Online Guide to the Tarot

Meanings of the Cards

The Tarot is more than a simple pack of cards. The pack itself comprises 78 cards which combine to form the 'arcana' - symbolic representations of ancient wisdom. These are divided into The Major and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana comprises 22 “trump” cards covering pretty much all aspects of human experience (and quite a bit of divine stuff too). The 56 'Minor' cards are split into the four elemental suits of Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Though these Suits have a variety of names, depending upon which deck you happen to be looking at, we stick here with those names accorded them in the Thoth Tarot deck, whose images you see across the site. 

The Eight of Swords

The Lord of Interference is the card that comes up to indicate deliberate or accidental interference with the natural flow of energy. This may come from inside ourselves, or from an outer (and possibly malicious) source. It often signals problems with endurance, inability to make decisions, lack of concentration on important details, and overall disturbance.

At best, the Eight of Swords will indicate a period where nothing goes quite the way you want it to. At worst it will indicate an obstructive and difficult period where serious damage can be done to our material environment, our emotional balance and our overall sense of well-being.

When you draw this card (or are interpreting it for another person) you need first to try to isolate the source of the problem. If it is an inner imbalance, then you'll see cards like Seven of Cups, Seven of Swords or Ten of Wands coming up nearby. If it is an outer force which is causing trouble, then you're more likely to see the Tower, Nine of Swords or a court card indicating another person.

The solution to this influence is more simple than you might at first imagine - if you're giving yourself a hard time, then accept what is happening and drop the project for a short time, delay making the decision - in short, stop banging your head against the wall! Sometimes this kind of interference is exacerbated by astrological or lunar phases - so let seven days pass by during which you do things which satisfy you, which flow easily, and which help you to rest. Then come back and tackle the original matter again.

If interference comes form an outside source, then withdraw yourself from that source, and again, rest and do things you want to do. Return to the issue that has been causing the problem once you have had time to gain perspective and a little more insight.

If you are ever unfortunate enough to find the Eight of Swords coming up to indicate a long-term problem, it will almost always be deliberate and malicious interference from another person. If you have attracted unwelcome attention from somebody, and you are doing nothing whatsoever to feed their spite, then you must remove yourself as a target. No good can come of engaging in this type of situation. And often, when a person's barbs are no longer hitting the mark (or even if they are, your attacker doesn't know that they are) they will find somebody else to direct their negativity toward - there's nothing more unsatisfying than making an enemy of somebody who completely ignores you!

The Eight of Swords

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