Tarot Tutorial: Eight of Swords Meaning
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Tarot Tutorial: Eight of Swords Meaning

April 01, 2023 by PathForward
Learn the real meaning of the 8 of Swords tarot.
Learn the real meaning of the 8 of Swords tarot.

While the Eight of Swords may not be as iconic or well known as some other tarot cards, the feelings it represents are super-familiar to a lot of us. Just one look at the figure on the traditional card, and we can tell she’s not in a great place. Blind-folded, tied-up, surrounded by swords… did she at least get a safe word?

So, yeah, this card is about being stuck—but, it’s also about finding a way out. We don’t see anyone guarding her, and one of those swords might make a handy weapon if she did have to fight her way out. If you take one thing away from the message of this card, let it be this: even if you feel completely stuck, you have tools nearby to get you unstuck. All you have to do is be willing to see then use them.

Eight of Swords in a Love Reading

You probably aren’t feeling warm and fuzzy about your partner if the Eight of Swords came up in a love reading.  Things might not be terrible, but they sure af haven’t been great either. The two of you are caught in patterns of merely existing instead of truly connecting. Consider this your wake-up call to do something about it. Use the swords to metaphorically fight for this relationship, or use it’s sharp edge to cut yourself loose. Either way, leaving things as they are will not serve you.

If you are currently uncoupled, the Eight of Swords could be pointing out that you are limiting your thinking when it comes to finding love. You may need to reassess your standards to see if they are realistic…or if you are using them as an excuse to run the other way when seems like a relationship might have potential. You may also be dreaming of a new love, but staying in the same safe circles, never going anywhere new, where you know, you might actually meet someone new. Be bold, bestie. Set yourself free and try something new. Your next great romance is out there, outside your comfort zone, waiting for you to say, “hello”.

If the Eight of Swords showed up reversed in your love reading, something that helps free you to make a move will be showing up in your life. Keep an open mind about any opportunities for love (or improve upon the relationship you already have) that show up for you. The chance to break free of whatever is keeping you stuck in your love life will present itself. Just be honest with yourself about what you need and want.

Eight of Swords in a Future Reading 

Have you been finding yourself cranking up Queen’s I Want to Break Free and singing it at the top of your lungs? Because that song is pretty much the anthem for the feel of this card. You might notice that your options feel severely limited when the Eight of Swords shows up in a future reading. Others may be trying to impose their ideas on you and you’re smothering under their expectations. It might be more of a situation instead of a specific person making you feel trapped too. Remember, you do not have to live up to anyone’s expectations but your own. Do your best to assert your agency every chance you get until you can find your way back to yourself again.

If the Eight of Swords came up in a position repping you, then you only need to look in the mirror to see who has got you feeling trapped. Do not put up roadblocks for yourself where none exist. The bad news is that self-sabotage may have become a habit in you. The good news is that ANY bad habit can be broken. Get an outside perspective if you need to, but don’t let your doubts hold you captive a second longer.

If the Eight of Swords shows up reversed in a future reading, expect a breakthrough. Either whatever holding you back gets moved out of the picture or a new realization or attitude will give you the keys to the prison you’ve been stuck in. Do not sleep on this new chance life is giving you. The Universe may have opened the door for you, but it’s up to you to walk through it.

The Eight of Swords in a Career Reading

Yeah, this card practically screams “dead end job”. The office culture might range from deadly dull to outright depressing. You probably aren’t the only one feeling stuck either. While it’s nice to have people to commiserate with, a culture of complaining is seriously low vibe energy. The lack of positivity will probably seep into other aspects of your life, if it hasn’t done so already. At very least, do what you can to leave your work life in the office. Draw clear boundaries between home and work to preserve your sanity.

If the Eight of Swords popped up in a position representing you, it could be your deck telling you to get out of your own way. There is a way for you to have the successful career life of your dreams, but it’s not going to manifest if you stay stuck in worn out patterns (or played out thoughts). If moving forward seems scary, start small. Start by identifying the skills you have going for you. See who in your circle might know of an opportunity to make the most of them. Come up with a mantra that helps remind you of your worth. Then when you see your moment, like Eminem said, do not let it go.

Did the Eight of Swords turn up reversed in a career reading? Then a big break is about to come through for you. Keep your eyes open for a job posting that sounds super perfect (with the cheddar to match). The main thing to keep in mind is that getting this position will involve some activity on your part. Now isn't the time to be passive. Put yourself in the spotlight and shine bright.


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Still wondering how the Eight of Swords is telling you to break free? We gotchu! Our tarot experts have got the skills to go deep when you need answers about love, career, or any thing else that’s been weighing on your mind. See how their insight can have you moving in the right direction to manifest the life of your dreams.


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