Tarot Card meaning for the Eight of Swords



In the Eight of Swords, we see a woman standing among many Swords and tied down by ropes - why is she there? What do the Swords represent to her, to you? Is she aware that she can remove the ropes and move away from this situation?

The Eight of Swords as a day card

Today we might feel constricted. What are the thoughts that restrict you? Is there a way you can remove the rope around you, or would you prefer to stay here for a while?

Negative or reversed meaning for this card

As the Swords are cards that are strongly linked to the mind, and because, we as people have the tendency to over analyse things. Swords as a suit in general, is interpreted rather negative. Having said that; it might not be a bad thing, to be ‘stuck’ with our thoughts for a while, trying to just be and letting the mind roam freely.

How this card could present itself in real life

As a working mother with young kids I welcome the idea of being stuck somewhere with my own thoughts – alone! This card when it comes up in a reading for myself is a sign I need to think about things. It is a sign to remove myself from all the chitter chatter and instead think about an issue by myself.

How this card is represented in other Tarot decks

In the Celtic Dragon Tarot the woman is not alone there is a dragon there that could help her potentially. Feelings of being stuck are a bit more pronounced in this card.

In the Crowley Tarot we find an image with two strong straight Swords on top of six mismatched Swords. This indicates to me that clarity of mind needs to rule over these other more messy thoughts (swords).

In the Voyager Tarot they hone in on the positive idea that is mostly connected to the number 8 being a number that is strongly balanced. The Voyager deck has named this card synthesis which indicates that when you are balanced even opposites can flow and work together.


Note: Especially with the Air element in the Tarot which is represented as a Sword card in the Rider Waite deck, there is a lot of ‘argument’ and there are several different ideas about weather Swords should represent Air and what else could be used. This leads us into a fairly advanced Tarot conversation - at this stage remember that Swords in the Rider Waite deck does not necessarily mean swords in another deck. Tarot creators could have changed Swords with Wands or replaced Swords with rainbows or crystals to name a few. This is not wrong or right it is another way of thinking about the different elements used in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot cards.

If you have multiple decks, it might be interesting to have a look at how the Swords are represented.

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