When I originally wrote this reflection I was seated comfortably in a coffee shop overlooking the Olympic Peninsula, with the mountains clearly visible on the horizon, and cold waters wrapping around the fjords which likely made this place attractive to the Scandinavian settlers who colonized what the indigenous Suquamish peoples called tcu-tcu-lats, or, “place of maples”. Time here moves slowly, much like the sap of the trees, and gives a sense of completion to the previous year as midnight that night I would find myself in a whole new year full of potential and opportunity. This in many ways seems an appropriate time to discuss the Sixes, a set associated with movement and passages, as well as completion and growth.
In number theory, once described as the “Queen of Mathematics”, the six is acknowledged as the first perfect number – a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper positive divisors designated by Nicomachus as “[the] form of form, the only number adapted to the Soul, the distinct union of the parts of the universe, the fabricator of the Soul, also Harmony,” and it is properly “Venus” herself. In the Sixes we find complimentary, completion, and union of opposites in motion. In the creation narrative of Genesis, the Earth is created over a period of six days in which God reveals himself to humanity and also sets in motion the cycles of the covenant as a contract or protocol between opposites for dynamic interaction. In the Sixes we find the experience of “Beingness” in the Fives revealing closer connectivity while also revealing a hint of illusion of differentiation between opposites.
The Six of Diamonds takes the initial “spark” of the Five of Diamonds transforming it into a measurable charge the most ubiquitous regulatory signal of metabolism in living beings or, perhaps more metaphorically, the palpable energy of communication. This card can be said to represent active communication and exchanges where the stakes may feel high or worthwhile – if untenable. Here information is exchanged at a faster pace than usual and as such, the Six of Diamonds can also be said to represent digital communication or transactions or receiving items ordered online or letters that have been expedited. On a more material level, it can also represent a promotion or unexpected raise or promotion, even receiving a share in profits.
In the Six of Hearts we take the hieros gamos metaphor from the Fives one step further and find two individuals or ideas wedded together “so they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Mark 10:8) This suggests on one level that the division of reality into two opposites with a covenant between them is ultimately an illusion. The overall feeling of the Six of Hearts is one of comfort, trust, and intimate connection. The image of “beauty” is also realized in the Six of Hearts as the beautiful joining of artistic and creative ideal or abstraction into a tangible form such as a painting, a piece of music, or evocative literary piece.
With the Six of Clubs matters concerning business, communication, negotiations, contracts, and the like are finally hammered out into something that is presentable and will be understandable without any ambiguity. It can also be representative of learning or gaining further training in professional or academic spheres – supplemental learning or taking required educational modules in order to work one’s way up or stay on top of the competition. The Six of Clubs can also be a reminder to not forget the basics in life such as exemplified in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs – this is often indicated when the Six of Clubs is ill-defined with another club or any of the Spades.
The Six of Spades is the ultimate card of letting go and putting aside that which no longer serves the individual personally. The sense of finality with the Six of Spades is that a situation has finally run its course and there’s nothing left to do about the matter. While this can be ominous at first sight, it is more often something that the querent has already recognized needs to be laid to rest. This most often can be in the form of a friendship that has gone sour for some time, reaching acceptance after a process of grieving, or sometimes even putting a beloved pet to sleep. In some situations the Six of Hearts can also represent undergoing surgery – cutting apart that which is not useful or even harmful and stitching the body together.
As mentioned, one of the overall themes of the Sixes is one of completion. For this reason, instead of the expecting Seven to represent the concept of the “week”, traditional cartomancy uses the six – the end of the week as a period of measurable time before enjoying the Sabbath Day in rest and refreshment. Depending on the placement of cards it can also be a call to not let the sun set on an argument or disagreement, especially when Spades and Clubs or Spades and Hearts are in close proximity to one another. We also find in the Six of Hearts indicators for the warming heat of June and summertime, and with the rest periods of sixes: six hours, days, weeks, months, et cetera.
Combined, the Sixes indicate tying up loose matters, putting to rest situations and relationships, finding comfort or satisfaction, and joining things together in an orderly manner. Four Sixes together represent finalizing situations before moving onto something else, completing tasks before moving onward to others, and making final preparations before starting a new endeavor. Three Sixes together can indicate large scale organizations and gatherings, family gatherings, unexpected visitors (think of Bilbo Baggins’ reaction when he was visited unexpectedly by a troop of dwarves in the middle of the night), and coordinating events. Two Sixes typically represent resolutions between two different groups or individuals or at least clarifying misunderstandings when these have been preventing people from reaching an agreement or consensus.
With the Sixes we find the union of opposites and putting together things in an organized manner. Here we find process of both building, growing, stabilizing and finalizing. Whether it’s putting individuals, people and situations together in such a way that brings benefit to everyone or putting the final touches on a long term project, the Sixes help us to understand that opposites are not always opposed but can also be profoundly complementary and constantly changing – that change that is beautiful if we correctly understand even in situations that seem difficult, even putting things to rest allows us to see the bigger picture of how things are interconnected.