The eight of swords sees a blindfolded lady standing amongst eight swords. The scene looks as if she is at the base of a cliff face, making her way along the shore. In the background, is a castle perched atop the cliff. Her hands are bound behind her back.
The dramatic imagery of the suit of swords continues apace in the eight of swords. A woman, blindfolded and with her hands bound behind her back is surrounded by swords, forming a prison of sorts. She may be here as a prisoner or she may have come from the castle in the background.
There is two veins of thought for the eight of swords. Firstly, the card strongly suggests that we feel trapped or isolated by our problems. We are held within a (mental) prison and there is no soul around to help us. We have lost our senses (the lady is blindfolded and bound) and in a way, we are handicapped from even attempting to find a means of escape.
I like to perceive the imagery is a slightly different context however. Studying the eight of swords closely, the swords seem less like a prison. The lady has found a gap in the swords and is beginning to make her way along the shore. Almost as if she has escaped her prison, perhaps even escaped from the castle perched atop the cliff. Her dangerous path leads her along the shoreline where though blindfolded and bound, she still finds the path through the swords – which are representative of the challenges she faces.
After the anarchy of the sevens, the eight of swords suggests that we have found a space in which we can move forward. The suit of swords represents Air and deals with our mental facilities, how we think, perceive and understand the world around us. We may have had trouble deciding on how to proceed through a problem, or have been having difficulty finding a path through a difficult issue. The eight of swords suggests that we are about to discover a gap, a path that will allow us take the first steps towards resolving the problem.
That the woman is still bound and blindfolded indicates that we are still hindered. This is a not a gap that we forge through at full speed. Our problems or issues are still hindering our progress but we are not about to let them deter us from making good our journey. The eight of swords is very much a card of seeing the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. We might not be quite there, but we know the direction we must take.
Reversed: Reversed, the eight of swords indicates that there is a path or gap awaiting us but we are having difficulty finding it. We may be afraid or held back from taking it so great are our problems. But the eight of swords reversed urges us to take the first steps, even if we are blindfolded and bound. There is an element to the card of putting our trust in fate, of trusting mother earth and the gods to lead us out of our predicament. Remaining where we are is no good for us and as dangerous as the path may seem, the decision to attempt to break out will bring its own rewards to us.
The eight of swords reversed is warning us not to allow our problems become our prison. We will achieve nothing imprisoned,we will achieve nothing when we dwell on all our problems and remain in prison. We must take a step forward, away from our problems so that the path opens up for us.