Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

Tarot, like astrology, has long been one of our favorite divination systems. Interpreting either takes practice. As you learn, we wanted to help you to quickly connect to the cards and use them in ways that are actionable and practical in every area of life. xoxo, Tali & Ophira

Co-authored by James Kerti

What does the Eight of Swords tarot card mean?

The Eight of Swords denotes a sense of being stuck or trapped in a situation. You may feel like your hands are tied or you’re backed into a corner.

One of the key themes of this card is that while you may be feeling helpless, you have the power to change your circumstances. The Eight of Swords tells you that if you’re willing to look for a way forward, you will be able to find one—even if it’s a different outcome than the one you hoped for.

Even when it seems as if something has control over you, is that the truth? Upon deeper examination, you might realize that you’ve given your power to that person or entity. Recognizing this reality is the first step to releasing yourself from this trap.

What is the Eight of Swords zodiac sign?

The zodiac sign of the Eight of Swords is Gemini

Eight of Swords Tarot Guide

Keywords for the Eight of Swords: Feeling trapped or stuck, helpless, powerless, negative thoughts, victim mentality

Yes or No: No

Planet of the Eight of Swords: Mercury

Element of the Eight of Swords: Air

What does the Eight of Swords card mean in a love reading?

When the Eight of Swords comes up in a love reading, it may correspond to you feeling trapped within a relationship. Does that sound about right? If so, the energy of this card is telling you to keep searching for a way out of this bind.

Is binding the feeling coming from something your partner is doing? Or are external circumstances at play? It’s currently unclear how to shift the dynamic. The Eight of Swords suggests there are possible actions, under your control, to break the gridlock you’re experiencing.

In some cases, that may mean initiating a conversation you’ve been avoiding. In the case of a relationship that is truly toxic or abusive, you might need to reach out to others for support.

For singles, the Eight of Swords can indicate a victim mentality about love—or even a romanticized “someday my prince will come” reverie. Perhaps you’re waiting to be “rescued” by a special someone who will make everything “okay.”

This card is here to gently remind you of the importance of self-love and finding a sense of wholeness on your own. Otherwise, you risk being stuck in codependent relationships—or driving a partner away by being too needy.

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What does the Eight of Swords tarot card mean for career, money and finance?

The Eight of Swords tends to appear in a career reading for people who are feeling stuck in their jobs, frequently because their livelihood is tied to that paycheck. Switching jobs or careers can be hard, and it’s often not something easily done overnight.

There is always a way forward. Although it may take some out-of-the-box thinking. If you’re looking for a change, the next step may be asking for help or support from someone whose wise perspective you trust. It can be hard to think clearly when you’re the one in it!

In a financial reading, the Eight of Swords can mean feeling weighed down by financial obligations, including debts and core responsibilities. This card suggests looking for ways, even small ways, to improve your financial circumstances and start building momentum. You might identify a few options for cutting spending, consolidating debt or look for methods to earn a little extra money on the side.

What does the Eight of Swords tarot card mean for health?

The Eight of Swords in a health reading may be connected with mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression and trauma. You may be struggling with persistent issues that lead to you feeling trapped and powerless. If so, the Eight of Swords urges you to get the support you need, including from a mental health professional.

This card can sometimes be associated with issues related to sight, including migraines or vision problems.

Eight of Swords Tarot Card in Reverse Meaning

When the Eight of Swords comes up in reverse, it can be a much more welcome sign than when it is upright.

In this case, it represents regaining your power and releasing yourself from entrapment.

If you’ve been trying to do the work to regain control over a situation that has been weighing you down, this card reversed might be the confirmation you’ve been hoping for. It is telling you that you’re on the right track and can keep going. You’re freeing yourself from past restrictions. While that’s not an easy thing to do, you’re on your way. Keep going!

Is the Eight of Swords tarot card a yes or no?

As the Eight of Swords represents feeling trapped in negativity, it is a no when it shows up in a yes or no reading.

What does the Suit of Swords mean?

Swords are associated with air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), which get things moving, acting as the winds of change. Air energy is communicative, and people with air signs like to connect and share ideas.

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Feature art by Diana Hlevnja