The Sixes in Tarot: A Cautionary Tale, Morgan-Greer Tarot Deck
Never Trust A Six, by Carrie Sanders
Sixes in the Tarot Deck are a wily lot. At a glance the Sixes are represented pretty positively in the traditional Rider-Waite deck – the nostalgia and childlike innocence of the Six of Cups, the charity and gift giving of the Six of Coins, the Six of Wands victory lap on horseback, the Six of Swords image of a family rowing away from troubled waters- but they are often much more complex than what meets the eye. Sixes are usually journey/ departure cards and signal a relief from the sexy instability of the Fives. Whatever the situation the reading is about, it is definitely changing. The problem I see is that the Sixes usually indicate that the querent is choosing the cheap and easy way of getting out from under the current conflict. Take note, my fellow tarotizers: sixes are short term fixes!
I think the most easy to interpret is the Six of Coins. The rich man doling out coins while holding a scale overhead is pretty easy to interpret. Sure, it may be helpful to take that offer of cash now, but strings will be attached. There is judgment and superiority in the position of the benefactor. You can be sure the favor is expected to be reciprocated. A Six of Coins makes me wary and asks the question- can you afford this “charity” because this shit sure ain’t free!
Similarly, the Six of Cups is pretty easy to interpret. Emotional nostalgia is alluring- who doesn’t want to return to an easier time of innocence in love. I often see people getting back with some old flames on FB when I see this card. The thing about innocent love is that it is often irresponsible – and returning to a time of “innocence” is usually in avoidance of the reality at hand. If you are bored or unfulfilled a nice little stroll down memory lane with your 8th grade crush can give you a bit of a boost- but the feels of the Six of Cups are not sustainable. Be careful with the Six of Cups and rekindling old flames – it’s all fun and games until someone has to change their status.
The Six of Swords is usually referred to as the “moving away from trouble” card. Again, make sure this is not a rash move and really examine the long term consequences. This card can sometimes make me cringe a bit as the people in the boat usually are depicted as having a child or children with them. Questions to ask are how a move away from any situation will affect the family and anyone you are taking along for the ride.
When I was working as a ghostwriter on a group writing project, the card I separated from the deck and placed on the nightstand to meditate on was the Six of Wands. To me, this image of a triumphant mounted horseman with the laurel wreath represented the desired result of my effort – reward, pride and accomplishment . What I didn’t consider was this card depicts a one person victory parade – and one that alienates through its showboating arrogance. Sure, my work was done according to my schedule and I was pretty satisfied with the end result – but I was closed off to any feedback and marched right out of that unfinished project on my own. The Six of Wands is especially arrogant. The card is represented by Jupiter in Leo, so think of the expansion of all that “Me Me Me” Leo energy in any spread. In a relationship spread, this card can represent a kind of trophy spouse situation- All Eyes On Us! It most likely is a temporary situation designed to instigate some kind of jealous reaction.
Biblically a six represents man and human weakness. That said, I assure you that Sixes are nothing to fear, tarot friends. Just stay savvy to the slippery Sixes – particularly if you get several in a spread. This could mean there is deception, irresponsibility, or arrogance at hand. Trust your sixth sense.
Carrie Sanders is a writer living in Shanghai with a good husband and loving dog.