happily. And this decision doesn’t have to be made alone, find that mumma swan, ask her for some aid or advice, and then make your decision. And as for me, I think maybe it’s saying that I need to leave my old self behind and stop berating myself for the fact that I feel different. I know that my current situation is not ideal, I am obviously not as happy as I have been, but this card suggests movement into a more positive space. So adding this to The Hanged Man’s message of letting go I feel that it is time to let the universe take me where I need to go. I’m going to strive to let go of the reins, and let what be be, and hopefully I will make it to the other side and that it will be a positive place as well 🙂

Until next time, live well xx

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2 thoughts on “A Passage Away from Difficulties – The Six of Swords

  1. I love the concept of “recovery” being associated with the Six of Swords. I’ll definitely be keeping that in mind!

    I can definitely relate to the emotions you talk about here. It’s not easy to be fearful and vulnerable! Maybe the Hanged Man felt that way for a while before he became the peaceful fellow we see in tarot. When life pulls the rug out from under us, it may take a little while to find the peace the Hanged Man has found.

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  2. When I was reading your post, I was reminded of something I was thinking about while I was soaking in the tub tonight. I thought that I didn’t really have control over my life. That even my own thoughts kind of bubble up into my consciousness from somewhere I don’t know. And I’m inspired to take action on some of those thoughts, like I think I’ll buy that book or I want to paint this, or I want to call someone, or even do something bigger like move or start a business. I thought it, and I might even act on it. And it will take me down a path in life. But I don’t really know where its coming from. It seems like the more I stop fighting and let it happen the better. I mean, I think what I’m saying is that letting go is stopping the fight and then after the fight stops its just life. Plain, simple and mysterious and cool. Wow, I’m not stoned, I promise.

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