Lesson 57 – Eight of Swords

This reminds me of that playground game, stuck in the mud.  If I remember rightly (it’s been a while since I played it!) it is a bit like chase.  Someone is “on”.  When they tag you they say “stuck in the mud” and you have to freeze.  Someone else who is being chased can free you by tagging you again.

This card shows me this sense of  being stuck.  You’re transfixed.  But usually you chose it, like in the game, you made it happen and you can get out.

I’ve been in this place more than once.  Recently this card has been cropping up a lot, while I internally bemoan situations before realising I always have a choice.


Images on my cards show a blindfolded figure. To me this speaks about not being able to see straight, having vision impaired.  It also speaks of choosing not to see; it can be more comfortable to close our eyes and pretend we can do nothing.  There are often swords arranged around the figure, forming a kind of fence.  But it isn’t an impenetrable fence, s/he could get out with a little careful side-stepping.  And side-stepping is what is called for; a different way around. The Wild Unknown has a chrysalis suspended, which speaks to me of the need to fight your way out into new ways of being.  If the butterfly doesn’t break free it will die.  There’s a feeling that discomfort needs to be embraced in escaping, in choosing to set ourselves free from this Eight’s cage, but there is discomfort too in staying put, bound and blindfolded.  I choose the former.


Exercise 57

  • Enter the card.  Sit or stand still with your eyes closed.  Imagine yourself surrounded by swords, hands bound, eyes covered.  Sense the limitation.  Then reach a little further.  Notice how the cloth tying your hands is loose and easily shed.  How you can then uncover your eyes and see a path through.  How does this feel?
  • Sometimes I have argued with the idea that we always have a choice, but the longer I live the more I find that this is, in fact, true for me.  It may not always be the choice I “want” but there is usually more than one option, even if it is only in how I approach a situation; surrender or fight, scowl or smile, curse or bless…how do you feel about the notion that there is always a choice to get unstuck?
  • Can you think of a time when this card played itself out in your own life, what happened?

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