The Eight of Swords tarot card is about feeling trapped and helpless. When you see this card, it can mean a couple of things. It might suggest you’re trapped by fear, or it can mean you’re trapped by your own unhelpful actions.
Either way, this prison is self-imposed. You’re repeating unhelpful behaviors without learning the necessary lessons. You’ve also been hijacked by your limiting beliefs and they’re holding you back.
But what you believe isn’t true, and you need to get to the reality of the situation to move forward. Remember, when you feel immobilized by fear, you must first allow yourself to feel it and then take action anyway.
When you see the Eight of Swords card reversed, it can mean you’re being very critical of yourself and prone to negative self-talk. This can play into your limiting beliefs and hold you back from receiving abundance.
You may tell yourself you don’t deserve money or love, and in doing so, you keep yourself closed off from these things even when they’re offered. It’s time to start paying attention to these beliefs so you can break the cycle.
The reversed Eight of Swords can also mean you’re ready to break free of your limiting beliefs and self-doubt. You’re finally recognizing your power and responsibility and are feeling confident about your decisions.
Even though you’ve struggled with doubt in the past, you’re ready to accept the reality of the situation and free yourself. As you move forward, reflect on what has worked well in the past and refuse to be a victim. Remember to hold yourself accountable and keep your mind open to change.
Reading this reversed card using the “blocked/restricted” meaning
Okay, so let’s talk about how to read your reversed Eight of Swords card. First, you can use the “blocked/restricted” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you look for an obstacle standing in front of the card’s upright meaning.
For the Eight of Swords, this can mean something is keeping you from facing your fears. But remember that you have to feel the fear in order to move past it.
Say you pull the reversed Eight of Swords thinking about your credit card debt. You have a good job now in data analysis, but for years, you weren’t working much, so that led you to rely on your cards a lot.
Now you have over $30,000 in debt, and the burden feels overwhelming. Every time you think about getting it under control, the stress makes you want to ignore the issue, and you’ve found yourself drinking a lot to avoid it altogether.
But each time you wake up hungover, the stress just gets worse. Here, the reversed Eight of Swords tells you that the drinks are only a temporary way to avoid your anxiety. Your problems will still be there when you sober up, and your debt will only grow the more you ignore it.
To move forward in a healthy way, you need to address your finances. There are lots of ways to consolidate your debt and make it more manageable. Try confiding in a friend who can offer advice or reach out to a reputable debt-relief service.
The longer you put this off, the bigger the issue will become, so it’s time to face your fears without the help of alcohol.
Reading this reversed card using the “opposite” meaning
Another way to read your reversed Eight of Swords card is using the “opposite” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards this way, you look for the opposite of the card’s upright meaning.
So for the Eight of Swords, instead of feeling trapped and helpless, you’re feeling free and empowered. You’re not beholden to anyone, but you must make smart decisions for yourself.
For example, say you pull the reversed Eight of Swords thinking about your recent divorce. You were in an unhealthy marriage for years. You married your high school boyfriend, and he was never a good partner.
He talked down to you and planted negative thoughts about yourself to maintain control. He made you feel worthless, even though you were the primary breadwinner and you cared for your home.
After years of struggling, you found the strength to leave. You’re completely independent for the first time in your life and loving it, so you’ve really been spreading your wings. This means getting your own place, making new friends, and having fun!
But the one thing your ex always did right was to take care of the practical details, like paying the bills and eating healthy. Since you’ve been on your own, you’ve been struggling to eat well, often getting fast food at the end of the night, and it’s making you feel horrible.
You’ve also forgotten to pay a few of your bills, so you’ve been racking up late fees even though you have the money.
Here, the reversed Eight of Swords tells you it’s wonderful that you’re on your own and living your best life. But remember that to stay on this independent path, you’ll need to step up in some areas.
Even though you’re not naturally detail-oriented, you can learn to get better. Start setting reminders on your calendar for when your bills are due or use auto-pay. You can also look into a meal delivery service to get fresh, healthy ingredients delivered right to you.
There are lots of ways to make up for our natural weaknesses so don’t get down on yourself for having them. You’re doing the best thing for yourself by living the life you want. Just make sure to pay attention to the details too.
Reading this reversed card using the “worse” meaning
You can also read your reversed Eight of Swords card using the “worse” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you take the card’s upright meaning and put it in a negative light.
For the Eight of Swords, this means your limiting thoughts and victim mentality are causing issues in your life. It’s time to counter those by getting real with yourself and catching your patterns of negative thinking.
Say you pull the reversed Eight of Swords card thinking about what you want out of life. You’re 28 and living back at home. You had your own place for years and were going to college, but two semesters before graduation, you were in a motorcycle accident that left you with a back injury.
After years of physical therapy and painkillers, you’re finally coming back to life, but you feel like things are already over for you. You find yourself thinking negative thoughts constantly about how you’re a loser and you’ll never amount to anything.
You figure you are just a victim of bad luck and life will never be on your side. Here, the reversed Eight of Swords tells you that you are the only thing standing in the way of a better life.
Negative self-talk can be hard to combat, but the first step is being aware of it. Once you are, you can work to catch those thoughts when they come up and counter them with something positive.
When you’re aware of your thinking, you can face it and start to move forward. This means going back and finishing your degree so that you can start the life you began years ago.
Bad luck happens to everyone, but it’s what you do afterward that defines your path. Face your fears, combat your negative thoughts, and start moving forward one step at a time.
Reading this card using the “no/not” reversed card meaning
Finally, you can use the “no/not” card meaning to read your reversed Eight of Swords card. When you read your cards this way, you put a “no” or a “not” in front of the card’s upright meaning.
So for the Eight of Swords, this can mean “not trapped.” You have options in front of you; you just need to look around to see them.
For example, you might pull the reversed Eight of Swords thinking about your job. You’re working a job you hate doing medical billing. You have your degree in accounting, and you’ve always wanted to become a CPA or an accounting manager.
But since you’re in your mid-30s, you think it’s too late to change your life, and you’ve accepted the fact that you’re stuck in your job. Even though you don’t like what you do, the thought of taking a chance scares you, and you’re terrified to lose your sense of security.
Here, the reversed Eight of Swords card tells you that this imprisonment you’re feeling is self-imposed. There are tons of options in front of you that can both make you happy and give you security.
You can go back to school part-time while you work. Or, you can look for other jobs while you’re still working your current one. With the experience you’ve gained, you could look at high-level bookkeeping positions that could lead to a management role.
There are always other options in life if you’re not happy. The only thing standing in your way is yourself, so keep your eyes open to opportunity and start living a life you love.