The Six of Swords (Mercury in Aquarius) is an arcana of transition and moving forward, often depicting a journey across water towards a new destination. It represents a time of change and growth, but also of leaving behind old patterns and habits.
During the fifth week of Lent, we are called to continue to follow the light of the Hermit into the wilderness of purgation and renewal. The Six of Swords suggests that this journey can be difficult and challenging. We must be willing to forsake the things that hold us back and move towards the new life that the light of Christ offers us.
The association of the Six of Swords with the constellation of Aquarius reminds us that this journey is not just about our personal growth and transformation, but also involves our relationship with others and the world around us. We are called to act with compassion and love towards others, following in the footsteps of the Master.
The arcana also suggests that we need guidance and support during this time, just as the person in the boat is guided by the ferryman. We can seek guidance from the Hierophant, the liturgical arcana for the fifth Sunday in Lent, or from one whom the image of the Hierophant evokes, with his hand raised in benediction, who, having gone before us, travels with us, and comes after us, on this journey of faith and who may serve as our spiritual ferryman.
For we are on a journey through a specific time, here and now, and yet whatever the incidentals of our particular journey through time may be, whether it be ours or Abraham’s, there is the eternal One that says,
Before Abraham was, I am.John 8:58
It is Abraham (Father of Many) who is met in the way as he returns from the slaughter of the numerous petty kings of strife and tyranny. He is met by the iconic Hierophant, the ever-living Melchisedek, King of Peace (Salem) and plenitude. With his hand raised in benediction he offers Abraham the eucharistic elements of bread and wine. Abraham performs the imperial work of the pillar of Severity (Geburah), Melchisedek, the priestly work of the pillar of Mercy (Chesed).
So may we too, no matter how severe our temporal battle against the kings of this world may be, be met in the way and mercifully blessed by the ever-living I AM who was and is and is to be.
As we continue our Lenten journey, let us embrace the challenge of the Six of Swords and be willing to eschew those things that hold us back, seeking guidance and support from the Master within as we move towards the new life that we seek. As we journey, let us ever bless others as we have been blessed, sweetly singing as we go.
So mote it be.