"It is best to heed the message of that beam of light, for verbal fencing, double entendre and less than honest reasoning can become a tangled web that gradually tightens around us. We become boxed in by our own schemes and secrets. It can happen swiftly or gradually over time, but we are seldom truly cognizant of it until we come to our senses and realize we are caught in complex cage built of our own devices...a true Eight of Swords moment." [Seven of Swords, Blue Rose Tarot]
The Eight of Swords indicates the presence of restrictive situations or thought-patterns; the entrapment or imprisonment of our traveler by circumstance. However, it should always be kept in mind that such restrictive situations are largely due to an individual’s own actions, outlook or even upbringing.
Fanatical belief systems, intolerant or prejudicial mindsets, ordinary narrow-mindedness, petty attitudes…all are manifestations of the Eight of Swords.
This excessive attention devoted to small things or details, while neglecting to comprehend the larger picture, fences us in. We literally cannot see the forest for the trees. Each symbolic tree becomes, not a thing of beauty, but rather, a steel bar that only serves to obstruct our view.
Our traveler, imprisoned behind bars forged from the machinations of his own mind, sits in this cage of his own making; a cage entombed within the bricked walls of his rigid, narrow-minded attitudes and thought-patterns.
Failing to heed the messages and caution of the Eight of Swords, he sits, frustrated and alone, blaming his feelings of entrapment upon others, refusing to admit, even to himself, that he is exactly where he has positioned himself to be.
Intellectual energy, so pure at its moment of inception, undergoes many twists and turns the longer it resides in the formative world. Although it is late in the suit, there is still hope, still the opportunity to heed the message of the card and attempt to alter the pattern of intellectual behavior and perceptions which are currently being manifested.
For just above the imprisoned traveler, set within the brick vault of his intellect, there is a small window. A window of opportunity just big enough for our traveler to crawl through. To do this, he must be like the beautiful bird imprisoned in the cage just above him. He must intellectually rise…elevate himself above the trees so that he can glimpse the forest. If he can accomplish this, his mind will be free enough to dream…to desire and actively seek out intellectual and spiritual liberation.
By doing so, the door to his cage will open, and his mind will be released to fly towards that small window and escape…perhaps back to the Six where knowledge and intellect manifest so harmoniously.
The alternative is to continue to sit within that cage. The unrelenting stress and oppressiveness of residing within such a dwelling will lead the traveler directly to the mental anguish of the Nine of Swords.