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Eight of Swords

A description and interpretation of the role of The Eight of Swords in the Tarot

In a nutshell...


  • doubt

  • new perspectives


General overview

Are you interested in the world of the Tarot and want to learn about the influence that the Eight of Swords is likely to exert on your life? On this page you'll find all the information you need to get a better understanding of the card.

Before I go into more detail about the analysis of the Eight of Swords, keep in mind that the suit of Swords is always associated with the world of thought, intellect and ideas. In numerology, the number 8 is linked to the idea of perfection, to the spiritual quest that, sooner or later, every human being undertakes. The Eight of Swords can only be interpreted by bearing these characteristics in mind.

In the most used version of the divinatory tarot, the Eight of Swords is represented by two sets of four arcs forming an oval. Inside this structure is a small blue flower with several petals. The oval is of course a representation of the world of thought, from which ideas come. The flower is reminiscent of the lotus, known on the spiritual level as the third eye that allows you to observe and grasp situations from a new angle. The open petals of the lotus convey the idea of spiritual fulfillment, as if the flower is completely open to the beauty of the divine.

The message conveyed by the arcana couldn't be clearer: to evolve, the seeker must first of all accept the need to plunge into their inner world, so as to access spiritual wisdom more quickly.

Freedom is a feeling. Sometimes you can feel it even when locked in a cage like a bird.


  • from an emotional viewpoint

    The Eight of Swords is generally not popular with people looking for a favorable romantic omen. When it appears, it usually means the seeker feels trapped by their relationship, and they don't yet know whether to end it or persevere. At the moment, limiting habits are preventing them from being able to make a calm decision about their relationship, despite the sadness they sometimes feel in their everyday life. They will have to accept the need for a constructive dialogue, internally, but also with their partner.

  • from a career viewpoint

    In a reading concentrating on professional life, once again the Eight of Swords demonstrates the difficulty the seeker is having in getting any peace of mind at work. This can happen, for example, if they haven't managed to achieve the objectives they set themselves, when their job no longer corresponds to their values or when the atmosphere within their team is not ideal. Only by spending a long time thinking about the scenarios they need to put in place will they once again be able to think about the future more calmly.

  • from a life path viewpoint

    The main benefit of the Eight of Swords lies in its capacity to make you question your most established beliefs. Although the creation of a value system is essential to self-affirmation, some certainties are limiting or simply false. Only by accepting the need to question them will it be possible to make changes serenely. In this respect, intuition and reflection are you best allies!

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    Its influence

    • short-term

      In the short term, the Eight of Swords bears witness to the period of transition that you are currently experiencing. Aware of your problems, you can't, for the moment, find the solution that would allow you to move forward. Maybe you're just not looking in the right direction! By accepting the need to question your beliefs, new perspectives will be offered to you.

    • long-term

      When analyzing its influence over the long term, the Eight of Swords is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to make personal developments. Your value system has built you as much as it limits you. It is often a question of looking in a new direction in order to see riches too long ignored.

    Full interpretation

    Interpretation of The Eight of Swords upright

    In the most frequent interpretation of the card, the Eight of Swords testifies to the period of isolation and the doubts that are taking hold of the seeker. What's more, the seeker is really unhappy with this situation, which isn't the result of external action, but simply the result of their limiting beliefs. Therefore, it will be up to the seeker to agree to question these beliefs and address their problems from a new angle.

    It could be said that for the moment the seeker is trapped in their value system. Their mind is a chaos of clashing ideas that really don't help them to achieve clarification. This blockage means several things. It teaches that, on the one hand, intellect and a critical spirit are not always enough to get you out of a difficult situation. The seeker will also have to listen to their instinct and emotions to better understand the implications of the problem. However, on the other hand, these difficulties encourage them not to give in to impulsiveness. Taking a decision in this context could be very unproductive or even dangerous.

    For the seeker the most important thing is to calm their mind and give the clouds time to clear away. Only then will they really be able to determine their course of action, by pushing aside as far as possible the beliefs that constrain them. The Eight of Swords thus resembles the arcana of The Hanged Man, in that it asks you to accept to the idea of transforming your perception of the situation.

    Interpretation of The Eight of Swords reversed

    When it appears reversed, the Eight of Swords has a very beneficial connotation, deeply favorable to the seeker's development. It means that they have finally become aware of the limits they set on themselves, whether with regard to their education, their value system or their behavior. When faced with a problem, they were looking for solutions in a closed and restricted world.

    But the seeker is now able to look at their difficulties from a new angle. They accepted the need to break free of their self-limiting barriers. They are becoming progressively more insightful, developing their knowledge of their psyche and discovering other tools of personal development. They can once again start confidently down their life path, fully aware of their value and their ability to change.