Upright: Isolation, self-imposed restriction, imprisonment
Reversed: Open to new perspectives, release
The Eight of Swords shows a woman tied up, blindfolded, and surrounded by swords that act as a kind of prison or enclosure. It appears that there is no possibility of escape. She appears isolated and alone as she stands in the midst of a barren, watery wasteland far from the town in the distance. The sky is grey and cloudy, indicating despair and a lack of hope. The woman’s feet do not touch the water, indicating that the feeling of being restricted in the Eight of Swords is based on an intellectual assessment of the situation and not an emotional one. There is a path cleared before her, so there is actually a way out of this situation but the blindfolds prevent the woman from seeing her way out.
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The Eight of Swords reflects that you feel trapped by your own thoughts and perspectives. The woman in this card is blindfolded and bound, trapping her into thinking that she has no way out. However, if only she could remove the blindfold and change her thinking, she would see that she does indeed have options. So, the Eight of Swords suggests that you need to look at a difficult situation from a new angle. Draw upon your intellectual self and your emotional self to determine the best path forward, one that avoids any possible victimisation or restriction.
The Eight of Swords is often a sign that it is best not to make any important decisions at this point because your thinking has been limited and constrained by self-imposed boundaries. You are struggling to see a situation for what it is and have been lead to believe certain things that may or may not be true. There are choices available but first you must be within the right mindset to know which option to choose. This means releasing the bindings and the blindfold to see the situation from a different, less imposing angle. There may also be too many ideas running through your head, thus it is best to wait until you feel more secure and certain about a situation before making important decisions and taking action.
The woman in the Eight of Swords is often seen as powerless. She has surrendered her power to an unknown entity, thus rendering herself completely powerless. She has become the victim and is now waiting to be rescued. If you see part of this woman in yourself, then it is imperative you take back your power and personal accountability and open your eyes to the options that lie in front of you. The fact is that you do have options, even if you do not like those options. This is fine, so long as you accept that you do indeed have options and you do not have to be the victim here.
The Eight of Swords portrays a dilemma whereby you are faced with the difficulty of a painful decision and you are at an impasse, uncertain of which way to go. However, what you may not realise is that the decision in the Eight is the result of our own actions. Despite the fact that you have boxed yourself into a corner, there is a way out. The solution is simply to deal with the situation in the most direct yet tactful manner possible, and face your choice with inner strength. It is time to be honest with yourself and others in order to be free of the burden of fear or guilt that is implied with the Eight of Swords.
The Eight of Swords can indicate that your interests will be opposed by other people, and this may create restrictions to what it is you want to achieve. Take back your power and realise that you have options whether others oppose you or not. You do not have to be constrained by their way of thinking or their rules.
The Eight of Swords reversed indicates that you have come through a difficult time and you are becoming more open to change and self-acceptance. You have been able to reflect on what did and did not work in the past and have changed your perspective and approach. You acknowledge that you do indeed have options, and you are refusing to play the role of ‘the victim’, taking greater accountability for where you are in life.
The Eight of Swords reversed indicates that you need to free yourself from some of the limiting factors of your past. You have some skeletons in the closet that need clearing out. Allow yourself to let go of old patterns of behaviour and belief systems that have previously held you back.