The second lesson spoken of in the Five of Swords is brought into complete manifestation in the Six of Swords. Sometimes the only way to solve life’s problems is to leave them, go someplace new and start over. Though such a retreat can seem cowardly and even illogical (which would violate the Swords ideal of honesty and mental clarity) it is often the only approach left when all others have failed. After times of dreadful confusion and strife, the Six of Swords shows you that the only way to escape the turbulent waters of our emotions may be to leave them behind.
The almost universal nautical symbolism of the Six of Swords shows that this is not only a time to get away from problems, but to chart a new course that will hopefully lead to greater happiness and glory. The mental clarity of the Swords suit is easily put to use here, and before you completely move away from a situation, the Six of Swords shows the necessity to take a look at where you’ve been and where you’re going. This mental clarity will also serve to smooth the way ahead, and make the passage from negative to positive as peaceful as possible. Though the waters behind are choppy, there are no rough seas ahead to slow your progress.
The symbolism of the swords stuck in the boat denotes the power of a rational mind over the heart and the intuition, but not in the same way as the Three of Swords did. The control on that card was swift and brutal; here it is more passive and sometimes even welcomed after drawn-out emotional conflict. While there is often an aura of depression and sadness associated with the Six, such a transition from a negative venue to a more positive one should be seen as cause for celebration and joy. It is only when you cling to the past that the necessity of moving on into the future will cause pain.
Instead of ruling the emotions, the Six of Swords actually offers a highly controlled balance of logic and intuition. This is how true mental clarity arises; you can use your intuition to guide you through easy situations and call upon your impartial and analytical nature when it is needed for a more complex decision. Do not seek to suppress your emotions any more than a sea captain would want to eliminate the water. Rather, respect their presence and their power in your life, and use them to your advantage. When a balance between head and heart is achieved, truly great things can be accomplished.