An Obscura Day Trip into the Six of Swords

April 28th, 2012 § 0 comments

Today is International Obscura Day. I wrote about it a few weeks ago. It’s a day sponsored by Atlas Obscura and is dedicated to seeking out and exploring unusual places.

Since this is The Tarot Room, I thought we might seek out an obscure place in Tarot, and wondered if we could find something unfamiliar in the landscape of the very familiar RWS deck.

6 of Swords from the Smith Waite Tarot

The card I randomly drew for this journey was the 6 of Swords, a very appropriate card.

It shows three people travelling by boat, perhaps on their way to an obscure place of their own.

Though the trio in the boat seems to be moving past them, I can’t help but notice the two islands in the background of the card.

I’ve never really considered these islands before. What a perfect obscure destination for today.

Since I can’t crawl into the image, I did the next best thing and pulled a card asking … what’s on the two islands pictured in the 6 of Swords?

10 of Swords from the Smith Waite Tarot

The card I got was the 10 of Swords – pretty scary, we might not want to go there. The card shows a guy laying face down with ten swords in his back. There’s water behind him and dark clouds above.

Hmmm … not exactly what I expected. It looks like there’s been a murder of some sort on the island, or at least within the context of Tarot, the death of an idea. Swords represent ideas, thoughts, and ways of thinking.

The 10 of Swords specifically points to the end of a particular paradigm, or view of the world. When it appears, there’s no holding onto how you used to see things. The choice is only to move forward, with a new direction, and sense of purpose.

Not unlike the sense of direction and purpose exhibited by the three people in the boat. They know not to waste their time on distractions and won’t maroon themselves on the island.

Like the card they represent, they’re thinking is clear, balanced, and focused. They move steadily towards their goal while staying evenly afloat. Emotions and thoughts are in a comfortable union.

So it turns out that our obscure place might be obscure for a reason, and I for one don’t plan on going back. It taught me a little more about the 6 of Swords though, and for that alone, our Obscura voyage was worth the trip.

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