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I am not what happened to me – I am what I choose to become.’’

Carl Jung


In Rider-Waite deck depiction of the card, a woman is tied up and blindfolded. There are eight swords stuck into the ground surrounding her, almost like jail bars. However, there is a slight opening in front for her to escape the trapping situation.

The Eight of Swords symbolizes feelings of hopelessness, entrapment and being victimized. Victim mindset is a self-created prison. For the person that was wronged it is hard to digest it at first. When someone is betrayed, hurt, terrified; they feel as if they lost the whole narrative of their lives. This is happening because once the mind identifies the external threat and in order to protect itself, it encloses the person in a psychological prison.

The Eight of Swords is a reminder that you are the writer, the actor and the director of your story. You can choose to erase resentment and bitterness and replace it with self-love and forgiveness. This is not to say you should ignore the hurtful deeds and misery. It is about claiming your power.

Regardless of the circumstances you deserve love, joy and peace. No one can take that away from you, and you don’t need anyone’s approval. This is your primary right and responsibility to yourself.

Number 8 represents determination, accomplishment and power.


Eight of Swords Keywords

  • Self imposed mind prison
  • Negative thinking patterns

  • Victim mentality



  • Breaking out of negativity
  • Victim mentality
  • Stuck

Upright Eight of Swords

Guidance: The Eight of Swords suggests that you feel cornered, defeated and powerless. But in reality, you are not as hopeless or helpless as you think. A solution is always available. All it takes is your firm decision and emotional strength to free yourself. Get to the bottom of core reasons why you have put yourself in a vulnerability mindset, then surround yourself with love and support you deserve.

Love: As a result of a past heartbreak, betrayal or breakup, you feel emotionally wounded and confined. Perhaps you are stuck in a dilemma or two love interests. The situation you are in might seem hopeless, but it is not. Choosing to forgive will lift some of the burdens out of your shoulder, but don’t expect someone else to resolve it for you. Regardless of your relationship status, first you need to practice self-love. You can’t love someone else unless you love yourself first.

Work/Finances: The Eight of Swords represents feeling hopeless, stuck and stressed in a seemingly impossible situation. You may feel trapped in an unsatisfying job, a tough decision, or a significant burden of debt. You can’t change past circumstances, but you always have the power to take back the control of your life. You should re focus any time and energy you spend over negativity to building the confidence needed to achieve your goals. Don't let past financial mistakes haunt your future.

Health: The Eight of Swords often talks about self-imposed issues. So, the first question to ask yourself: Are you excessively worried about your health? When you convince yourself that there is something wrong, the mind can fool the body into thinking it is not well. This is of course not to say you should ignore your symptoms. Just try to stay calm and relaxed during these times. The card suggests your situation is not as bad as you seem to think. Try to figure out the underlying reasons of your anxiety and stress.

Spirituality: Self-perpetuated restriction is what the Eight of Swords symbolizes. Your mind is a very powerful tool. It can help you reach your wildest dreams or lock you in the depths of misery. With your thoughts, you can create your reality. So, pay attention to your thoughts, which path are they taking you? This way you can figure out negative belief systems and thinking patterns you imposed on yourself and eliminate them in order to create a more loving and joyous life.

Guidance: What you believe is what you create. If you think you are hopeless, you will create situations around you which will make you feel hopeless and powerless. It is time to acknowledge and claim your power over your life. By taking back the control and aligning your perspective with your desires, you can achieve anything. Start by silencing that little voice inside your head that says you will fail, and replace it with a more encouraging, loving voice.

Love: Reversal of this card intensifies the importance for you to break the pattern of dwelling on the past. Depending on the other cards in the reading you may already be on this path.  Let bygones be bygones. When you heal yourself first, you will see that the rest will fall into place. Being single does not mean being lonely. People may come and go, but you will always have yourself. That is why you deserve to always love, cherish and value who you are.

Work/Finances: An unpleasant situation about your job, career or finances may seem to be repeating or heading for the worse. In order to break this loop, you first need to break the loop of negative thinking. Otherwise, you will again wind up creating the very thing that you want to desperately avoid. You are not allowing yourself to see the solutions and opportunities, but it doesn’t mean they are not there. Change your focus, change your life.

Health: The Eight of Swords reversed advises you to find a mental balance. If you are having health issues; don’t ignore them. No need for fear and panic, just self-awareness. Every time you have a negative thought, immediately shift your focus to positive results of your healing. On a positive note, it could mean that some pressure is being released, and now you are not so confined by your problems.

Spirituality: You can be your best friend or your worst enemy, and it all lies in recognizing your inner critic. It is about which commentary you will listen to: the one that keeps putting you down with fear and doubt, or the one that is unconditionally supportive and loving? You get to choose. Choose your strength, choose the live the love in your heart.

Reversed Eight of Swords

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