6 of Swords

The expanse of a wide river covers most of this card. A boat barely larger than a skiff is navigating across it. The driver of the boat is standing and using a long pole to push his way across the calm waters. His back is to the viewer. Sitting before him are a covered woman and child, huddled together. Before them are the boat’s cargo, six longswords that surround the woman’s field of view. Despite being arranged hilt up, they do not appear to pierce the boat’s hull. In the far distance is the shore, some hills and scattered bunches of trees.

This card has divergent meanings for me that are not always in harmony with each other. On the surface, the card means what it portrays: Escape to safe harbor. The Querent is leaving an unpleasant situation and will shortly arrive to a place of comfort and care. The Querent may be escorted as the card implies, or may be moving themselves under their own power, but a time of travail and concern is behind them. Peace and solace awaits.

It may also simply mean transportation by means of water, or that the item of interest will be transported in a smooth and swift manner. Smoothed feelings, conversation, or ease of travel. That which the Querent has been waiting for is en route and will arrive soon. There are also tones of comfort, of the lack of excitement, and of the relief that comes when you know you are almost home.

Ill-dignified, the card can indicate sorrow without relief, assault without rescue, and battle without escape. The Querent is not prepared for this assault and if external help does not arrive soon, the Querent will lose more than just peace and quiet. The expected item is lost en route, or delivered to the wrong person (usually at the wrong time). Movement already underway will be stalled or diverted. Obstacles appear that the Querent will not be able to route around. (Rush hour traffic comes to a complete halt and the car next to you is blaring that song you hate on repeat over and over again until you catch yourself singing along with it.)