Eight of Swords is a card I can personally relate to, I have overcome its restrictive energies.
I have posted before about my battle with chronic pain, this card is how I beat it. Well, not quite, I still have it, and still struggle with it at times. But on the whole, I now live a relatively normal life. It took me a long time to get to this point, to realize I held the key all along.
Chronic pain is pretty well summed up in the Eight of Swords. She is bound, blind and helpless. If she moves, she will be cut and experience terrible pain. Here she has two choices: She can stand, frozen, frightened, and remain trapped, stuck in place among the Swords. Or, she can gather her wits, unlock the powers of her mind and find a way out. Notice behind her, there is a gap in the Swords, that seemingly surround her. It might take a long time to work herself free of the ropes that bind her, but even so, it is better than being frozen in place.
The rope represents the mind. It is the way that you think about your circumstances, that decides how bad it will be for you. To remind yourself of those that are so much worse off than you is a good start. Someone, right now, is breathing their last. Little kids with terminal cancer, but still with a positive attitude and a smile on their face. Children in third world countries that are starving, but are still so happy to receive the smallest of things. There are plenty more examples. Take a look at these things, and you realize that maybe, just maybe, things really could be worse.
The blindfold represents willful blindness. She refuses to see a path out, a future for herself. Behind her is a castle, shrouded in fog. If only she can find release, the castle, no doubt, will be hers. The castle here, is all her wishes and wildest dreams for herself. But she doesn’t see this, nor the gap in the Swords. She doesn’t want to. She is too busy feeling sorry for herself and blaming others for her predicament. She could also be using drugs or drinking heavily to numb her pain, but this is only helping to distort her predicament. We also see a lake in the background, it is calm and clear. It symbolizes the emotions, and the emotional state she needs to reach. Only then can she achieve the mental clarity she needs to be able to see her way out. When your emotions are in turmoil, everything seems so much worse than it truly is and it is impossible to think clearly and decide the way forward.
Meditation is a big step now. Focusing the mind, clearing it of all the negativity and defeatist thinking. This is what helped me gain control over my pain levels. I can now tune out, relax, and actually get some sleep. Being sleep deprived is no help at all, it all just becomes a vicious cycle.
If our heroine can achieve these things, find some faith in herself, her ability and her body, which has seemingly turned on her; she will then find she is able to slip her bonds and walk away from the restrictions of these eight swords.
Only then can she begin her journey towards her castle.
Her castle, her healing.