Eight of Swords

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Synthetic Meaning

     The synthetic meaning of the Eight of Swords is characterized by the blue flower in the the oval which, placed at the enter and representing a square with two crosses, one spiritual and the other material, symbolizes an internal balance between the two infinities which coexist on the higher plane of Being, and indicates therefore the possibility of future liberation.

Analytic Meaning

     The 8 is resolved into two squares (8 = 4 + 4) which, as all that which is seen by analogy, differs at the extremes. The square breaks down geometrically in two ways: by the two line in a cross and by the two diagonals; the first symbolize the spiritual and the second the material. Their union in the shape of a square establishes a perfect stability; and the blue, which colors it to the exclusion of yellow and red, shows that it is uniquely produced by the psychism of Being.

     The four flowers on the outside on which yellow is equally absent are the sensible manifestations of work which is internal and conscious of Being, which uniquely realizes a fusion of the spiritual and the material.

     This fusion, taking place in a harmonious balance, engenders in Being a mystery, a desire, to reach out onto the planes of the Above.

   The yellow only appears in the operation of mental activities of mulling something over [malaxation], and this takes place in the subconscious currents of Being, represented by the stylized swords, an operation which takes place outside of his will.

     The Eight of Swords is the only even set of of Swords in which the hilt guards of the swords are placed like those of the odd cards: yellow on the right at the top and red to the left. As was already explained in the Three of Swords, it is because of its representation of a quaternary equilibrium and to indicate that divine intelligence, by this Arcanum, penetrates human activity.

Meanings As They Replace to the Three Planes

      MENTAL. Elevation of the spirit, a connotation of spiritual effort, of mystical momentum.

      ANIMISTIC. Disinterest, love servingthe masses, apostolate.

      PHYSICAL. Stability in action, stagnation, by virtue of the status quo, and which constitutes an established balance which would have to be disrupted in order to go in other directions.

      INVERTED.  As the Arcanum is symmetrical it cannot be inverted, indicating that it represents a balanced form from which nothing bad can emerge.


In its Elementary Sense, the Eight of Swords represents the effort of liberation of Man through an interior evolution, the consequence of his mental activities and which objectively translates as a reward conferred by fate.  

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