Inverted Eight of Swords

Interpretation

Inverted Eight of SwordsAleister Crowley called this card a “tendency to mysticism.” Temper this with Florence Farr‘s definition to “take the limits off common experience,” and you get to the heart of this card. It asks us to look past our preconceived notions and make necessary changes. This can be summed up by the following passage:

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
-Chapter 5: Wool and Water, Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll

We are wise to take the Queen’s advice. When you receive this card, close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Imagine the “impossible.” Can you see it? Is it clear? Now feel the surrounding swords slice through those ropes. Remove your blindfold. Rinse and repeat.

Interactions

The Seven of Swords only interacts with the Lovers.

Major Arcana

Lovers: If any cards from the suit of Swords come after the Lovers, it indicates the end of a relationship.

The Suit — Swords

The sword cuts and dissects. Swords represents the element of air. They are intellect. They are double-sided, which allows them to both damage and heal. The images in the suit might be alarming to some, but they are not simply aggressive. Yes, we can use blades to inflict pain, but we also use them to carve, shave, and trim.

Number — 8

Eight is a number of movement, power, and adjustment.

The Inversion

There is nothing to fear with an inversion. Mary K. Greer explains in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, that an inverted card may be interpreted in one or more of these twelve ways:

  1. Blocked or Resisted
  2. Projected
  3. Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
  4. Inner, Unconscious, Private
  5. New or Dark Moon (if you are reading cards from a round deck)
  6. Breaking Through, Overturning, Refusing, Changing Direction
  7. The Opposite of the Upright Meaning, or Lacking
  8. Excessively
  9. Misused or Misdirected
  10. The Upright Meaning Backward
  11. A Rectification or Cure
  12. Magical, Unconventional, or Humorous

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