Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week, May 26-June 1, 2014: Eight of Swords

Eight of SwordsWhat’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?
~ Brene Brown

This week of the New Moon in Gemini, we receive a 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, as is so often the case in the Tarot, this is a card that beckons us to take a closer look.

For is she, in fact, so helpless? Where are her attackers? Of what or whom is she at the mercy?

There are no enemies to be seen. It would seem instead she is simply ringed by eight swords. Eights are about organizing, expansion, and how we overcome challenges to move forward. And the Swords are the suit of air, attitude, communication, thought, and vision.

With her blindfold, and hemmed in by the swords, it would seem that intellect, ideas, perception, and opinion prevent her from taking action. Procrastination, perfectionism, or victim-thinking may be in play here.

Because after all, as distressed as she seems, is she actually lost in some trackless wilderness? No, it appears that safety and shelter are quite nearby, as you can see by the castle in the distance.

Is she on the edge of some precipice or about to be swept off by roaring wind or waves?

No. The sea, or maybe a lake, is off in the distance. Near her there are only shallow, remarkably tame puddles, and the land is flat and nonthreatening.

Are her legs and feet tied? Is she truly unable to move? It would seem not. Her only challenges are her bound arms, and her blindfold. It might not be easy, but she could simply walk away.

How and Why Are You Stuck?

What do we believe binds us to our own unhappiness? And what guru, lover, savior, healer, or leader do we wait (and wait, and wait) for, to sweep us away and fix our unhappy circumstances?

What triggers our thinking that we are stuck and helpless?  I’ve heard lots of heart-breaking stories in my years as a reader: patterns of suffering set in motion and repeated over and over, blamed on childhood trauma, or lack of faith in life, or wounds regarding self-worth. I’ve even met people who believe that they are fulfilling a life sentence of sorrows, because they are paying for past-life karma.


What we can see, that the Eight of Swords woman cannot, is that the swords are no threat.

From behind, they form a protective semicircle. And before her, as intimidating as it might seem, the one 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?

We listen to too many opinions, we give up on our dreams, struggle with “analysis paralysis,” and stay stuck in our self-pity and blindness, rather than risk the discomfort of change, vulnerability, and the unknown.

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

This week of the New Gemini Moon, a new beginning is upon us. And we are in the final hurrah of the powerful Jupiter/Saturn trine that began almost a year ago, and which is giving us a huge opportunity to create a brilliant new level of success in our lives.

So on this threshold of a fresh start, with the support of a big astrological boost, we are encouraged to get real about what holds us in check. How might we have bargained away our authenticity in order to stay stuck in situations that are unpleasant, but familiar?

How do we undermine ourselves with procrastination, distraction, drama, and perfectionism? What toxic old stories need to be released once and for all? How are we afraid of being too big, too powerful, too much?

Although we may feel at times that we are in the dark, or bound by challenges, this week is the ideal moment to, as Lynn Hayes so beautifully describes it, “use the faith and confidence of Jupiter, and Saturn’s discipline and focus to take the steps required to lead you into this emboldened future.”

Insisting that we are stuck makes it so. The antidote is to act.

Embrace how you feel, what you believe, who you really are.

Walk forward, and be free.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • May 27, 2014, 12:56 pm Gillian Knebel

    Thank you for this article about the Eight of Swords – this is a nice bit of synchronicity for me, as I had drawn this card a little while earlier today, as the advice card in a spread and this helps deepen my knowledge of what the advice actually is…..I really like the way you align astrology with tarot, altogether helpful.

  • May 31, 2014, 2:45 am Angelina Brown

    I like astrology with tarot. I have read your post and i have spend a good time spend with your post.