(Imprisonment, Restriction, Oppression)
This card can be quite daunting. The figure stands in a circle surrounded by swords. Usually, we take this card to mean she is somehow imprisoned by the swords. Yet, over the years, I've been overwhelmed with the number of times, I've instead seen the potential within the card. The potential here? She can easily step through or around the swords at any time. However, something internal keeps her from taking that first, crucial step toward release.
So, today, the mission is to find out what is keeping us in a prison of our own making. The eight of swords challenges us to look at our unconscious patterns, to assess them, and to change the ones that no longer suit us. As a sword suit card, it ultimately focuses in on the way we think and plan. It gives us the opportunity to cultivate a mindful practice about our own inner workings and to modify what needs it. It's a knight's quest, to be sure since it takes us on one of the most harrowing of all journeys, the journey to ourselves.
Have you ever seen Braveheart? Do you remember his heart word? Even in the most arduous of circumstances, he remembers and screams his word of power for all to hear.
Freedom! He cries and rallies all to the cause. And that's what we can do today. We can cry, "Freedom!" and release ourselves from our internal bonds.