Key Meaning: Negative Thoughts
The Eight of Swords means you feel caged in by negative thoughts or a victim mentality.
Number 8 Meaning In Tarot
All eights, including the Eight of Cups, Eight of Pentacles and Eight of Wands represent a time of change and opportunity. As Swords represent the mind, it means any improvements you want to see in your life, can only come about by changing the way you think. We need to change the inner in order to change the outer.
Eight of Swords Keywords
😒 Upright: Trapped, mental fears, denial, lethargic
🥰 Reversed: Freedom, not caring what others think
Eight of Swords Description
This description is based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. In this card we see a woman surrounded by 8 swords and a castle in the background. It may be either home or a place of future refuge. Tremendous frustration is shown here in this card: not only is she blindfolded and unable to make decisions on a sure footing at the moment, but she is surrounded by a small forest of swords, hemming her in and making progress difficult. Notice that the woman is loosely bound and not suffering. Her bindings could be easily cut on the swords, so she has what she needs to escape. Perhaps she is simply afraid or lacks the confidence to help herself.
Very often this Tarot card can represent a prison of your own making – of fears that have kept you from attaining your goals. It can also represent deep guilt, even if that guilt is unfounded. Consider what you fear, and then make a plan to overcome it and move forward.
Reminder: The only limits are the ones you place on yourself.
LOVE: What does The 8 of Swords Mean when You Ask About Love?
When this turns up in a love reading, the meaning will depend on whether or not you are in a relationship.
💖 If you asked will I find love? – No, not until you learn to love yourself first. A partner cannot fix your life, you must make an effort to improve yourself first. Right now, you are in danger of attracting the wrong relationships or coming across as desperate.
💖 If you have just met someone and want to know how do they feel about you – this card is not a good sign. They sense you do not value yourself, and so they do not value you either.
💖 Are you blinded to the truth, in denial about someone? Depending your question, this could refer to a partner, child, parent or friend.
💖 This card can represent fear of trying again – for example, trying for a baby after a miscarriage, or trying to mend a broken relationship, or starting fresh with someone new.
CAREER: What does This Card Signify when You Ask About Work?
If your question relates to work, business, career or study and you receive the 8 of Swords, then here is your guidance:
⭕ You feel trapped in a job that you do not like. This card guides you to remove the blindfold and assess your job clearly. What do you like or not like about it? Maybe in the process you will find a way to improve your situation. This is a good time to challenge yourself more and shake things up.
⭕ Fear of failure is holding you back. Or maybe you worry too much about what others think of you? Remember, fear kills more dreams than failure ever did.
⭕ Are you in denial? Pretending to yourself that you are enjoying your job or college course, but deep down you hate it? Bring those feelings to the surface for discussion. Don’t be scared to ask the questions, even if you don’t have the answers yet.
⭕ Very occasionally this card means going to prison for a crime.
Careers and jobs associated with the 8 of Swords include: Emergency services, firefighter; police, security, psychiatric care, psychology, counseling, mentoring and self-help industry.
MONEY: What is the Meaning of The Eight of Swords in a Money Reading?
💲 If you asked the Tarot about money and you receive the 8 of Swords, it can mean that you feel trapped financially and unable to improve your lifestyle. The first step, is to be brave and look at your budget more closely. Only when your eyes are open, can you begin to formulate a realistic plan and set new goals.
💲 If you asked about a significant purchase, like a house or car – this card can mean you are in denial about something, possibly your ability to meet repayments.
Tarot Card Combination Meanings
“8 of Swords combined with Lovers” – Trust yourself, you know which path is right for you.
“8 of Swords combined with The Star” – Fear is preventing your success.
“8 of Swords combined with 9 of Wands” – Feel the fear and do it anyway.
HEALTH: What does The 8 of Swords Mean when You Ask About Health?
In a health reading the Eight of Swords can signify stress and mental health disorders, including panic attacks, OCD, PTSD and Social Phobia.
However, it can also indicate that you are over-anxious when it comes to health matters. Of course, always check with a doctor if you are concerned about something in particular.
YES/NO: Does The Eight of Swords Mean Yes or No in a Reading?
❓ When you ask a Yes or No question and the 8 of Swords turns up, then the answer is NO.
TIMING: Does The Eight of Swords Predict any Particular Timeframe?
🕔 This card is only a timing indication when you specifically asked a timeframe question. For example, if you want to know if something will happen, and when, then you need to draw two separate cards. These are in fact, two separate questions. This is a fundamental principle to understand if you want an accurate tarot reading – and it is core to my teaching in my book Tarot in 5 Minutes.
🕔 Using my timing method, the 8 of Swords is about 8 days. If the card is reversed, timing will be slightly longer – so up to 12 days.
Karina’s Timing Method:
Swords are days. Wands are weeks. Cups are months and Pentacles are years. Please note this is my personal timing method. Feel free to adopt it (or not).
What is the Meaning of The Eight of Swords Reversed?
When the 8 of Swords is upside down then the woman is suddenly shaken out of her comfort zone. She is catapulted into action.
✔️You are free to do as you like now.
✔️You are feeling more confident and less affected by others opinions.
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Eight of Swords Symbolism
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Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.