The key phrases for the mundane meanings of the Eight of Swords are LOSS OF HONOR or BUSINESS FAILURE.  Some of the other mundane interpretations for this card are:

Life’s limitations bring strength

Struggle to maintain balance

Frustration results from confining experiences

 Added responsibility brings worry

Disrupted routine of living

Both the astrological meaning and spiritual meanings of the Eight of Swords are symbolized by the vast constellation, Hercules.  In the human experience, very few of us get away without laboring.  Laboring in the fields, the office, the garden, the kitchen, cleaning, repairing, and culturing.  What better symbol to represent this very large portion of the human experience than the mightiest of all laboring men, Hercules.  He is best known for accomplishing twelve great, self-imposed labors.  The twelve labors of Hercules can be related to the twelve signs of the zodiac, wherein each sign contains a worst quality and a best quality.  Naturally, to move from the worst quality of a sign to the best quality of a sign requires a great deal of effort and practice.

Just as Hercules chose to labor, so each of us must take on the responsibility of manifesting the best qualities of each sign.  As the old adage claims, Practice Makes Perfect, and so it is with any endeavor from learning to play an instrument to learning how to maintain our tempers, change our bad habits, or make the best out of life’s little imperfections.  All of these goals require EXPERIENCE, which is the key word for the astrological meaning of the Eight of Swords.  By experience, we learn to feel satisfaction when we are doing the best that we possibly can and to recognize when we’re not living up to our own possibilities.   The Spiritual message is:  Perform conscientiously whatever work comes to thy hand, and because of thy experience, greater things to perform will be given thee.

To learn more about the Brotherhood of Light Egyptian Tarot, and the Hermetic tradition, visit our website at  This blog will resume the second week of January 2012 with a discussion of the Nines of the Minor Arcana.  Have a wonderful Holiday Season!



About letstalktarot

Allyn McCray began reading Tarot in 1971 after discovering a deck in an occult shop in San Francisco, California. In 1999, the American Tarot Association recognized her as a Certified Tarot Reader. During her experience as an Internet reader between 2000 and 2002, Allyn’s readings were regularly featured on the websites, Psychicnut and Roadtalk. In 2002, Allyn joined The Church of Light, aka Light.Org, a non-profit international school of esoteric studies, where she is now a Hermetician, Certified Teacher, and Minister. Allyn also serves as the Communications Director of The Church of Light and is a Section Advisor in The Order of the Sphinx.
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