Eight of Swords, Minor Arcana, Swords VIII
At first glance, The Eight of Swords doesn’t look like a happy card, and it holds true if we don’t pay attention to the small details and hidden symbols in it. But when we take them into account, we realize that the card actually offers a way out of the situation you (the querent) are in and a positive outlook for the future.
If you have Eight of Swords in your reading, chances are you feel bad about something you have said or done to someone else – most likely someone who really matters to you. You might be feeling guilty or embarrassed. You might even find yourself internally paralyzed, like you just can’t guesstimate what to say or do next.
When we look at the figure in the card, we see that her arms and eyes are tied. She can’t see the situation for what it is, and she can’t act (arms symbolize action). She is surrounded by swords, and most likely the ground under her doesn’t feel solid to her feet, as there is mud and water. If only she knew the swords don’t fence her in – she can walk out if she wants. Her feet aren’t tied, so she really could walk anywhere she wants. Plus, the ropes around her eyes and arms look like they could be shaken off.
The main message in this card is that the misery you’re suffering right now, is your own making, not on purpose, but by ignorance of your own freedom and choices. If you have actually said or done something bad to someone, realize that there are always ways to make it up.
Guilt is your ego’s way of feeling good: “I’m a good person, therefore I feel bad about what I did.” But your ego keeps you trapped where you are. When you feel deeply guilty, if you’re like most people you must be so paralyzed that you can’t take full responsibility. The spiritual response would be to acknowledge that you, too, can sometimes be a “bad person” – as in, you too can make mistakes. That nobody is all good or all bad.
When you accept that you too can be “bad,” it will be much easier to take responsibility and figure out what to do next. Yes, you erred. But now you can shake the ropes off your arms and eyes, and start walking away from the encirclement of swords.
If your reading is about your career and finances, the Eight of Swords might be showing that you are keeping yourself stuck. Maybe you feel really bad about the way you spent your money in the past – that you wasted it, or didn’t save or invest properly. Maybe a job or a business idea didn’t go as you hoped and now you feel really down. These things happen to everyone – even the rich and famous have suffered so many setbacks (have you read Oprah’s story?)
The way out is through accepting what happened, and finding ways to avoid making the same mistakes again! You can read books written by those who made it, work with a career or financial mentor, or talk to one of our psychic career advisors.
What does the Eight of Swords Tarot card mean for love?
For singles, having the Eight of Swords in your reading might mean you’re feeling deeply lonely. You might not know how to reach out and connect with new dates anymore. There’s sadness in you, possibly because you assume you made mistakes that led you to lose your past relationships. But you know, it takes two to tango.
If you made mistakes, so did your exes. If things didn’t work out, you only have 50% of the responsibility, even if you feel that you were fully at fault – so many couples work so many difficult things out. Your partner probably didn’t have the maturity it takes to persevere.
So, stop focusing on the past. Take some time to heal your heart, whether it’s through spending time with a pet, volunteering, or seeing your friends. Work on your relationships in general, and romantic love will come again.
For couples, the Eight of Swords might signify feeling lonely inside of a relationship. A host of negative feelings keep you apart – maybe you had a big argument and now you both don’t know how to reconnect with each other. Or one of you made a big mistake, which could include lying or even cheating, and now you don’t know how to fix things. The Eight of Swords suggests you CAN fix everything, but you must communicate your feelings with honesty and absolute openness.
What does Eight of Swords reversed in Tarot mean?
The Eight of Swords reversed shows a prolonged period of emotional paralysis. You have been feeling stuck for a long time; it has almost become second nature to you. Not only do you not see a way out, but you are also not even looking for it. It’s like an emotional Stockholm Syndrome.
Accepting your inadequacies and wounds is a truly great spiritual achievement, but it shouldn’t mean acquiescing to defeat and giving in to a whole downward spiral of negativity. What would serve you the best right now is to try to find small pleasures in life.
You can’t force yourself to be oh-so-happy all of a sudden. It’s best to start small, and explore simple joys first. It could be things like getting a massage, singing in the shower, reading a great work of literature etc.
The Eight of Swords, like all other sword cards, is associated with the three air signs: Libra, Gemini, Aquarius. But among all planets, Saturn, the ancient ruler of Aquarius, has most to do with this card. People who have a Moon-Saturn square in their astrology chart tend to get this card more often than others – you can find out more about planetary influences by getting an astrology reading.
The Eight of Swords could be about an important Aquarius in your life, but it’s much more likely to be about you and how you’ve been feeling lately. Consult the other cards in your reading to understand more. Or, get an online reading for deeper psychic insights.