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Eight of Swords — Spiritual Message of the Day

February 16, 2011

Eight of Swords -- Tarot of the Masters

We are not troubled by things, but by the opinions which we have of things.” — Epictetus

The Eight of Swords says that our thoughts and beliefs blind us and bind us. And one of the most insidious of our misconceptions is the belief that our perceptions of the world are the total truth and reality of it.  Reality, however, is like a huge castle with many, many rooms, and we’re merely peering into it through one particular window, and it’s a very small, dark, and distorted window at that.

And so we need to realize that there is always more to any situation — such as, for example, what’s going on in our relationship with someone else — than what we see of it and what we think about it. And when (or if) we finally do learn the rest of that story, we inevitably find more understanding and compassion for the other person, and perhaps for ourselves as well. This sort of discovery is freeing.

So today, consider this. Are you in a difficult relationship that is causing you stress, sadness or anxiety? (This doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship. It can be with someone at work, a friend, or a family member.)  You can’t really know what this person’s journey is all about, so keep that in mind. We all have our own lessons to learn and we have to learn them in our own way and in our own time. In the meantime, though, it will help you to try to see things from the other person’s point of view. If you can do that, you will actually gain a degree of freedom from the resulting expansion of your perception.

If you enjoy these words of spiritual advice from the cards, you will love my new Tarot book called The Soul’s Journey: Finding Spiritual Messages in the Tarot.


  1. Great insights! Thanks for sharing, James. This card just came up in a relationship reading for how two people complement each other and your post helped me understand that what first seemed like a ‘negative’ card in this position could be taken to mean that they are on a journey towards greater empathy and compassion. They are having to pierce the illusion and increase their understanding.

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