Eight of Swords – Tarot card meaning

Eight of Swords - Rider Waite Minor Arcana - Swords

The Eight of Swords is a frustrating card to behold. We have all been in the situation where no move seems like a good move. There seems to be no right choice, and even doing nothing won’t help.

Complete frustration, impossibility and restriction on life are all the general themes of the Eight of Swords.

Card meanings


The past may have been a restricted, controlled time for you. This could be a strict upbringing with controlling parents, or a possibly less than perfect relationship. You’re likely free of these restrictions now and life is on the upswing.

The Eight of Swords reflects this difficult past situation. At the time you may not have had the right tools to escape as quickly as you did.

It can take time to get over the past, especially if we haven’t had help along the way. You managed to work past a difficult situation and you’ll soon start to feel more free and alive.


You may currently be in a very ugly situation indeed. The Eight of Swords shows that you may currently be struggling with an aspect of your life. You could be in pain,either emotionally or physically, when you try to tackle this problem.

Remember that everything in life is transient, and so this feeling will too go away. If you give it time, things will eventually be okay.

The key to living with this type of situation is control. Don’t get overemotional when you think about your problems. Try not to act out, even if your problems get the better of you. Find somebody to help. Find somebody to talk to. The Eight of Swords represents the feeling of being stuck with no obvious escape, but there is a way out. There always is.


The Eight of Swords is not a good card to see in the future position. Treat it as a warning; if you continue on your current path, you may find yourself in too deep with no way out. Is it worth it? Is this what you really want? The future is malleable, it can be changed if you wish it, as nothing is set in stone.

The Eight of Swords, while reminding you of a future time of struggle and pain, reminds us that life is not without it’s negative sides. No matter how good your life is, you will experience the bad.

Work, careers and education

The Eight of Swords in regards to your education or career may represent a tough upcoming period. You may be feeling trapped, lost and alone, with no idea where to turn. This happens a lot, especially early on in our careers. You can use these experiences as a time to grow and shine and prove to yourself and others that you are a capable person.

Any type of change is painful, and if you have an upcoming choice to make, then each choice will hurt in it’s own special way. You need to think about what is most important to you, and for your future.

Love and Relationships

The Eight of Swords is not a card you want to see when drawing for relationships or love. Things may not be going well for you, regardless of your current status. This may still be a period you can survive through, but it will be tough.

Relationships can be painful, there will always be stress and hurt when dealing so closely with emotions. You may need to break a subject with your partner which you know will hurt them.

If you are single, then don’t worry. This period will end eventually. Right now you should focus on yourself, and solve your own issues, don’t patch up your negatives with the positives of others. The Eight of Swords can show that you are feeling trapped alone, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that a partner is a good choice either.


You may be having money issues when you see the Eight of Swords. While you should be aware that these problems will be over one day, that doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t start doing something about them.

Cutting down on treats and non-essentials may just be the key. It will hurt, but in the long run you’ll be better of without. Try not to get too emotionally attached to things. After all, everything changes, nothing is permanent.

Health and well-being

The Eight of Swords is not a good card to draw for health. You may feel like life is treating you unfairly, and maybe it is. Sadly, life is not fair. Some of us are have much worse luck than others. How you deal with these issues is key, you can rise above them or wallow in pity within them. Please take care of yourself.

Other associations

Element: Air

As a Yes or No question: No


Stuck, lost, blind, alone, pain, bad choices, restriction, traps

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