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Eight of Swords
by Diana

Card Meaning
Artistic Media
Artist's Bio


Two blue Octahedrons, one balanced on the other, form a figure 8. This figure is suspended in space. A set of four swords is placed within each Octahedron.


Pythagoras and Plato were my inspiration for this card. For the Greek naturalists and mathematekoi, there were five elements in the universe : ether, air, fire, water and earth. The interaction of these bring forth the universe as we know it. These elements were symbolised by geometric figures. The Air element (Air=Swords) was represented by a blue Octahedron - an eight faced geometric figure.

There are two Octahedrons in my card, and this for a number of reasons. Together, they form the figure Eight. One is placed delicately on top of the other, giving the notion of "a fine balance" which is so important for interpreting correctly the 8 of Swords. And for my third reason, I quote the great Plato himself : "Although [God] did make use of the relevant auxiliary causes, it was he himself who gave their fair design to all that comes to be. That is why we must distinguish two forms of cause, the divine and the necessary. First, the divine, for which we must search in all things if we are to gain a life of happiness to the extent that our nature allows, and second, the necessary, for which we must search for the sake of the divine. Our reason is that without the necessary, those other objects, about which we are serious, cannot on their own be discerned, and hence cannot be comprehended or partaken of in any other way."

The background colour of the card is to stay close to the tradition of the Tarot de Marseille. The brown colour of the border was chosen because the number 8 is often symbolised by the colour brown (or red).

Card Meaning

8 is the number of Equilibrium, Harmony and Balance. Swords refer to Mental activity.

How hard it is to find a Perfect Mental Balance. Our minds fill so rapidly with thoughts that throw us off kilter : fear, anger, sadness, worry, disappointment, pride ... or even too many " positive " thoughts, which can lead to an illusory euphoria. These thoughts can destroy all sense of Balance and even lead to mental and/or physical dis-ease.

The trick therefore is to find a Fine Balance. To try and keep the Divine and the Necessary in equilibrium. To place the swords in different positions so as they provide harmony, and not an imbalance. The Swords in my card are not placed in the way they need to be placed always. Because each situation requires a different solution. It is up to you to find out which is the most suitable, depending on the problem with which you are faced.

Don't forget that the same equilibrium kept for too long can mean stagnation, and too much stagnation can lead to death. A certain amount of flexibility is required.

Artistic Media


Artist's Bio

Diana was born in 1959 and grew up in apartheid South Africa. But for many years now she has been living in Switzerland, and loves eating Swiss chocolate. The Tarot of Marseilles is her passion and she believes it to be the only true Tarot, the only one that embodies with absolute perfection the Essence of the Tarot.... and the Essence of things unseen. Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free tarot reading with this deck.

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