The number 8 represents balance, systems, regeneration and structure. Swords represent reason, thought, logic, will, courage, verbal skill, matters pertaining to the mind and survival in the world and the element of air. This card can often suggests that the querent is trapped by her own fears but has the ability to free herself.
“You’re actively organizing or reworking something you’ve said or written. You’re looking at your lifestyle and activities and finding ways to re-prioritize what you’re doing so that your schedule more closely matches your values. You’re examining your communication patterns and making some decisions about which patterns you prefer.” – Gail Fairfield
The Tarot of Dreams 8 of Swords shows a nude woman encased in a clear sphere hovering above 8 upright swords. Her back is to us and she seems to be touching the edge of the sphere but whether she is trying to free herself or test the limits of her captivity is unclear. On the Ferret 8 of Swords, a ferret is struggling ferociously to free herself from a leash. Despite the fact that it symbolizes a certain amount of safety and security, it also signifies domesticity and captivity. Obviously the ferret is not willing to sacrifice her freedom for security. Of course she also doesn’t realize that is she relaxed a bit more, she might find it easier to free herself from the leash.
I completely understand that feeling – trapped and yet unwilling or unable to free myself. My entrapment is not because of external bonds but internal ones. My own inner demons and self-doubts keep me encased in this prison. It feels somewhat more secure but that’s because I already know its limitations and it gives the illusion of safety. Limitations can serve a purpose, especially when one is still learning a craft or skill because it can prevent you from harming yourself or others. But when we impose those limitations on ourselves, then we risk stunting our growth. I think that is how I feel right now – stunted. A variety of factors have consolidated in such a way that I’ve let myself become entrapped and leashed.
Now I’m tired of feeling that way. I need to start challenging those beliefs that are holding me back. I need to create some structure and establish new priorities for myself. One of the benefit of having my “world” fall apart when I was laid off is that I was able to move beyond the edge of my world into dragon territory. Things I did not believe I could live without, I now realize are not essential to my life. I no longer want to work at a 9-5 job for someone else. I don’t need that kind of security anymore. So I have broken beyond some of my previously self-imposed barriers. Now it’s time to break down some more.