A woman, bound and hoodwinked, with the swords about her. Yet it is rather a card of temporary durance than of irretrievable bondage. Divinatory Meanings: Bad news, violent chagrin, crisis, censure, power in trammels, conflict, calumny; also sickness. Reversed: Disquiet, difficulty, opposition, accident, treachery; what is unforeseen; fatality.
The woman on the Eight of Swords is lost and alone. She can’t see because she is blindfolded. She can’t reach out because she is bound. She can’t move freely because she is caught in a prison of swords. It seems she has wandered far from home, her place of security far away on the hill. How can she get back? She doesn’t even know which way to go. The Eight of Swords stands for those times when we feel lost, confused and powerless. Help and relief seems very far away.
Even little problems can make us feel trapped. There just doesn’t seem to be a way out. Sometimes life seems fine on the surface. “I have everything I want. I should be happy, so what’s the problem?” We just don’t know. We’re confused and unsure.
The Eight of Swords is often a sign that you are heading toward (or already in) a situation in which you will feel a lack of freedom and choice. Such situations are tricky because the more you get into them, the more restricted you feel. At each step, your options seem to narrow until you feel completely stuck.
When you see this card, remember that you do have choices, and you do have power. No matter how trapped you feel, you can find a way out if you believe it is possible. The young girl in the picture could free herself. She could wriggle free, tear off the blindfold, and kick down those swords. Solutions are not always easy, but they exist. Find your clarity of thought and purpose and use them to take that first step toward home.