I’ve written interpretations for every card in the Wild Unknown Tarot. As the box of the deck states, there are no rights or wrongs. These are simply my perspectives on the tarot card meanings. I hope you find them useful!
Click here for a directory of all posts in my Wild Unknown series.
Creator’s keywords: trapped, powerless
Carrie’s keywords: stuckness, limiting beliefs
Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
A butterfly is wrapped up tightly and hangs from a sword. Seven more swords surround the butterfly and lean in as though threatening to tear her apart if she moves. The horizontal background lines are stable, indicating that the energy is not expansive. The butterfly is bound up around itself, unable to stretch its wings, unsure how to navigate the surrounding swords.
This is the card that I associate with the concept of mental fog. This card shows those times where there seems to be no solution in sight, no matter how hard you try to think of one. The harder you think, the more trapped you believe you are. It’s that sensation of stuckness that can manifest in many challenging ways, and the Eight of Swords can indicate that your thoughts are contributing to your stuckness.
This card shows those times when you feel stuck, and worse yet, you doubt your own ability to disentangle yourself. It can become tempting to give up your personal power and wait for another person or an outside circumstance to offer assistance. But as swords are associated with the mental realm, the first thing you may need to check is your thoughts. Your own limiting beliefs might be the very foundation of your conundrum.
Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meanings in General
The imagery in the Wild Unknown is somewhat similar to the way this card is depicted in the iconic Waite-Smith tarot. The Waite-Smith version shows a human figure bound up, blindfolded, and surrounded by a fortress of swords. The blindfold hints that there may very well be a way out of this predicament, but that knowledge has not yet penetrated the conscious mind.
This card tends to show up when you are experiencing stuckness in some area of your life. This could come in the form of blocked creative energy, an unfulfilling work situation, or unconstructive repetitive thoughts. We all have inner narratives about ourselves and our lives. When you see the Eight of Swords, it may be necessary to re-evaluate your narratives.
When I’m reading for clients and this card comes up, I often suggest starting with one simple mental shift. Instead of dwelling on thoughts like “I’m so stuck!” Shift that mental energy to thoughts like “I can figure this out.” Just that small shift can make you more receptive to possibilities.
In a reading
This card can ask you to look at the stories you are telling yourself about your options. If you seem to be stuck or entrenched in mental fog, this card can remind you to take steps towards reclaiming your personal power.
Of course, this is easier said than done! You can begin by changing your thoughts, updating your stories. Instead of focusing on your confusion and lack of clarity, train yourself to look for steps – even small steps – towards freedom. When you consciously choose to loosen your mental constraints, a path forward will begin to emerge.