The Meaning Of The Eight of Swords Tarot Card

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Eight of Swords Tarot Card

New to Tarot? Just pulled the Eight of Swords? If the restricted Eight of Swords was pulled out of your deck and you want to know what it means for you, keep reading!

The Eight of Swords might be clueing you into hesitancyfear, and selfrestraint that is affecting your life. When you see this card in a reading, you might need to step into your power or risk remaining emotionally caged up 

The Eight of Swords is a visual representation of mental entrapment, showing how negative habitsfears, and selfdoubt keep us stuck in one spot. The Eight of Swords reveals a need to be more grounded in reality and to see how you’re standing in your own way.

Want to know what else this card is wanting to share with you? Read on!

Key Facts

UprightFeeling trapped, restriction, powerlessness, self-imposed limitations, fear, uncertainty
ReversedRelease from constraints, breaking free, newfound clarity, facing fears, overcoming obstacles
Yes or NoNo
PlanetSaturn in Gemini, Mercury
Astrological SignGemini
Key Facts: The Eight of Swords Tarot Card

Upright Meaning of The Eight of Swords

The Eight of Swords, when upright, lets us know that we’re feeling trapped or restricted. This card shows a person blindfolded and surrounded by eight swords, creating a cage around the woman. However, she is not truly trapped; she could remove these binds if she chooses

This card shows you where you might be feeling helplessnessself-doubt, or confusion, leading to mental blocks and stagnancy. Let’s try and unravel this emotional knot.

The Eight of Swords wants you to realize that the limitations you perceive are mostly, if not fully, self-imposed. You may feel overwhelmed, but the key lies in realizing that you have the power to break free.

This card also champions seeking support from others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as professionalsclose friends or family members can provide the help and fresh insight that you’ve been needing.

Are there fears or doubts that are holding you back from taking necessary actions or making important decisions? Take a closer look, and realize how getting out of your own way will help you to understand what areas of your life need attention.

Upright Love
Upright Career MeaningUpright Health Meaning
Feeling restricted or trapped in relationships; seek communication and solutionsFeeling stuck or limited in your career; explore new possibilitiesAvoid mental stress or negative thought patterns; practice mindfulness

Love and Relationships – Upright, The Eight of Swords

When the Eight of Swords shows up in a love reading, there might be feelings of stagnancy or restriction in your love life. You or your partner could be feeling like the walls are closing in because of communication issuesselfdoubt, or an unbalanced power dynamic.

For those seeking love, this card suggests that you’re hesitant to open up to potential partners after being burned in the past. While it can be scary to love again, the Eight of Swords wants you to let go of fear and be open to new connections.

For those in relationships, this card encourages you to balance your power dynamicscreate more freedom, and have honest and open communicationTalk openly with your partner and be willing to listen to their perspective as well, even with difficult subjects.

Career and Work – Upright, The Eight of Swords

In workplace readings, seeing the upright Eight of Swords suggests that feeling stuck or restricted in your professional life could be a problem. You might be facing overwhelming career struggles, leading to self-doubt and a lack of confidence in your abilities.

While this can make you feel a little panicky, you’re meant to examine the situation from a new perspective. Often, the limitations that you perceive are self-imposed, and you have to break free from these mental barriers for progress to happen.

Find out what’s making you feel stuck, and find a way to free yourself from those bindsGet creative and think outside the box, or even ask your friends or a professional to help you think through your obstacles. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Health and Wellness – Upright, The Eight of Swords

Your self-care might be a big old zero right now. Since you might be facing overwhelming physical or mental challenges, feelings of helplessnesspessimism, or frustration are likely to be following behind these challenges and only making things harder

If you’re feeling stagnant in your healthcare lifestyle, it might be time to really examine your beliefs about your healthNegative self-talk, especially about your body or limiting beliefs regarding your health, might put a damper on your desire to take care of yourself.

It’s time to replace the negative with positive and reinvigorate your selfbelief. It’s a good idea to seek out support from healthcare professionalstherapists, or support groups right now and speak up when you have questions and concerns rather than holding back.

The Eight of Swords wants you to find a balance in your selfcare routine and make sure that you’re not restricting yourself too heavily. Being rigid or critical right now would be a mistake, and non-judgmental steps toward a healthier lifestyle would be best of all.

Spiritual Context – Upright, The Eight of Swords

The upright Eight of Swords in a spiritual reading, representing a person trapped or restricted by their own thoughts and beliefs, is very clear with its spiritual meaning. Self-doubt keeps you from reaching your full potential and keeps you trapped in your head!

Remember, true freedom is found in challenging the limitations you impose on yourself. Instead of feeling trapped under the weight of spiritual burdens or self-doubt, seek clarity and don’t let mental barriers keep you down. Being introspective matters!

In this card, the woman’s blindfold represents the need to open your eyes to new perspectives and the truth. The swords surrounding her remind you that you need to re-evaluate your mental constructs and release yourself from the constraints they create.

The Eight of Swords represents feeling trapped, self-sabotaging, and mental restriction, but often, it’s all in the mind.

Reversed Meaning of The Eight of Swords

When it’s upside down, the Eight of Swords shows you breaking free from mental entrapment and gaining clarity. If you’ve been feeling stuck or overwhelmed by negative thoughts, this card reassures you that the time for freedom is at hand.

In the reversed Eight of Swords, the woman is removing her blindfold, indicating that you are now becoming aware of the mental obstacles that have held you back and choosing to see them for what they really are

This newfound awareness empowers you to challenge and overcome these barriers. The swords that once surrounded and restricted you are now falling away, symbolizing the release of selfimposed limitations.

You’re gaining confidence and a fresh outlook after being stressed out or frazzled; you’re meant to embrace this new energy as an opportunity to rediscover your inner strength. Trust in your adaptability and resilience, and face the future head-on!

Remember, when you put your mind to it, you have the capacity to transform your thoughts and beliefs, enabling you to overcome any obstacles on your journey to personal growth and spiritual understanding.

Reversed Love MeaningReversed Career MeaningReversed Health Meaning
Breaking free from limitations or unhealthy relationshipsOvercoming career obstacles or breaking free from a negative work environmentImprove mental and emotional well-being; embrace a positive mindset

Love and Relationships – Reversed, The Eight of Swords

The Reversed Eight of Swords in a love reading can help you to let go and break away. If you’re in a relationship, it suggests a time of breaking free from emotional restrictions or feeling trapped within your situation, so be patient. 

It could mean that you or your partner have been struggling with communication issues or negative mindsets that have stunted the growth of the relationship, but don’t worry; this can likely be fixed

In love, be willing to remove the blindfolds of misunderstanding and miscommunication, allowing for a more authentic connection. As the swords fall away in the reversed position, you both can release yourself from any stagnancy keeping you down.

For those seeking love, examine the self-imposed limitations or past traumas that might be holding you back from embracing new relationships. This might be an opportunity to break free from old patterns and approach love with a fresh outlook.

Career and Work – Reversed, The Eight of Swords

In career readings, the reversed Eight of Swords indicates you’ve been feeling stuck or limited in your career path, and you’re antsy to break free, but there may have been reasons that you felt you had to stay, or you might have been pressured to stay by someone else.

Luckily, the reversed position suggests that you are now gaining a new perspective on your career and lifting these restrictions right off of you. No matter who puts them there, you’re ready to take them off, and this empowers you to take more control of your career’s direction.

The falling swords in the reversed card represent the release of mental blocks that might have been holding you back from exploring new opportunities or taking risks in your career. Now is the time to remove any blindspots and become the author of your story!

Health and Wellness – Reversed, The Eight of Swords

In health readings, the reversed Eight of Swords suggests that a positive wave is headed your way, bringing a chance to break free from physical and mental restrictions. If you have been feeling trapped or overwhelmed by health challengesrelief is likely on the way!

You are likely gaining a new perspective on your health after struggling with negative thoughts or self-imposed limitations related to your body and mind. Now is the time to let go of those limiting beliefs and embrace a more optimistic outlook.

Just as the swords fall away in the reversed card, you have an opportunity to elevate yourself and find more stability or awareness when it comes to selfcareFocus on proactive solutions and seek the right support, and it’ll be hard for you to lose!

Spiritual Context – Reversed, The Eight of Swords

The Eight of Swords reversed heralds a transformative shift when it comes to spiritual readings because when you’ve been feeling spiritually stuck or limited, this card suggests that a lightening of these spiritual burdens is coming.

The reversed position suggests that you are likely gaining a new outlook on your spiritual journeySelf-doubt and negative beliefs aren’t going to be holding you back as much, so feel free to remove those mental barriers and embrace a more optimistic approach.

The reversed Eight of Swords symbolizes the release of spiritual constraints that may have been keeping you stagnant, so this is an opportunity to explore new pathsideas, and connections with a newfound sense of freedom. The sky’s the limit!

When you see the Eight of Swords reversed, mental blockages are lifted, and self-confidence is restored.

The Eight of Swords: Yes or No

The Eight of Swords is most often a no and often means that there is a feeling of being trapped or limited by your thoughts and beliefs. It suggests that there might be challenges or obstacles in the situation at hand.

However, it also carries a message of potential liberation and growth. It asks you to face your fears and self-imposed restrictions, as doing so can lead to positive change and newfound freedom that might not have happened otherwise.

When seeking a “Yes” or “No” answer, it’s often a no in the presence of the Eight of Swords, but it might suggest that the situation is complex or in your head. Trust your intuition, but know that it’s most likely a negative answer.

When the Eight of Swords is here, the answer is no, or face your fears or remove restrictions that you’ve placed on yourself.

The Eight of Swords and Astrology

In astrology, the Eight of Swords aligns with the planet Saturn and the zodiac sign Gemini. Saturn represents disciplineresponsibility, and seriousness, while Gemini symbolizes communicationduality, and adaptability.

The influence of strict Saturn on the Eight of Swords highlights the limitations and challenges you face in life. It urges you to confront your fears and work diligently to overcome obstacles. If you can’t take responsibility for yourself, you might run into trouble!

Mercury, the ruling planet of Gemini, governs communication and mental processes. The Eight of Swords is a very mind-focused card, with most of the restrictions residing in mind and affecting your whole life from the inside out

Gemini’s curious and adaptable nature can also be seen in the card’s emphasis on needing to be self-aware. Just as Geminis thrive on gathering information, the Eight of Swords urges you to learn how to move forward.

The Nine of Swords’ energy will likely feel more natural to you if you’re a Gemini, and similarly, if you are an air sign, as Libra will understand becoming stuck and being indecisive, while Aquarius will understand restriction and overthinking.

The air signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius will emotionally identify with the Eight of Swords!

The Eight of Swords and Numerology

In numerology, the Eight of Pentacles is represented by the number 88 represents diligence, mastery, ambition, and abundance. 

The number is no slouch, asking you to put in that extra effort and keep being ambitious. Your fire can dim after you’ve been consistent for a while, and you might feel like your efforts aren’t getting you anywhere, but they are. 

Financial success and the building of structures are both indicated with the number 8, so don’t be afraid of embracing your inner boss when this number shows up for you. 

Number 8 helps us to stick with it when we feel like giving up because it reminds us what we’re really working toward.

The Eight of Swords as a Daily Card

As a daily card, the Eight of Swords encourages you to identify what’s holding you back. If you’re telling yourself that you’re not worth it, or you’re allowing yourself to play the background in your own life, it’s time to ask yourself why. No more negative self-talk! 

Pay attention to your thoughts today, as they can influence your actions and decisions, even if you’re not aware of how negative they really are. Take a moment to consider just how you’re feeling restricted, and make sure you’re not hesitant out of self-doubt.

The Eight of Swords asks you to confront these limitations and challenge yourself to see beyond them. It’s hard to catch yourself and try to rewire your thought process to be more positive, but it’s worth it in the end.

The Eight of Swords wants you to be sensitive and imaginative, but don’t let your imagination run away with you!

The Eight of Swords in Relation to Other Cards

All tarot cards have other cards in the major and minor arcana that back them up by complementing their energy or that challenge them by contrasting their energy. Are you doubling down, or finding a balance? Let’s find out!

  • Eight of Swords’s inner conflicts + The Chariot’s personal power The need to address doubts to harness personal power effectively
  • Eight of Swords’s self-imposed limitations + The Hanged Man’s surrender Accepting circumstances so that you can move on
  • Eight of Swords’s entrapment + The Sun’s optimism Clarity and positivity will overcome feelings of stagnancy
  • Eight of Swords’s stagnancy + The Tower’s chaos Shocking events breaking up the stagnant energy
  • Eight of Swords’s limitations + The Wheel of Fortune’s changeability Allowing fate to remove self-imposed limitations

Complementary Cards

In a tarot reading, certain cards complement the Eight of Swords, deepening its meaning and providing additional context.

These may include the:

  1. The Moon: The Eight of Swords shares the fearhidden emotions, and deep intuition with the Moon
  2. The Four of Swords: The Eight of Swords has the same stillness and need for recovery as The Four of Swords
  3. The Five of Cups: The Eight of Swords has a shared disappointment and emotional stagnancy that is similar to the Five of Cups
  4. The Three of Swords: The Eight of Swords shares struggleemotional pain, and worry with the Three of Swords
  5. The Devil: The Eight of Swords has a similar attachment, stagnancy, and entrapment like the The Devil

Contrasting Cards

When interpreting the Eight of Swords tarot card, it’s essential to consider contrasting cards that offer different perspectives and energies.

These may include the:

  1. The Sun: The Eight of Swords isn’t as joyful or optimistic as The Sun, indicating a need for more fun and joy in your life
  2. The Ace of Wands: The Eight of Swords isn’t as ambitious or enthusiastic as the Ace of Wands, indicating a need for more passion and excitement
  3. The Wheel of Fortune: The Eight of Swords isn’t as open to change or carefree as The Wheel of Fortune, indicating a need for more risk or spontaneity
  4. The Three of Cups: The Eight of Swords isn’t as celebratory or happy as the Three of Cups, indicating a need for more friendship and camaraderie
  5. The King of Wands: The Eight of Swords isn’t as confident or bold as the King of Wands, indicating a need to find more confidence and bravery

When the Eight of Swords is with a complementary card, it might be telling you to go for it, but in a specific way! If a card in the Eight of Swords is with a contrasting card, figure out what needs balancing out.


When you see the self-constrained Eight of Swords, you remember that your mind can create both blockages and pathways in your life. It reminds you that you can hold yourself back or set yourself free, and both have their pros and cons.

By being strong enough to challenge these limitations, you are able to unlock the power within yourself and embrace a life of growthempowerment, and freedom without fear that you will then be trapped again. That is unless you trap yourself again!

The Eight of Swords is waiting for you to embrace her as a catalyst for change and exploration, to empower you to break free from your own restraints and leave behind a life of limitations for one of freedom.


What does the Eight of Swords Tarot card symbolize?

The Eight of Swords symbolizes feeling trapped, restricted, and powerless in a situation, often due to self-imposed limitations or negative thought patterns.

What is the significance of the blindfold in the Eight of Swords Tarot card?

The blindfold represents a lack of awareness or clarity, suggesting that the individual may be unaware of their own potential or the solutions available to them.

How can the Eight of Swords Tarot card be interpreted in a love reading?

In a love reading, the Eight of Swords suggests feeling trapped or restricted in a relationship, possibly due to fear, insecurity, or communication issues.

What actions can be taken when the Eight of Swords appears in a Tarot reading?

The appearance of the Eight of Swords encourages self-reflection, breaking free from limiting beliefs, seeking support, and exploring new perspectives to overcome obstacles.

Is the Eight of Swords Tarot card always negative?

While the Eight of Swords often represents challenging situations, it also serves as a reminder that the power to break free lies within oneself, offering hope and potential for growth.

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