The Eight of Swords tarot card is about feeling trapped and helpless. When you are immobilized by fear, you must feel the fear as you take action anyway.
In the traditional RW-based deck, the Eight of Swords card shows a blindfolded and bound woman standing on a beach in the middle of eight swords. She’s fenced in with nowhere to turn. She feels as if every choice or step forward will result in pain and she is blind to any other options.
This card has two interpretations, both related to feeling trapped. You are either trapped by fear or by your own unhelpful actions.
Either way, you are in a self-imposed prison. You have been stuck, looping repetitive behaviors without learning the lessons you need to learn. While there may be some interference from outside forces, it is likely all of your current problems are self-imposed.
You have been hijacked by your limiting beliefs. Although the beliefs feel real, they are holding you back. The only way to get out of this situation is to take off your blindfold and see the reality of the situation.
What you believe is not true. You must change your beliefs, which will allow you to change your thoughts, words, actions, and choices. Change must happen from the inside first.
Occasionally, this card indicates legal problems or actual imprisonment.
Keywords for the Eight of Swords Tarot Card
- Self-imposed limitations
- Imprisonment, isolation
- Feeling immobilized by fear
- Interference by outside forces
Keywords for the Eight of Swords Reversed
- Release, liberation
- Escape, freedom
- Seeing beyond your fears
Patterns and Correspondences of the Eight of Swords Card
- The Swords = rules the mental and intellectual world
- Suit of cards = spades
- Timeline = hours to days
- Number 8 = mastery and prosperity
- Zodiac sign = Gemini
- Element = Air
Keep reading for sample tarot readings using The Eight of Swords card, but first…
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Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Love
The Eight of Swords is not a good card to see in a love reading.
If you are looking for new love, you are too tied to your expectations and fears. You can’t expect to control everything – especially not who you fall in love with!
Your list of requirements for your future partner is too stringent. And let’s face it – you aren’t living up to those standards, so why are you expecting someone else to?
(And even if you did find this ‘perfect’ partner, would they consider you their equal if you aren’t living up to your own standards? Ouch.)
If you are in a relationship, you may feel trapped. The only way to get through this rough patch is to honestly communicate your feelings and to respond to what is actually being said (not what you hope, expect, or fear).
You’ll need to change something for things to change. Start with changing the things you can control immediately, such as your thoughts, the words you say, and the choices you make.
Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Work
If you are feeling trapped in a job you do not enjoy, all of your limitations are self-imposed. You have many more options than you think.
To begin to see these possibilities, create a list of 10 alternate ways you could make money. Repeat this brainstorming list for 10 days. Do not limit yourself to “sensible” or “realistic” choices. Not only will you come up with many options for a new career, but you will have jump-started your creativity and opened your eyes to new ideas.
Study other people who have made radical life changes. Ask your personal and professional network if they know anyone who has followed the career path you are curious about, and then invite that person out for coffee or ask them for advice.
You don’t have to make a choice or a change yet. But you must realize you have options and the best way to do it is through creativity, imagination, curiosity, and following the paths shown by others.
Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Health
Things will only change once you do. If you are feeling like your body has betrayed you due to illness or age, you will only be able to get past these limiting beliefs once you change your attitude.
To move forward, get past your fears and feelings of helplessness. The only thing holding you back is your self-imposed sense of reality. You don’t need to be a victim of your past choices.
Begin by thinking, “What if…?” in a positive way. For example, what if changing your diet was easy? What if your friends and family were 100% supportive? What if exercising gave you more energy? What if someone wanted to help you?
You’ll find that everything changes when you begin looking at things from a different, more positive perspective and believe change is possible.
Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Money and Finances
One of the most common self-imposed limiting beliefs is the idea, “I can’t to this thing until I have more money.” Another way of phrasing this is, “Once I have more money (or time), I’ll be able to follow my dreams.”
What if that belief wasn’t true? The lack of money isn’t holding you back. It’s your beliefs keeping you stuck.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, ways for you to accomplish each of your desires. Only one of them involves trading money to get what you want. Be creative and come up with 10 (or 100!) alternative ways to accomplish your dream without using money. You’ll soon see you have many options.
You are being limited by your excuses and negative thinking, not your actual financial situation.
Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Spiritual Guidance
Right now, you are too wrapped in the material world of wishing and wanting things to be different. Until you change your attitudes about what is holding you back, you won’t ever be able to connect with your spiritual side.
Your negative beliefs are limiting your life. The Universe is unlimited and infinite. This disconnect between your ego’s striving and the Universe’s abundance is keeping you locked in a prison of your own making.
Let the Universe do it’s job. It wants you to thrive, succeed, and be the best version of yourself. The Universe is also infinitely smarter than you are. Quit trying to force your small vision and let the Big U take over.
Surrender all your striving, control, and pushing. Ask the Universe (or God or whoever you trust) to give you the wisdom, strength, and compassion you’ll need to accept and follow its guidance. You don’t have to know everything. You just have to believe anything is possible and open yourself to receiving.