If you've never been blindfolded, it can be hard to know how it feels to be suddenly robbed of sight. Many people who haven't gone through it immediately jump to conclusions, assuming it wouldn't be hard to shake the bandage off your eyes or to manage movement without your sight. Most people, when blinded, instinctively throw their hands out in front of them. In order to prevent themselves from hitting anything hard or deadly, they feel around for walls, doors, and objects. But what if your hands are tied? You suddenly experience true helplessness – there is no way you can know your surroundings, and no way to safely move about. You're stuck.
Here we see a wide, open valley riddled with puddles and bits of water – in the distance we see a large, towering city on top of a hill or mountain. Immediately before us we see a young girl: her eyes are blindfolded, and she is caged in by a circle of swords stuck in the ground. The girl is also bound, so she cannot move her arms. The girl cannot see, but she knows she is surrounded by danger... unfortunately, she can't even reach out to feel where the swords my lay. There is undoubtedly ways that she could escape, but because of her blindness and her bound arms there is no way for her to safely proceed.
This card is the card of being trapped and feeling helpless. There are many finer aspects to this card, but the overarching theme is one of powerlessness. This can also mean that you feel you have become dependent on others, and cannot currently act for yourself. With helplessness comes a feeling of hopelessness – after all, it can be difficult to change your situation when you are powerless to aid yourself. When you see this card, evaluate your situation – is it you who feels this way, to someone close to you? Why?
This card could also mean that you are presently in a bad situation, but are afraid to move out of it for fear that the situation will only worsen. We see this often in our society – people afraid to hope and dream because their hopes and dreams have been shattered in the past. So they stay stuck in a place that they hate, doing things they despise, perhaps even being with people who are unhealthy (or at the very least that they cannot relate to).
Lastly, this card can showcase that you are feeling unsure of your situation. The woman in the picture might not know that she is surrounded by swords at all – she may think she is simply standing in the midst of an empty field. There's no way for her to know for certain where she is, so she may have some assumptions about it. This card may be saying that you have assumptions about your situation, but that the real situation is entirely different.
Wondering what the Eight of Swords could mean for you? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself in order to find out. Have you felt trapped recently? Why? Where does your feeling of helplessness stem from? Do you feel that you know your situation, or are you unsure? Always remember that you do have choices, and even being bound cannot take away your power – the girl has options, they simply aren't easy options.
Two cards remind me of the Eight of Swords, and those two are The Devil and the 9 of Swords. The Devil is obvious – both the Devil and the Eight of Swords feature people who are, to one level or another, trapped and bound. The 9 of Swords features the worry that comes from the helplessness in the Eight of Swords – the Nine is a perfect example of what an average, worry-filled night might look like if you find yourself in an Eight of Swords situation.