8 of Swords

Drawing the 8 of Swords is never an enjoyable experience. For one thing, feeling tied, shackled, bound and blindfolded is not exactly fun, unless one likes to indulge in masochistic tendencies. In the Golden Tarot, the background adds to the feeling of alienation with an icy landscape where only hardy trees can survive.

The 8 of Swords is all about feeling powerless, although this is a state of mind rather than actual physical, concrete reality. I am not in prison, or dependent on drugs, or held captive by anyone. I wanted to hide this card back in the pack and draw another one, but had to face its message since I knew what the lady in the card is feeling. Looking back on it, in many ways this is such an apt card for being in a new country and trying to get a sense of normality in an unfamiliar landscape: everything is foreign, social networks are not yet formed, and so one is restricted and feelings of powerlessness can creep up.

So I thought I’d practice what I preach about tarot and empowerment (I’m a fire sign. Preaching comes so naturally.) and draw a second card on what I need to do to change this situation. The 7 of Pentacles was eerily spot on. Visually it is very striking – wouldn’t you say it’s the same woman from the first card, only now she is standing in lush surroundings appreciating the beauty all around her.

In one way, you could say getting out among trees and gardens and flowers and enjoying the verdant abundance of spring is a good way of healing the 8 of Swords. And that is true, on every occasion I take myself outside and sit under oaks I feel so grounded and serene. Just watching a tree be, standing in silence, and contemplating it is a healing process.

And yet, I feel the message here goes a bit deeper. It’s as if the card is saying: you already have everything, yet you focus on what you don’t have, you focus on the past. This is an exceptionally strong pattern that runs in my family, and I think in the whole of humanity. There is no specific action I need to take – just open my eyes and my heart a little more. After being in the darkness for so long, this can be incredibly painful, this simple realisation that opens the floodgates of grief and lets some sun in.

It made me think of this picture a friend posted online.

Many blessings and much love to you all,


10 thoughts on “8 of Swords

  1. Magic Mentha October 19, 2011 / 4:00 pm

    Gorgeous photographs and nice post. LOL @ fire signs preaching!

    Understandable for you to feel alienated and confused in a new land. I think it’s so cool that you moved there and are starting afresh, even with the crazy adjustment period.

    Hugs Galore,

  2. Monica October 19, 2011 / 9:54 pm

    Thank you Mentha. I guess you may know about preaching 😉 he he. Had a beautiful day today, it was just perfect – funny I know. Cultivating good energy and feelings of peace is important.

    I’m amazed by your posts in the midst of all the house craziness. Even poetry!

    Big hug and blessings.

    • Magic Mentha October 20, 2011 / 6:00 am

      Lol. Thanks, Monica.

      I can’t take credit for the poetry–it is just what comes with the deck descriptions, but thanks for the compliment. 🙂


  3. Sharyn/AJ October 20, 2011 / 3:43 am

    Beautifully blended, understanding and empowerment.

    • Monica October 20, 2011 / 9:33 pm

      Thank you Sharyn. Many blessings and I hope you have a beautiful weekend ahead.

  4. Digital Dame October 20, 2011 / 7:35 am

    Gosh I love these cards, they are so evocative. I think I’m kind of in the same place, with regard to trying to learn to enjoy what I have. I am too much a creature of habit, any ripples in the routine and I get all out of whack.

    Love those flowers in the glass, what are they?

    I do hope you start feeling more at home soon. I’m sure you’ll find new wonders and delights there, it just takes a little while. I’m sure it won’t be long before you feel more at home. You have such great energy, good things will be attracted to you 🙂

    • Monica October 20, 2011 / 9:36 pm

      I confess that 1) I don’t know what the flowers are and 2) I nicked them from someone’s garden… or rather the mini front garden of a business block. 🙂

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. Yes, things are “settling”. They say it takes a minimum of 6 weeks to get adjusted to new places – I’m officially at the 2 month mark so it’s getting easier. Many blessings.

  5. Ditto October 20, 2011 / 8:36 pm

    I have drawn the 8 of swords for the month of October, hmmm how has it gone? I have been aware of my negative thought patterns, and how paralysing they can be. Anxiety is what keeps me stuck in the mud instead of climbing up to the castle. Awareness is the key I think and if I challenge those thoughts they lose their power.

  6. Monica October 20, 2011 / 9:42 pm

    Thank you Paula 🙂 Yeah it certainly doesn’t win the “favourite card contest” but it’s key to self-learning it seems. Mental paralysis is very apt description for this card. Hope all is well in godzone. Many blessings!

  7. how to astral projection August 1, 2013 / 2:23 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and
    I will be waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.

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