Eight of Swords Tarot Card

Eight of Swords
Tarot Card: Eight of Swords
Planet: Mercury
keywords: Dilemma, Limitation of Mind, Negative Convictions
Affirmation: I am free to create a satisfying reality.
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Meaning: General - Love - Career - Health
Timeline: Past - Present - Future
Other: Reversed
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Eight of Swords Meaning

Eight of Swords is the card best depicting the limiting nature of our thoughts and convictions, for when we get entangled in processes of our mind and start overthinking, it becomes impossible to see things clearly or move in any direction. Action should be taken, as always, but it won’t be easily done if we think about options, consequences, the past, the future, instead of living in the now. This struggle and pressure brought on to our natural impulse to do something sincere will make us sad and prove our negative beliefs right, even though we are the ones who made the choice to follow those same beliefs. It is a tricky situation that often poses as a dilemma of the mind, two roads, none of which is good enough, while we might settle for both. Here, the only solutions seem to be getting out of our mind, closing our eyes, diving within, and seeing our actual unlimited options in the world surrounding us. Our destiny isn’t defined or limited by our minds if we don’t let the brain take over the rule of the infinite realms of the heart.


When the Eight of Swords shows in a love reading, it is quite an obvious calling for one's heart to get involved. It is possible that the person isn’t seeing the real situation out of fears and governed by beliefs imposed in their childhood by outer authority figures. Time for contemplation and solitude is needed, so we can actually feel what we feel and see how true our contact with another person is or we might waste some wonderful opportunities to connect. This card is the prison of one's thoughts, obsession, keeping them in repetitive loops, same choices, that can only be changed if the heart is healed and allowed to lead the way.


A career reading marked by the presence of the Eight of Swords is a strange situation that seems to be upside-down, as we would expect our professional, rational behavior to bring the best possible results but it clearly doesn’t. The dilemma of choice between opposing opinions and stable authorities is in place, while we should turn to our inner authority and allow ourselves creative, childish choices that others might fiercely disapprove of. It is a call for bravery, to take a risk and do something that isn’t limited by the structure of our mind and reason, so we can start to see where we truly wish to go and recognize our true abilities.


Eight of Swords will come in our health reading either when we worry too much for our physiology even though we should relax, rest, and see that everything is fine, or when we are so preoccupied with our mind that we can’t really see what the problem is. Typically, if a person mentions too many possible problems, different opinions and doctors, this card comes as a warning to get out of one's head in need of faith and to see that everything is just as it is supposed to be. A problem can only be approached with realism and a sense of calm in order to be resolved. On the other hand, someone might be entirely unaware of their physical reality and their body's needs. The real challenge here is to recognize the reality of our physiology.

Eight of Swords Reversed

The reversed position of the Eight of Swords in a reading is a grand test to the choice we already made, upside-down and completely out of touch from our actual needs. This message comes when we are governed by fear instead of bravery, even though we seem to be rushing through strong and brave choices in the eyes of the collective. True bravery comes from following all those fragile choices that others disapprove of, and one needs to learn this or they might hit the wall of disappointment.

Eight of Swords Time Line

Past - History marked by the Eight of Swords represents all those times we tried to make rational calls and decisions, wandering around life a bit lost but not knowing what we cannot see. It shows how much we’ve grown since and how aware of our emotional world we may be today, if we only remember the weakness that was brought on by our mind in the past. Depending on the rest of the opening, this card may show that the foundation set hasn’t been in tune with our Soul and is yet to fully blossom.

Present - With this card set in the present, a person isn’t sure which path to choose and where to turn. Everything seems to move down parallel, similarly powerful roads, and they don’t really belong on either one of them, torn between too many damaging thoughts. Time is needed for solitude, meditation and contemplation on options that are outside the box, where one hasn’t looked just yet. The best thing to do is – something else. Out of two options, choose the third.

Future - Eight of Swords colors one's future when the time has come to reevaluate our choices or we might end up in a dead-end street as time goes by. Consequences of too many “rational” yet heartless choices will come to collect their emotional debt, and if we continue down the same path, we might find ourselves in front of a wall that we cannot move or jump over. This setting requires self-examination and testing of our current surroundings for validity, and our deeds for childlike honesty and joy.

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