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Everyday Tarot Deck
Upright: Negative thoughts, self-imposed restriction, imprisonment, victim mentality.
Reversed: Self-limiting beliefs, inner critic, releasing negative thoughts, open to new perspectives.
The Eight of Swords shows a woman bound and blindfolded, standing in a puddle of water representing her emotions. She appears to be trapped by the eight swords that surround her; the swords representing her limiting thoughts, beliefs and mindset that prevent her from moving forward in her life. However, if the woman removed her blindfold, she would quickly realise that she can escape her predicament by letting go of her limiting beliefs and establishing a new, more empowered mindset.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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Everyday Tarot Deck
The Eight of Swords indicates that you feel trapped and restricted by your circumstances. You believe that your options are limited and you have no way out of this situation. You might be in an unfulfilling job, an abusive relationship, a significant amount of debt or a situation that feels so out of alignment with your inner being. It feels as if you are now trapped between a rock and a hard place, with no option to resolve the situation easily. However, take note that the woman in the card is not entirely imprisoned by the eight swords around her, and if she wanted to escape, she could. She simply needs to remove the blindfold and free herself from the self-imposed bindings that hold her back.
When the Eight of Swords appears in a Tarot reading, it comes as a warning that your thoughts and beliefs are no longer serving you and you are creating a situation where you feel trapped and restricted. You may be over-thinking things, creating negative thought patterns or limiting yourself by only considering the worst-case scenario. The more you think about the situation, the more you feel stuck and without any options. It is time to get out of your head and let go of those thoughts and beliefs that have been holding you back. As you change your thoughts, you change your reality. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts and you will start to create a more positive situation for yourself.
The Eight of Swords assures you that there is a way out of your current predicament – you just need a new perspective. You already have the resources you need but it is up to you to use those resources in a way that serves you. Others may be offering you help or there may be an alternative solution that you haven’t yet fully explored. Be open to find the solution, rather than getting stuck on the problem.
The Eight of Swords is often associated with a victim mentality. You have surrendered your power to an external entity, allowing yourself to become trapped and limited in some way. You may feel that it isn’t your fault – you have been placed here against your will, thus rendering yourself completely powerless. You may feel like the victim and you are waiting to be rescued. But, is this energy truly serving you? If not, 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 them. You must accept that you do indeed have options, and you do not have to be the victim.
At times, the Eight of Swords indicates that you confused about whether you should stay or go, particularly if you are in a challenging situation. It is not as clear-cut as you would like, and it is making the decision very difficult. You have one foot in, hoping that things can work out, but your other foot is out the door, ready to leave. The trouble is that you feel that either option is going to lead to negative consequences, and so you remain stuck where you are. Again, this card is asking you to get out of your head and drop down into your gut feeling and your intuition so that you can hear your inner guidance. Your thoughts are not serving you right now, but your intuition is. Trust yourself.
The Eight of Swords reversed suggests that you are plagued by limiting self-beliefs that prevent you from moving forward. You may think that you do not deserve to be wealthy, preventing yourself from receiving financial abundance even if it’s offered to you. Or you might believe that you are too old to lose weight, leaving you feeling unhappy with your body and your health. The beliefs you have about yourself are preventing you from achieving your personal goals. In light of this, change your belief system. Catch yourself when you are in a negative thought pattern and break that cycle.
The Eight of Swords reversed also suggests that you are more prone to negative self-talk and suffering at the hands of your inner critic. You are feeling trapped and stuck because every time you try to do something, your inner critic tells you why it’s wrong or not good enough – so you give up trying altogether.
The reversed Eight of Swords 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.
On the positive side, when the Eight of Swords appears reversed, it can indicate that you are releasing yourself from negative thought patterns and belief systems. You are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and you can create a more positive reality for yourself by letting go of those self-limiting beliefs. You have come through a difficult time and you are 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.