Eight Swords: Mental Bondage


Eight Swords Eight swords seem to surround a woman who stands on slippery ground. She is bound and hoodwinked, apparently trapped with no good end in sight. If this were a movie on TV, there would be a commercial now. Perhaps a break is what we need, as it allows a chance to look at this again.

Eights, as the first perfect cube (2x2x2=8) are the number of mulitiplicity and therefore, the eternal. The symbol for eternity is, correspondingly, a figure 8 upon its side.  Swords are the suit symbolizing the element of Air. As such they represent thought, ideas, decisions, knowledge, and all things legal or  literary.

Our figure is bound and blindfolded,  but these bindings are not tight. There is no one around. With a little more time alone she might wriggle free and remove that wool over her eyes. Nothing prevents her, yet making this initial move to escape is probably the scariest first step of all. The woman who at first glance seemed surrounded by swords we soon realize has only backed into them. Scared, most materially, because she is blindfolded and her footing is unstable while she stands on wet (probably slippery) rocks.

Swords are the suit of mental activity and this poor gal finds herself in a bad spot, trapped by her own thoughts. On closer examination, she is in no immediate danger she cannot easily get out of. Her bonds would slip off with a Hoola-hoop wiggle, the blades really only block her retreat, and she is alone. There is no one near to hinder her potential progress.

And sometimes progress means putting a halt to all the circular reasoning, and getting back on solid ground when we find ourselves backed into a sticky situation. Let’s hope she is soon bored with her self-imposed predicament and makes her easy escape, before panic sets in from imagined fears, our gal slips up and is perhaps truly hurt by the sharp blades of judgement behind her. Smith-Waite Tarot

Images from The Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck are used in this blog. They feature the artist, Pamela Colman Smith’s, original coloring and lovely back design. The cards are a bit oversized and printed on sturdy cardstock. This deck is one of my personal favorites. =:->AD Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. 

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