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Eight of Swords Upright Meaning

by MoMoTarot

Imprisonment, limitation and loss of personal power


Card Details:


A woman is blindfolded with a cloth, her upper body is bound, and she is surrounded by swords pointing downward. The ground is covered in mud, symbolizing humiliation, and in the distance is a castle standing on a cliff, symbolizing the authority that binds her, while the gray sky reflects her inner world and her limited perception.


In Sword II, the woman blindfolds herself, and in this Sword VIII, the manner in which she is bound suggests that she is held captive by others or is disempowered by them. The castle on the hill behind her represents authority. And it is this authority that convinces her (at least in her mind) that her choices are limited, or that she is bound (forced, restricted, etc.).


The woman is dressed in orange and red, suggesting that her physical passion and courage is tripped up by her thoughts. The fact that she has water at her feet also suggests that her emotions are easily accessible, if she chooses to feel them. The blindfold prevented her from recognizing that the castle in the distance was smaller than she had imagined or remembered.


Notice that her legs are not tied up. In fact she could be free whenever she wanted to go, yet her fear and confusion kept her in place. If someone binds you physically, it is easy to free you, but if someone binds you mentally, it can be a slow and careful process to regain your freedom. Many counselors can attest to this.


Card Meaning Deduction:


The Eight of Swords is the card of power. For the woman in the Eight of Swords, this power comes from the ability to listen to her inner voice. Blinded by her eyes, which prevent her from seeing and limit her ability to leave her surroundings, she appears powerless. Whereas those who live in the castle can see her clearly and restrict her as they see fit. At first glance this appeared to be a hindrance, but it was actually an aid. The forces that prevented the woman from controlling her environment allowed her to go inside her heart to listen to her inner voice and pay attention to the commands it was giving. If you want to make effective decisions, now is the time to pay attention to the spiritual level of your self.


The Eight of Swords is associated with 'evaluating and moving forward'. The Eight of Cups is about 're-evaluating and moving forward', the Eight of Coins is about 'gradually moving forward', the Eight of Scepters is about 'quickly moving forward', and the Eight of Swords is about 'the difficulty of evaluating and moving forward'. Obviously, the woman is blind and her hands are bound, and she is surrounded by swords, so she is heavily restricted and oppressed. She can't see her surroundings, and she feels very helpless, as if she is a Sleeping Beauty, and she can only passively wait for the prince to come to rescue her.


However, please note that the woman's feet are not bound, nor is she completely trapped by the swords, nor is she surrounded by guards; as long as she is willing to step out, freedom is within reach. Therefore, the sword on behalf of the limitations of the eight is not necessarily all the pressure given by the outside world, the more common situation is that the person concerned to draw the land to limit themselves. The key to solving the case lies in the cloth that blindfolds her, as she is afraid and confused to take the first step due to her ignorance of her surroundings.


The Eight of Swords may suggest that you believe you have no choice but to be enslaved, and if that's the case, you don't have any choice. You may be oppressed by your partner, family, community, government, spiritual or religious beliefs.


According to H.P. Blavatski, founder of the Theosophical Society, we are often deceived by ourselves or others. The Eight of Swords represents this deception and its result: loss of power. When the Eight of Swords appears in a deck of cards, listen to your feelings, no matter what others want you to say, because they will allow you to understand the truth of the matter and to find yourself. This is a moment where you have to trust your inner feelings and not worry about what others are telling you. You want to keep moving towards the truth and not the prejudices of others!


The Eight of Swords represents a period of time when you are confined, or when you lose your personal power in a situation. You feel immobilized, restricted, and there is no way to see the path ahead of you. Explore the path that awaits you, utilize your inner strength and personal power to release yourself from your current situation and call back those personal energies that have succumbed to others. Your beliefs are actually your greatest limitations. Introspect and examine these beliefs, because in fact the current "blindfold" is helping you because it keeps you from getting distracted.


It's natural to feel uncertain about the future, to panic, and to become frustrated when faced with a number of choices and a great deal of pressure. Right now you may feel tied down by circumstances, but you can calm your mind through meditation or other means so that you can focus on your intuition and so discover inner strength and peace.


The presence of the Eight of Swords in the Money Problems card symbolizes financial constraints. Perhaps you've lost your job or you're already struggling to make ends meet. It's almost impossible to do this when you're under constant financial pressure or facing creditors, but you need to do it.


The Eight of Swords, like the Servant of Swords or the Eight of Scepters reversed, is bad news. A few times it even indicates a disaster of distress. In relationships, it can mean that the person cannot see the truth, takes the bull by the horns themselves and cannot get out of it, but feels helpless or even feels that he or she is the victim. The Eight of Swords shows limitations in gender relationships. It could be a binding role in a gender relationship, or it could be that you feel trapped or bound in the situation.


Example: when Janice turned over the Eight of Swords card when inquiring about gender relationships. She felt that her relationship with Mike was a harsh one and was planning to leave him when he was injured in an accident. After six months in bed and recovering, Mike needed emotional support. Janice felt that it was now impossible to leave him, and as a result felt bound to the relationship.


Janice needs to do a deep self-exploration to once again discover her inner strength or learn that it would be beneficial for her to have an opinion and not be coerced by her environment, and in doing so, perhaps she will find a solution that she had not realized before.

Core Tip

The message of the Eight of Swords is: please remove the blindfold. Getting out of the mud and the sword is actually quite easy. With a strong faith, you can stride forward even if you can't see what's ahead.
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Knowledge Expansion

Often in our lives, we are stuck in our own ways, we think we can't do it, or simply out of fear of the unfamiliar, and thus shrink back, not realizing that things are not as difficult as we think.
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Card Meaning Extension

If you are constantly stressed and feel constrained, think carefully, are these stresses mostly self-inflicted?
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