Eight of Swords

On the illustration of the Eight of Swords, we can see a blindfolded woman, all tied up, carefully stepping through the swords that surround her. This is a card that talks about restriction and entrapment. 

General meaning

The Eights are associated with action and movement and this card, despite its static depiction, is no exception. If the Eight of Swords appears in a reading, it reveals a situation in which you feel very confined and oppressed. What can you do? At one level, remember that the Swords represent the intellect, ideas and speech. So consider whether your own opinions, ideas, beliefs or prejudices are responsible for your lack of progress. Free yourself from all oppressive ideas that work against you and make sure you double-check all the information that comes your way. If you find that you can't keep old promises, now is the time to re-negotiate. 

The Eight of Swords also often symbolizes a situation that's between the devil and the deep sea. Are you afraid to express your opinion in case you caused new troubles or do you feel that no matter what you do, you'll always be blamed? You must remember that the Swords are double-edged and their ideal is clarity, logic and the truth. Don't hesitate to pay the cost of your beliefs and choices but avoid being aggressive. The woman depicted on the card must first get rid of some swords (concepts, ideas, constraints) and then proceed with small, careful steps. She may hurt herself, as the Swords often suggest controversy and fights, but if she remains passive, she will be forever stuck in the mire.

On a more practical level, this card may suggest economic problems, unemployment and other restrictions. Remember that you always have a choice. Plan carefully, be patient and don't abandon your goals.

In negative position
If the Eight of Swords appears upright in an negative position, additionally to the above, it urges you to think whether you are constricting yourself by trying to live your life according to other people's standards. You need to find your own path in life, without fearing that others will reject you. The Eight of Swords is also an indication that you refuse to take any action and you are instead passively waiting for a saviour. This card says that if you abandon your life in the hands of others, you will never be really free.


If the Eight of Swords appears reversed, it is an indiaction of serious entrapment. You may be isolated after a fight or perhaps you feel alienated, inadequate and unable to act. Don't allow your self-esteem to sink. You need to break the vicious cycle of your life by directly addressing your problems. Change and progress is up to you, provided you seek solutions. Do not alow your ideas, beliefs, adversities or hardships make you vulnerable. You also need to avoid victimizing yourself in order to win other people's sympathy. 


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