The Six of Swords is another one of those not-fun-but-necessary cards of the tarot. when it pops up in a reading it frequently means a journey you don’t want to take but have to anyway (though in some cases it just means a nice boat ride is in your future!) Reversed, you could be trying to escape your past and turn over a new leaf, but the old leaf’s not letting that happen just yet and you have some business to attend to yet.
Stylistically, this is something of a departure from the rest of the deck so far (it’s the 56th assemblage completed). For one thing, the stark, distressed background is different from my usual tendency toward lush, earthy colors and multiple textures. More notably, this is the only pip so far to feature a portion of a skull. It’s a fragment of a whitetail doe skull with six molars still embedded in it; it’s also the only bone in the entire deck so far that I’ve painted on. The skulls of the Majors and Courts are kept clean to showcase them in their own right; here, though, the skull fragment is simply a piece of set dressing to give further meaning to the teeth themselves, which are unpainted.
Also, my beloved mentioned yesterday that he wouldn’t be surprised if I revisited some of the pieces once I have all 78 (plus the Happy Squirrel) completed. I hadn’t really thought about it, but we’ll see if I do indeed update any of them. There’s a careful balance that has to be struck between fine-tuning, and being able to release a project into the wild. That’s a big reason why I created a production schedule–this is a big enough project as it is without letting myself fall into years of procrastination and perfectionism. Still, with just 22 cards plus the extra single left to create, I’m getting a strong sense of the cohesive style of this deck, and I may need to nudge a few more details into place to help tie it together better.