Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings & Combinations
Air, analytical thought and intellect. Suit of challenges.
Keywords and Phrases:
Feeling trapped or restricted, paralysed by fear. Analysis paralysis.
Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings
As Swords represent our challenges, and the suit of air the intellect and thoughts, so we see the eight swords surrounding a bound woman trapped by her fears. They hold and keep her within their sphere, such is the power of our thoughts, sufficient to render us feeling powerless against what we face. Although the eight swords may be nothing more than mental monsters, to the person experiencing them they feel very real.
The Eight of Swords can indicate feeling trapped by a situation, as if there is no way out. It can highlight restrictions, some of which may be real but could be imagined, creating a prison within their own mind. There are usually options but sometimes the alternatives of what needs to happen to break free of it seem more uncomfortable than remaining where they are. Calm and clarity are needed to find suitable solutions and fears faced in order to make progress. It can also be a sign of analysis paralysis, so it could be warning you not to overthink something to the point where action becomes frozen.
If reversed, overcoming fears, releasing obstacles, breaking free.
Similar or supporting cards: Two of Swords (stalemate) Hanging Man (suspension) The Devil (entrapment).
Opposing or contradictory cards: Justice (balanced thought and logic) The Chariot (focussed thought and exerting will)
Eight of Swords Tarot Card Combinations:
Depending upon position, see what this card is linked with and the order they’re presented, ideally we look for a card following to show what could release the situation. Usually the card preceding will show the root of the problem
The Devil > Four of Swords > Eight of Swords: Confinement, sometimes prison, particularly if Justice (legal system) or King of Swords, (government officials, men in uniform) are also included.
> Three of Pentacles: feeling restricted within your role at work, (if order reversed Three of Pentacles > Eight of Swords: work that you’re good at but may feel like a dead end job).
The Hierophant > Eight of Swords: feeling bound by duty. Also…
> Ten of Wands: trapped by responsibilities that leave you overwhelmed (could also apply in reverse order).
Two of Cups > Eight of Swords: feeling trapped in a relationship, or a situation surrounding it.
Five of Pentacles > Eight of Swords: finance or debt problem, an unexpected bill could leave you in a fix.
> The Fool: an unexpected opportunity will present itself but you need to be ready to make the most of it when it appears.
> The Magician: you need to have confidence in yourself as you have the ability to move forward.
You'll find more information to help you in Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All! book and card set.
Available from bookshops, Llewellyn, Amazon.com, & UK.
Material provided here is in addition and complementary to the kit. Copyrighted material displayed with permission of Llewellyn. Please see my notes regarding combinations and reversals on the main index page.