This week, we receive a very rare visit from the Eight of Swords. This is a card that at first is rather disturbing, for here is the damsel in distress, trapped, surrounded by swords, blindfolded and helpless. But this, as in most of the Tarot, is a card that beckons us to take a closer look.
For is she, in fact, so helpless? Where are her attackers? Nowhere to be seen. Is she lost in some trackless wilderness? Actually it appears that safety and shelter are quite nearby, as you can see by the castle in the distance. Is she on a dangerous precipice? No. There are puddles but the land is flat and nonthreatening. Are her legs and feet bound? Is she truly surrounded, unable to move? It would seem not. Her only enemy is her blindfold, for it is her fear and ignorance keeping her from simply walking away.
If only she could see, she might realize that the swords are no threat. From behind, they form a protective semicircle. And before her, as intimidating as it might seem, the sword that stands alone could help her cut her bonds. Her liberation is only a few paces away, if she could just trust herself to walk forward and find it.
How often is this the case in our own lives? Whether we choose not to see, or whether we have indeed fallen prey to deception, there is in truth absolutely no reason not to change whatever our unhappy circumstances might be…except that we so strongly believe in the reality of our prison.
This week, you are invited to take stock of what holds you in check. In what ways do you feel thwarted from your desires, your goals, or your happiness? What do you believe is holding you back? It may be true that there are barriers, but are you so helpless, really? What hesitation, fear, or illusion is acting as your blindfold?
Like the woman, we might need to take a fearless look at whether we are playing the victim. Could this be preventing us from taking the needed steps forward? Insisting that we are stuck makes it so. The antidote is to act.
It will require courage and perhaps some blind faith, but it is time to walk free from a bad situation. We do not need to be rescued, for we are as free as we choose to be.