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Pithy Tarot meanings — Eight of Swords

August 9, 2014

Eight of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersEight of Swords:
The toughest limitations to overcome are the ones we believe about ourselves.

And now for a not-so-pithy expansion on this meaning:

I wrote the above pithy meaning for the Eight of Swords a little while ago, and then just today I found a wonderful article that relates to it and that you can use to incorporate a deeper understanding of this card into your Tarot work. The article, which is by Tara Brach, is called “Awakening From the Trance of Unworthiness,” and I recommend it. You can also hear Ms. Brach speak on this topic in a clip on the SoundsTrue website.

Here is a brief excerpt from that article:

Many of us have grown up with parents who gave us messages about where we fell short and how we should be different from the way we are.

And the following is something I picked up from the audio clip:

It’s in the difference between “how I should be” and “how I am” that we find the “Trance of Unworthiness.”

Brach also says that this difference is implanted in us from both our parents and our culture, and then we internalize it. The result is that we are wounded by our unmet need to be understood and loved for who we are. Consequently, I think that this card and this pithy meaning for it are related to and shed light on a few other cards, as noted below:

The Five of Swords can indicate the wounding that comes from feeling that you are not being understood.

The Five of Cups can indicate the wounding that comes from feeling that you are not loved, at least not for who you really are.

And the Five of Pentacles can say that you feel you don’t belong, that you have been shut out.

Again, I recommend the article and audio clips noted above for more detailed explanations about all this.

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