Eight of Swords Tarot Card
Card Name: Eight of Swords, 8 of Blades
Category: Minor Arcana, Suit of Swords
Keywords: Restrictions, Anxiety
Active element: Air 💨
The Eight of Swords is very similar in meaning to the Major Arcana Moon. The same self-absorption, following intuition and the absence of visible manifestations. The card symbolizes the inner world, full of beautiful and terrible things at the same time. After all, the moon has a reverse side. It includes all conceivable fears, phobias. With the onset of night, that is, a critical situation, these spiders will definitely come out. The heaviest obstacle on any path is only your own experiences. They make a person turn back, forgetting about inner strength and stamina. Therefore, this Arcana resembles a cunning trap that is inside everyone.
Symbolism and Key Ideas of the Eight of Swords
In Waite’s Tarot, the Eight of Swords card depicts a scene that vaguely resembles a Two of the same suit. A blindfolded dark-haired girl stands in a semicircle of blades. The swords are long, their points stuck into the ground. The heroine’s arms and thighs are also tied with a white ribbon. The girl is wearing a floor-length red dress. The action takes place in the middle of a muddy shore – small puddles are visible here and there. In the background is a huge stone castle with a scarlet roof. It looks like it was built on a sheer cliff. This is another hint of the presence of a reservoir nearby. The sky is gray – no sun, no clouds.
The numerical designation of the Eight of Swords personifies a certain repeating cycle, looping. A blindfolded girl symbolizes self-absorption, hypersensitivity to details. A scarlet dress can be compared to a target – a bright spot that attracts attention. At the same time, the heroine of the Eight of Swords is not tied too tightly. It seems that the tape is only symbolic, similar to self-restraint. The blades form a semicircle and leave room for a safe exit. Water and gray sky denote melancholy, melancholy. The castle in the distance symbolizes abandonment, detachment. The woman is far enough away from home and therefore feels insecure.
Meaning of the Upright Eight of Swords Card
- Internal fears, phobias that do not allow to develop, to live fully.
- Self-winding, unrealistic problems and being driven into a corner.
- Stiffness, feeling of discomfort and anxiety about something.
- Uncertainty in one’s own abilities, depreciation of oneself, ignorance.
In the upright position, the meaning of the Eight of Swords will be ambiguous. The card denotes a voluntary conclusion, abstraction from the situation. A person restrains and suppresses himself. He is afraid, and therefore paralyzed. In this case, the querent is unable to do anything. The root of the problem lies in the questioner himself. There is a way out, but the person herself does not want to see it. The Arcana symbolizes detachment, withdrawal from society, immersion in the depths of consciousness. The environment does not allow you to relax, trust the world and people. Therefore, a person is forced to defend himself psychologically, to build a wall.
In the context of the situation, the Eight of Swords does not show the presence of problems from the outside. Rather, the personality itself puts a spoke in the wheel. But this is a complex process that cannot be completed at the snap of a finger. The card speaks of various fears, prejudices, self-doubt. Blades can be compared to destructive ideas and thoughts that prevent you from moving on. Sometimes self-blame reaches its apotheosis, forcing a person to believe in his own worthlessness. The castle in the background also shows the presence of a reliable rear. However, the heroine does not see this. Perhaps she is confused and therefore does not take action to gain freedom.
Love and Relationships (Upright)
- Dependence on a partner, fear of taking a step on their own.
- Fear of not meeting the expectations of a loved one and shyness.
- Insularity that makes it difficult to communicate or meet people.
- Unwillingness to plunge into suffering again, to trust someone.
On the love front, the Eight of Swords stands for the fallen in battle. The card indicates that one of the partners is very afraid of losing his other half. A person is so attached to the object of love that he is ready to put up with any attitude towards himself. There is no peace and understanding in a couple. Rather, the principle of carrot and stick reigns here. There are frequent cases of intimidation, abuse. A woman or a man begins to feel unnecessary, second-class people. They are like additions to their partners, but not full-fledged personalities.
For singles, the drawn Eight of Swords shows running in a circle. The querent is fixated on his fears, closed. It is difficult for him to communicate with the opposite sex. In this case, in fact, the problem of building relationships may not exist. There are no objective interfering factors, but the questioner himself is afraid to open his heart. This may be due to self-doubt or painful experiences. The personality is immersed in past suffering, not noticing how much everything has changed at the moment.
Career and Finance (Upright)
- Police officers, work in a correctional colony and prison.
- Temporary restrictions on the work of the querent.
- Risky business, fear of taking steps and growing.
- Unfulfilled expectations about income and mistakes.
In terms of the significator of activity, the Eight of Swords shows work associated with restrictions. A person assumes the role of a traffic controller in a certain system. For example, he issues fines, detains people, monitors the general situation in the team. Often these are police officers, prison workers. But sometimes the Arcana also symbolizes the scientific sphere. Here the querent can observe the particles, conduct experiments in various conditions. In the context of the situation, the 8 of Blades means non-admission to the workplace, the imposition of restrictions.
The financial situation is played as negative. A person made a mistake and now does not know how to get out of it correctly. The Eight of Swords speaks of fears associated with money, poverty. However, the situation is not critical, there is still a way out. If the querent takes the chance, he will return the previous level of income. The Arcana hints at the choice of the wrong profession, the lack of prospects. You should consider ways of retreat, try to return to past activities.
Health and Spirit (Upright)
- High chance of catching a cold or contracting an infection.
- Unfavorable environment and lack of good conditions.
- Shyness and constriction, fear of looking into the eyes of others.
- Imposter syndrome and low self-esteem.
In the context of health, the Eight of Swords symbolizes many potential dangers. A person is in an environment that is unfavorable for the body, for example, in the conditions of the Far North. Either the querent is forced to constantly be in the circle of potential carriers of the infection – to work in a hospital, a hospital. The questioner needs to constantly keep his ears open and monitor the state of his body. Most often, the eighth Arcana of the suit of Air shows respiratory diseases, but can also indicate fungi.
The mental state according to the Eight of Swords is read as unfavorable. The querent is overly shy, cannot give vent to feelings. It is difficult for him to join a new team, to prove himself. The inner skeptic makes the querent devalue his own talents. Often, the impostor syndrome passes through the card – a situation where a real genius considers himself incompetent. Such a state is most often dictated by overly strict upbringing, low self-esteem.
Situations and Questions (Upright)
- Fear of the future, movement towards complete purification of the soul.
- Critical stage, ego suffering and leaving something behind.
- The first problems on the way of crystallization of individuality.
- The collapse of previous postulates or the rejection of past illusions.
If we consider the Eight of Swords from the position of spirituality, then the card shows marking time. The seeker experiences the pain of separating himself from the outer world. This crisis makes you see your own insignificance more and more clearly on the scale of the universe. Nigredo – the first stage of spiritual work seems to be a kind of catharsis that destroys the very life inside. But this horror is just another illusion. Experiences that are perceived as death are just a zeroing of the past in order to move on. The querent will have to observe how all the accumulated negativity will go away, making room for something new and bright.
The Eight of Swords asks important questions: “What fears are limiting my growth?” and “What is their essence?”. The root of any phobia lies in the fear of death. But if you overcome this horror of disidentification, then you can become a real helmsman of your own destiny. According to the Buddhists, a person must go through the stage of rebirth during his lifetime in order to never return to the wheel of Samsara. But being afraid to meet with himself, he will be forced to continue to suffer, without advancing on the spiritual path of enlightenment.
Meaning of the Reversed Eight of Swords Tarot
- To be a prisoner of other people’s beliefs, illusions and attitudes or ideas.
- External restrictions, intrigues and obstacles on the way to the best.
- Lack of empathy in the team in which the querent is located.
- A trap and an attempt to remove an unnecessary person from sight.
If you turn the Eight of Swords, then the meaning of the card will change. The blades will be pointed up, and the girl will lose her footing. The position of the Arcana symbolizes a real threat from the outside. If in direct form the Eight of the suit of Air symbolized more far-fetched problems, now they are becoming real. The man was driven into a corner, caught on a hook. He cannot retreat, make any maneuver. Circumstances force you to forget about yourself, to make room. Perhaps they want to remove the querent from the team, fire him. Also, the reversed card speaks of self-isolation, quarantine. At the same time, a person ceases to be the master of the situation, unquestioningly obeys a superior person.
In terms of characterizing the situation, the Eight of Swords takes the negative manifestations of the Air element in the opposite form. The questioning person feels the coldness and detachment of others. He understands that now you should not wait for help or support. The querent is confused, so he cannot think rationally. Circumstances are frightening uncertainty. The fortuneteller is in limbo, depending on his enemies. This role can be played by close people, bosses, business partners. In any case, a person becomes a weak-willed puppet, which a priori does not have the right to choose.
Love and Relationships (Reversed)
- A partner acting to the detriment of a loved one plots.
- Complete submission to the second half, the suppressed will of the querent.
- Danger from people around, someone will try to ingratiate himself.
- Slippery personalities who do not know the concepts of honor or goodness.
In a love spread, the Eight of Swords in the opposite sense is a negative sign. The reversed position of the card indicates the complete isolation of one of the partners. The second person takes on the responsibility of being a guide for the blind heart of the passion. The situation becomes dangerous, because it can lead to sad consequences. The opinion of the querent is not considered, his desires and aspirations are never taken into account. Rather, the beloved uses the partner’s dependent position for his own selfish purposes. After all, someone who does not have the right to control his own destiny is easy to deceive or use.
For lonely people, the reversed Eight of Swords predicts an unfavorable environment. It is simply impossible to find a person suitable for a serious relationship in it. Sometimes the position of the card shows dangerous personalities around who seek to outwit the questioner, take advantage of his naivety. Now it is better to give up new acquaintances altogether and devote more time to other areas of life.
Career and Finance (Reversed)
- Unreliable partners who can set up, steal.
- Colleagues at work plotting against the querent himself.
- Large financial losses, bankruptcy and large debts.
- The complete collapse of all plans, dismissal and loss of his business.
When the Eight of Swords fell upside down in terms of work, this is also a bad sign. The person will face problems in the current position. He can be framed, jailed or slandered. As a result, the querent will be close to dismissal or the imposition of certain prohibitions. They can revoke a license, issue a fine, reprimand. The questioner is a victim of the situation, and therefore, most likely, is not guilty of what happened. Unforeseen circumstances or deliberate actions of enemies played a key role.
The financial position of the reversed Eight of Swords reads as extremely unfavorable. The querent may lose real estate, cars or securities. Losses will occur due to the presence of debts or events that will force the sale of the latter. Also, the position of the card sometimes shows imprisonment, litigation. This is all directly related to monetary transactions or debts. The fortuneteller found himself in a difficult situation, from which he would not get out without loss.
Health and Spirit (Reversed)
- Acute respiratory infection or danger of infecting others.
- Poor health, low immunity, also a period of exacerbation.
- Fear of standing out, being the first and taking responsibility.
- Suppressed will to live and a breakdown in the psyche of the questioner.
The reversed Eight of Tarot Swords gives a negative meaning to the health spread. Now the questioner himself becomes a carrier of some kind of infection. He poses a threat to others, so he is forced to isolate himself from society. The immune system is weakened, the body against this background can additionally fail. A person cannot relax even for a second. Any temperature fluctuation or the slightest stress will provoke the progression of the disease. Also, the position of the Eight of Swords card indicates a high risk of the need for operative intervention. This may be the removal of inflamed tonsils, appendicitis.
In terms of the psyche, the Eight of Swords in the opposite form speaks of a breakdown. A person could have been a victim for a long time or was in places of deprivation of liberty. Now it is difficult for him to adapt to a free life. The past is manifested in certain gestures, manner of speaking and fawning. The person perceives himself incorrectly, there is no self-respect. It is difficult for the questioner to make his own decisions and follow them steadily. Rather, he will choose to submit to someone than make an attempt to take responsibility.
Situations and Questions (Reversed)
- Unpreparedness for difficulties on the spiritual path, in search of oneself.
- A return to the very beginning and a waste of power.
- Self-confidence that led to negative events.
- Stop and fear to continue the journey deep into the mind.
From the position of spirituality, the reversed Eight of Swords symbolizes captivity in the material world. The traveler did not cope with the first difficulties. He did not manage to move away from the previous patterns of behavior, negative scenarios. Therefore, the neophyte quickly gives up. Soon he will try to forget about everything he has experienced. However, the inner feeling of the wrongness of what is happening will remain with the personality to the end. It will serve as a silent reminder that there is a ghostly opportunity to become yourself, and not someone else’s faceless copy.
The Eight of Swords reversed asks questions: “To what circumstances do I shift responsibility?” and “What is my benefit?”. The position of the hostage of the situation gives a feeling of helplessness. But it’s also a good reason for the ego to turn back. The devil is not as terrible as he is painted, especially when there was simply no meeting yet. All experiences frighten the querent in and of themselves. He is not ready now to continue the path, to move away from the sleep of the mind.
Eight of Swords: Combination with other Tarot Cards
Advice and Warning of the Eight of Swords Card
If the card lies upright, then the Eight of Swords advises to be quiet for a while. You should act carefully, with an eye on others. The querent is now in a not very comfortable place, so you need to keep your finger on the pulse. Intuition will tell you the right answer. Premonitions don’t lie. The Eight of Swords also warns of danger from the outside. The querent will not be allowed to move forward, to develop as a specialist. You need to remember this and not rely on help and support. Moreover, isolation and estrangement from loved ones will only benefit the questioner himself. This is necessary to hear yourself, to find the right solution.
The reversed Eight of Swords, on the contrary, advises you to try to get out of the influence of others. It should be shown to others that the fortuneteller has his own vision of the situation and the right to vote. If someone tries to harm the querent, then the latter has the right to limit the actions of the attacker. This gesture will be regarded as a defense. As a warning, the Eight of Swords in the opposite sense speaks of danger. The questioner can fall into a trap if he blindly believes his environment. They want to set him up and accuse him of other people’s sins. You need to be careful not to agree to offers of help.
Eight of Swords: Daily Card Meaning
As a card of the day, the Eight of Swords direct promises not a very pleasant time. The querent will be in an unusual environment for him. It will be difficult for a person to open up, to show character. A fortuneteller can get into cramped living conditions if you read the card directly. But also the Arcana personifies isolation in a figurative sense – simply the person will plunge into reflections, the inner world. And this suggests that external circumstances will not be favorable, comfortable. Sometimes the Eight of Spades symbolizes premature worries about what might never happen. Now a person is depressed and therefore does not perceive reality in its true light.
Reversed, the Eight of Swords shows quarrels and disagreements, in an attempt to put someone in their place. The querent himself may be attacked and criticized by loved ones. Others will want to express disagreement with his position, take action in order to interfere. There is a dirty manipulation of the opinion of the majority. The fortuneteller will feel on himself all the delights of a society that "knows exactly what is best." A wave of condemnation will confuse you, make you abandon the implementation of any idea. This is a classic situation when the crowd is trying to bend the will of one of the participants.