Today’s card draw in the Discovering the Wild Unknown series is the 6 of Swords.
I want to start off by providing an important notice, which will be included in all of this series. However, other things that will be included that you can skip to are:
- Card Description
- Considering the Card, where I look at how I would interpret certain imagery used
- Traditional Rider-Waite definition
I only include the latter as a comparison, to show how wandering down your own understanding of images and symbols can bring you to a similar meaning, though along a different path with different experiences. This is to help expand knowledge of the card.
I will not, however, be including the definitions from the guidebook, as that is not the point of this. Also, I don’t have rights to that material.
I started this series because I had read that people struggled with the deck purely because the definitions in the Little White Book were very Rider-Waite-based, and that there wasn’t much wisdom regarding the animals and symbolism chosen.
This series is to help you to decipher the meanings yourselves. I am by no means saying what I have to say about the cards are correct for anyone outside myself. However, I am providing my daily journal entries regarding the deck to act as a guide so that you can begin your own journey.
When I started tarot, I had no idea what to write in my journal, and thus didn’t. Instead I obsessively read and re-read the Little White Book belonging to the Spiral Tarot (which is why today I can completely quote the book). I didn’t trust myself to know the cards, even when I could recite the definitions. I was afraid to put the book down.
To this fear of lack of knowledge, Kim Krans, creator of The Wild Unknown, writes:
You do know enough. You’ve been a person on earth every day since you were born. You’ve experienced all the emotions and situations these cards depict. Quiet the naysayer…don’t let it prevent you from sitting down with a friend (or yourself) and using these cards to help talk about what’s going on in your life. It will be positive. It will be radical. You’ll find things start to reveal themselves through the cards that have been hidden away, covered with dust.pp. 10-11, The Wild Unknown Guidebook
Description of the Card
6 Swords are in a dark pile at the bottom of the card. They are completely black, silhouetted, and jumbled. While it is still dark, it is slightly light over them, though dark toward the edges. At nearly the top of the card, a rainbow stretches from one edge of the card to the other. The card is completely white above the rainbow.
Traditional Card Meaning
The 6 of Swords is traditionally depicted as one or two figures sitting in a boat with six swords at the front. There is a boat man ferrying them away. There is light in the distance.
The meaning behind the card is that the time has been reached to depart, and while you may not know where to, it is for the better, as indicated by the distant light. However, the figures are still carrying their thoughts, their Swords, and you need to ask yourself if what you’re carrying with you is worth the weight.
What I derive from the Card itself
When considering a rainbow, while they can represent good omens and happy tidings, the most common lore (at least in my realm of lore-learning) is that if you follow a rainbow to its end, you’ll find a pot of gold.
In the 6 of Swords, I think that the rainbow’s appearance is telling the carrier of the Swords, whoever left them in this jumble, to move toward a goal, no matter how silly it is, or might seem. The message is to get moving. You can sort out specifics later. For now, just get to the light.
You have to look closely to see that these are not Wands, but Swords. Many times, while trying to get to know this deck, I’ve drawn this convinced it was the 6 of Wands only to realize that it’s the 6 of Swords. This tells me there is an element of illusion, and element of really needing to want to see the truth in order to obtain it.
The 6 of Wands is a card of victory, and it’s always a card that we want to see. But the 6 of Swords is about moving on to a better future, even if it is with your tail between your legs. It might not feel like victory, but it’s something that will eventually be recognized as the sound move to make, and that’s a victory in itself. You have to look hard to see it thought.
About the Deck
The Wild Unknown Tarot is a 2016 Harper One publication, created by Kim Krans. The deck is widely available at most bookstores who carry Tarot cards, but also on Amazon. Kim Krans always wrote The Wild Unknown Guidebook.