The Message of the 8 of Swords

8 of Swords

How many times have you felt totally entrapped by your “circumstance”, or ‘stressed’ beyond relief? If so my friend, the 8 of Swords resonates with you.

The 8 of Swords is often portrayed as rather gloomy. I would like to share some ideas with you about how the 8 of swords actually shares more about escaping the gloom than holding you in a state of bondage.

8 of Swords

In the Radiant Rider-Waite®, we can see the 8 of Swords portrayed as a girl standing in muddy water blind-folded, bound and surrounded by swords. It could well be a visually disconcerting card until you explore the meanings.

8 of Swords Radiant Rider-Waite Deck
8 of Swords Radiant Rider-Waite Deck

In the Thoth Tarot Deck, we see a less illustrative picture, yet with each color and symbol, there is new-found meaning in the ‘non-illustrative’ pip. Behind the two down-pointed long swords you can see six eastern swords, three pointing in each direction. You now find not only your intuition coming into play, but you learn of your options and can see which doors are available for your escape.

8 of Swords Thoth Tarot Deck
8 of Swords Thoth Tarot Deck

Swords relate to your thoughts and intellect.

When you begin exploring you can identify thought patterns, as swords pertain to the air, which again relates to your thoughts and intellect. By seeing two long swords in the foreground, we can learn that there are already conflicting ideas in play or at least 2 ideas paralleling each other.

Oriental East in the element of Air

The fun part of Thoth is that he really likes to taunt the mind and you can see this in the oriental swords behind these two mindsets seen in the long swords. Oriental refers to the East, as does the element of Air refer to the East. Thereby the oriental swords add significance to the idea of Air.

Crowley uses a powerful display of color in the 8 of Swords. When I began studying Thoth I found a wonderful book Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot. This book allowed me to get my head around the colors used in the Thoth deck, as it is important to realize the meaning in color. (That’s a whole new topic I really wish to cover soon!)

  • As Jupiter is the controlling planet, the colors used are violet, blue, rich purple, bright blue and rayed yellow.
  • Gemini is then the zodiac and thereby we see orange, pale mauve, new yellow leather, reddish grey to mauve.

Hermetic Kabbalah and the 8 of Swords

In hermetic kabbalism you can observe how the 8 of swords is then seen in the 8th sphere (sephiroth) Hod. Hod relates to evaluation and analysis, is the ruler of Gemini and Virgo, and is found at the lowest sphere on the pillar of severity.

Hod in the Tree of Life
Hod in the Tree of Life

So you have drawn a card that at first seems rather hectic and overwhelming. Ironically, when drawn, the 8 of Swords resonates with how you feel about your current circumstances.

You have received your message

However, Mercury rules Hod and is the planet or god of swift communication, so this card is the perfect messenger that now is the time to start analyzing your circumstances with a clear mind. To clear your mind of stress, let’s find power and value in the 8 of Swords’ message.

Illustrating the Tree of Life ~ an excerpt from my personal Tarot journal
Illustrating the Tree of Life ~ an excerpt from my personal Tarot journal

Let’s begin with what we know.

  • We know that Jupiter is in Gemini, so let’s begin there. You can well associate good fortune and good luck with Jupiter, so you can now start realizing, “Hey, I’ve eight swords to cut these bonds that are actually bandages!”
  • “My intellect (Air/Swords) is by far outweighing my quandaries (bonds) and thereby I can actually focus (remove blindfold) on doing what needs be done”.
  • Hod is a place of analysis and you can then see how taking some time out to reassess your situation could really be beneficial for you. If done correctly, this can then well result in splendor and glory.
  • Things aren’t always as they seem, right? 🙂

You have all the tools and abilities

In conclusion, remind yourself that you have immense analytical abilities to reassess any disconcerting situation. You have all the tools, the know-how and the ability to move on, all you need to do is analyze the situation and make a firm decision.

This card is brilliant for meditative purposes when:

  • Quitting an addiction
  • Leaving an abusive relationship
  • Making firm decisions whether corporate or personal
  • Facing a truth that you don’t wish to see
  • Studying
  • Sticking to a cause
  • Writing exams, a book, or working on a project
  • So much more!!

Do you have any memorable stories you wish to share about the 8 of Swords? Please feel free to share your ideas and stories in the comment section, or email me! I would so love to hear from you. If you wish to share an insightful article such as Brigit Esselmont’s 5 Top Insightful Tarot Experiences to help you get ahead! I would also highly recommend her Meditation program, which you can now access here!

May 8 of Swords’ message be received wholeheartedly. 🙂 Don’t hesitate to contact me for your personalized reading or mentoring sessions.

Blessed Be,

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