Eight of Swords Description

Depicted in the Eight of Swords, A young woman stands bound and blindfolded on a featureless flat plain. She is surrounded by eight swords and the wind slashes at her.

In the background of the Eight of Swords, set high on a rocky cliff, sits the fortress house of a powerful lord, perhaps her oppressor.

She cannot escape, as she cannot see where to go. She cannot see because her eyes are covered tightly. She cannot remove her blindfold because her hands are tied. So even if she takes a few steps, she will most likely fall in the mud she stands in now.

The energy of this card is stagnant. Fixed.

Prime Elements in the Eight of Swords

  • Number: Eight. Containing structure, prison, strong walls, lack of progress. Even
  • Suit: Swords. Constriction, imprisonment, bondage, solitude, inaction
  • Direction: Southeast. Opposition to the ruling elite. Late night
  • Element: Air. Strong winds, quiet time, time to reflect on life, sensory deprivation

Eight of Swords Traditional Meaning

The Eight of Swords card obviously illustrates being trapped in a situation. Incarceration, feeling emotionally closed off, creatively stifled, being held hostage by unseen forces (most often a mediocre job, few viable options for betterment, trapped in a bad marriage, etc.).

But the thinly veiled underlying message behind the Eight of Swords card is that all of these possibilities are merely the totality of a wall of stone that surrounds you at this time.

To effect your escape from this imprisonment certain stones must be removed. To take down a wall quickly and easily only a few select stones need to be removed for the weight of the wall to collapse in on itself. You don’t have to take each and every stone down by hand.

The Eight of Swords card is a wake-up call to selectively remove things from your life that are collectively causing greater harm than they could individually.

Eight of Swords Reversed

When reversed, the Eight of Swords can mean escape or release from anything that has been holding you down so far. A chance for freedom is coming. Re-entering society.

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