Tarot Tuesday: 8 of Swords

In my first post discussing the meaning of individual tarot cards, I though it fitting to start out with a card that could represent why I might not have started in the first place.

To put it simply, the 8 of swords is all about feelings of fear.

Looking at how the card is depicted in the popular illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith (under the instruction of A. E. Waite), we see a woman in woman in red standing above fetid, murky water. She is bound in rope and wearing a blindfold. Around her, eight long swords a re stabbed into the ground. At first. She seems helpless.

This connects to a primary meaning of this card. That feeling of fear and helplessness. That fear can make us feel like a victim. Like we are restricted and helpless.

Fear also adds to our confusion, and such confusion further leads to indecision.

The initial mood of this card is rather bleak, but look again. Are there guards? Do the ropes seem overly tight? What is forcing the woman to stay in such conditions? Nothing but fear.

Can this be applied to our own lives? Fear can immobilize us, but how much of those fears are simply the fear of action?

While this card does emphasize the feeling aspect of fear, it also serves as a message that many times we are simply in a prison of our own making. We do not need to wait for rescue, but simply start taking positive action ourselves.

From the Golden Thread Tarot

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