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General Book of the Tarot, by A. E. Thierens, [1930], at

Eight of Swords

TRADITION: Critical position, censure, crisis, chagrin, examination, research, control, condemnation, judgment, sickness, calumny. Reversed: Difficulty, obstacle, accident, treachery, fatality, adventure, etc.

p. 149

THEORY: The element of Earth on the Eighth house, the house of death and of the greatest difficulties of life, the inner problems and sex. The image drawn on this card may well indicate the blindness of man amidst the dangers of this world and of his own desire-nature. It must indicate physical sex-nature above all. Further, we shall find everything relating to the revenge of matter upon spirit, the latter being bound and blinded by the former, consequently everything in the nature of obstacles and hindrances, pain and affliction. The house of 'avenging justice' may well cause a condemnation, or a sickness which is the result of sinning against nature's laws; patience is required where this card rules and endurance will save the position. In its most general sense it means the binding by the laws of matter, suffering from the lack of money, impotence by debt or material want, poverty. It may be a great strain on the feelings. As the eight of each suit is accepted as indicating some feminine influence to which we are ready to subscribe, there will be danger from an acquisitive girl or uncouth female here, or even sickness through same. As far as material laws are compelling in this world, there must of course be 'fatality' in this card, or at least something from which there will be no physical escape.

CONCLUSION: Obstacles, conflict, danger, hampering, affliction, criticism, sex-problems of a threatening nature, danger of death sometimes, fatality; revenge, debt, poverty, condemnation, sickness. Patience and endurance will be necessary or helpful. Uncouth female. Incident or accident.

Next: Nine of Swords