Eight of Swords
A woman in orange is blindfolded and tied up, hovering over a small creek. In the mountain, in the distance, rises a castle from the rock. She’s surrounded by eight downturned swords, with only one way out: forward. The land is stark and barren, the sky is turning dark, and no one is coming down from the castle.
Orange is the color of enthusiasm, and the woman is dressed in it head to toe. She’s bright and full of life, but right now, she can’t do anything about it. Water, representing emotions, flow under her, and she hovers above it, so her situation is not emotional, or at least, emotions are not the problem (even if they are the undercurrent). However, in order to walk away or get free, she’s having to step into the water and get wet.
It’s uncertain how she got there: isolated, bound, and blindfolded, with a cloudy, cold sky above her. However, it’s uncertain how she’ll get out, but chances are, she’ll have to do it herself. She’s thinking about it. She’s not scared, or crying, or struggling. She’s using her wits to solve her own problem. She doesn’t know what to do yet, but she’ll figure it out at some point.
The Eight of Swords is about being indecisive and restricted. There may be possibilities – there may even be a clear path right in front of you – but there is no way to know. Instead of being compulsive, and instead of making a move based on fear or another emotion, the choice is to do nothing. However, the sky is getting darker, and the time to act is getting closer. Right now, it feels as if there are no options, even though there are some, even though the way out is apparent. After all, her feet and legs aren’t bound, even if her arms and hands are.
The Eight of Swords is about relying too much on using thought and reason to make decisions, thereby losing your chance to simply take a leap or even a step based on faith and instinct. This card is in a sense reminding the querent that sometimes, when the ability to think is restricted, there are other skills one can use to get themselves out a bad situation, and that sometimes, no matter how smart one thinks they are, faith is still important.
When eight of swords is Reversed:
When the Eight of Swords is reversed, the querent is coming out of the situation in which they had to give up on thinking and ether take a leap of faith or waste away in the darkness. They may have also taken a step, but stumbled or fell and are now too afraid to do it again.
The Eight of Swords reversed can also mean that the querent may have felt like a victim on their own in the past, but are now owning up to their role in their situation and are looking to solving their own problems without getting anyone else involved.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: In the past, the querent was stuck in a situation in which they tried to reason their way out alone, which has brought them to the present moment.
Present: Currently, the querent feels stuck and unable to find a reasonable way out of their predicament, but won’t make a move one way or another.
Future: In the future, the querent is going to find themselves in a bind in which they’re not sure what the reasonable solution should be.