Eight Of Swords – Rider Waite Tarot Deck

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I. The detailed description of the Eight of Swords

The Eight of Swords shows a woman who is tied, blindfolded, and surrounded by swords, looking like a prison. It seems that she has no way to escape. She was isolated between barren land and a small remote town located in the far distance. The sky is grey and cloudy, showing despair. The fact that the woman’s feet do not touch the water shows that the limited feeling in this card is not in the emotion but the rational aspects. There was a straight road in front of her. Although it was the only way out, her blindness had covered it all.

The detailed description of the Eight of Swords

The woman in the Eight of Swords card is disoriented and alone. She could not see the road because she was blindfolded. She could not call for help because she was tied up. She could not move freely because she was being held by the surrounding swords. She seemed to have wandered to a place far away from home – the place that gave her the safety in the distant hills. She was unable to return because she even did not know which way to go. This Swords card represents the time when we feel lost, confused and lose our ability. All the help and faith seem to have disappeared.

Sometimes, we feel constrained by circumstances. We wake up one day and realize we are in an impossible situation. Your work has no way out. The relationship is in trouble. You are carrying heavy debts. We do not even know how these things happen. Even those small problems can make us feel stuck as if we are in a deadlock. Sometimes, life seems to be good. “I have everything I want. I should be happy, so, what is the problem here?” We sank between confused and vague feeling.

When you see this card, remember that you really still have many options and the ability to escape from difficult situations. No matter how you feel you are tied up, you can still find a way out if you believe that you can. The woman in the card can free herself. She could be able to untie the rope, remove the blindfold and pull up the swords. Solutions are not always easy, but at least you still have a chance. You should find the insight in your mind and purpose (the ideal of the Swords) and use them to step forward your home – a safe place.

II. Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Limit, Disorders, Loss of power.

Feeling limited

  • Being hindered by obstacles;
  • Being in limited circumstances;
  • Feel stuck in the current situation;
  • Only have a few options;
  • Do not feel the freedom;
  • Feel disturbed.

Feeling confused

  • Do not know which direction to follow;
  • Feel disoriented;
  • Lack of orientation;
  • Confused;
  • Need clear guidance and descriptions;
  • Do not understand what is happening.

Feel helpless

  • Wait for help outside;
  • Feel suspicious about the effectiveness of what you do;
  • Avoid responsibility;
  • Wait for a knight to rescue;
  • Feel harmed;
  • Accept the sluggishness.

III. Opposite and Support Tarot cards to the 8 of Swords

Opposite cards

  • Magician – feel strong, know what is going on;
  • Chariot – confident, focused;
  • 2 of Wands – strong, brave;
  • 4 of Wands – freedom, lack of limits;
  • 3 of Pentacles – Have the capability, have the knowledge, have a plan.

Support cards

  • Devil – confused, limited;
  • Moon – confused, lack of clarity;
  • 10 of Swords – the spirit being suppressed, the helplessness.

IV. 8 of Swords Upright Card Keywords

isolation, self-imposed restrictions, imprisonment

Words and Keywords

An oppressive environment, lack of legal empowerment, siege, slavery, coercive restraint, a vicious circle, lack of self-determination, isolation, fear of unknown things, the energy is inhibited, unable to move, feel imprisoned, intellectual detention, trapped between two opposing forces, self-contained, blindfolded, lack of confidence to start something, a barrier, problems with communication, interference, frustration, being trapped by fear, stuck in a difficult situation, concern, anxiety, reprimand, mental pain, hard times.

Accidents, deaths, self-inflicted, confusion, misunderstanding, hesitation, paralysis, fear of exercising your own power, hesitant in asserting yourself, negative emotions hinder productivity, disease, constantly encountered major obstacles without resolution, dilemma.


When the Eight of Swords appears, you may be holding yourself because you are afraid of going to the future, or because you are afraid of being hurt by new circumstances, or maybe for no reason at all. You should think thoroughly about what you are afraid of. In fact, things can be less terrible or more serious than what you thought.


Overall, this Swords card tells us that we have to think outside of the box about failure so that we can win. Do not be afraid of unclear things. You can reflect your thoughts, speeches, and behaviors on negative factors and remember what you say and do, and the choices you make will affect the outcome of your life. If you need help to manage and handle your fears, say it out loud.


If you hate your job, believe that you are holding the right and the ability to change the situation. You may not be able to change your whole professional work environment. Nothing can stop you from looking for a different and better prospect if that is what your mind and spirit are required. You have to make choices: either you want to get out of your current situation, or you prepare yourself to continue to accept the same things. Which way would you choose?


In terms of love, the Eight of Swords shows that you need to reassess a relationship seriously. You may be in a relationship with someone who does not treat you right due to your thinking of something better than nothing. Having an unhealthy relationship is actually much worse than being alone. If you are looking for love, the first thing is to see how you loved yourself. Others cannot accompany you and modify you. So, you should start with yourself.


This card tells you that you need to be aware of the prophecy about satisfying your own spending needs. If you think that your financial misfortunes will never change, then that may be the truth in your life. You should think clearly about your skills and what choices you have or can have, discover new sources of income and expect the best, even when you are preparing for the worst.


More than anything else, when it comes to health, Eight of Swords implies the mental/physical connection and the need to consider our thoughts, expectations, and behaviors as we treat unpleasant symptoms or diseases. We do not create symptoms or illnesses (genetic and environmental factors, of course, have a role in causing illness) but our health will always tend to worsen when we keep thinking negatively and our minds are filled with anxiety. These things can be immersed deep down in the mind. If you need to dig up these negative health-damaging aspects, seek help.


Deep down, you have the answers you need. You will find it helpful to spend time with quiet space and meditation. If you still need orientation, pay attention to the signs that the spirit and the Universe gave you. These signs may lurk somewhere subtly, such as when you constantly see a phrase or listen to a song over and over again. You will not be restrained unless you allow yourself to be.

Situation and advice

Anyone who has seen the existential play “No Exit” in 1994 will understand what this card is about. The Eight of Swords represents fear, siege, limits, and restrictions which are often self-imposed. You feel confined, trapped and unable to escape.

You can act as your own worst enemy due to fear of unformed things and reluctance to try something new or to assert yourself. You are trapped in the swamp created by yourself. Your ability to communicate may be temporarily reduced. You may fall into a difficult situation that seems to have no way out. You feel imprisoned and restricted by circumstances while the cause of major limitations is the refusal to accept your own reality.

You have to face your own fear before making any important decision. With your courage, you can overcome your worries and solve problems around you. If you cannot see things clearly, this is the time to seek and follow the wise advice. Sometimes, the limitations that the Eight of Swords denote are the result of an accident or a death that brings the following restrictions.


Someone who feels trapped, restricted, or stuck between two opposing forces; a blind person, someone who is in the prison, someone who feels restricted by a relationship, a person who is lost in a vicious circle.

V. 8 of Swords Reversed Keywords

open new perspectives, liberate.

Words and Keywords

Eliminate obstacles, release something, a new beginning, remove blindfold, the secret is revealed, overcome fears, get rid of restrictions, get out of the cage, rescue, stop interfering, the freedom to move, empowerment, able to move again, regain confidence in yourself, the recovery of productivity, self-affirmation, freedom, able to see the way out from the current situation.


When the reversed Eight of Swords appears, you may be ready to make some important steps and changes in your life after careful consideration and evaluation. You are ready or almost ready to overcome your fears, just keep going. You can seek support if you find it necessary but always believe in yourself.


In general, this reversed card shows us that although this is the time to move forward, we cannot plan or prepare for things to happen in life, and accepting reality is an important part of the maturity process. Health is an important part of the maturity process. Help is always available for you. Take it one step at a time. Anxiety will not solve and change anything.


If you want to make changes in your work, the reversed Eight of Swords will tell you that this is possible. You just need to be patient and step forward with the insight needed in your mind. Be open and aware that those meetings can provide an opportunity for you in your career and whatever is expected to change. People may not understand or support you to make changes, as long as you know what is best for you.


In terms of love, it implies potential disagreements and petty controversies in your current relationship. You should try to trace the root of the problem, there must be a real reason for the controversy. If you are feeling lonely and looking for love, this card is a message that you should do something for yourself first. Other people cannot help you to overcome your own shortcomings as well as they cannot fill your sense of emptiness. The fact that you feel empty is keeping you away from the chances of finding the love of your life.


The Eight of Swords reversed is the message that tells you about unexpected things that may happen to your finances. This is a good time to make sure you have a plan for safely storing money. Unexpected things can also be related to the financial growth which you do not expect. However, this is not a time when you may be lucky with the game of chance.


When you see this reversed card in the spread about health, it shows that things are ambiguous to your body. This is a very important time to pay attention to any symptoms which you are experiencing. Besides, seeking advice from a highly qualified medical professional is also essential. You should not treat any current illness by yourself when this card appears. You need to know exactly what kind of health problem you are facing. Do not panic, instead, calmly examine and review yourself.


You may need to review your past when the Eight of Swords appears to give your spirit and inner peace a maximum boost. There may be a surprise or shock from the past that you do not want to face. You should think again and see whether there is anything you need to fix or not. You will find yourself feeling as light as a feather once you overcome the problem.

Situation and advice

Now you can break the restrictions and confront your fears and worries. The pressure you face is beginning to decline. You can be more aware of what is around you and deal with the factors that interfere with your progress. After conquering your fears, you are completely free to start over again. Obstacles have been removed and the freedom of movement has been established. It is the right time to become assertive and reject the restrictions that others impose on you.


Someone who has escaped restraint or a confined relationship, a prisoner who is released.

In a Tarot spread, the Eight of Swords is often a sign that you are rushing in (or already in) a situation in which you feel lack freedom and choices. These situations are limited because the deeper you sink into them, the more restrained you feel. Through each step, your choices get even narrower until you feel completely stuck.

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