Eight – Interference

Eight of Swords - Interfere

Eight of Swords – Interference

Interference means to interfere. Electromagnetic waves that cancel each other out. Overlapping of languages.

The Eight of Swords shows continued thinking and analysis to the detriment of your emotional and physical needs results in ‘analysis paralysis’. Thoughts and ideas in the head stay as thoughts and ideas. Thinking is dissociated from the rest of you, so that there is no way of connecting to outer experience.

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Image of Eight of Swords in Rider-Waite tarot deck
Eight of Swords

A woman, bound and hoodwinked, with the swords of the card about her. Yet it is rather a card of temporary durance than of irretrievable bondage.

Bad news, violent chagrin, crisis, censure, power in trammels, conflict, calumny, also sickness.

Additional Meanings: For a woman, scandal spread in her respect.


Disquiet, difficulty, opposition, accident, treachery; what is unforeseen; fatality.

Additional Meanings: Departure of a relative.

Book of Thoth – Interference

Image of Eight of Swords - Interference in Book of Thoth tarot deck
Eight of Swords – Interference

The Eight of Swords is called Interference. At first sight, it would seem easy to confuse it with the Eight of Cups; but the idea is, in reality, quite different. The card is attributed to Jupiter and Gemini; accordingly, there is no weighing down of the will by internal or external stress. It is simply the error of being good-natured when good-nature is disastrous. Gemini is an airy sign, an intellectual sign; Jupiter is geniality and optimism. This will not do in the world of Swords; if one must hit at all, a knock-out blow is best. But there is another element in this card; that of unexpected (the Eights, being at heart Mercurial, are always that) interference, sheer unforeseen bad luck. Trivial incidents have often altered the destiny of empires, brought to naught “the best4aid plans of mice and men”.

More information

Golden Dawn – Lord of Shortened Force

Magick used. Possible overapplication of force for, in contrast, a petty end. Complex means used when more simple would suffice. Unstable result (effects gained through magick tend to lack temporal persistence).


Sickness, Calumny, Criticism, Blame.


Treachery in the Past, Event, Accident, Remarkable Incident.

Image of Etteilla Eight of Swords
Etteilla Eight of Swords


Criticism, Regrettable Situation, Critical Moment, Critical Time, Decisive Moment, Unfortunate Situation, Delicate Circumstance, Crisis. Examination, Discussion, Investigations, Blame, Censure, Commentary, Conclusion, Monitoring, Disapproval, Condemnation, Abrogation, Judgment, Contempt.


Incident, Difficulty, Exceptional Situation, Conjunction, Event, Accessory, Unconscious, Obstacle, Delay, Waiting. Abjection. Dispute, Contradiction, Opposition, Resistance, Squabble. Unexpected, Unforeseen, Fortunate Occurrence, Destiny, Fate, Accidents, Misfortunes, Disgrace, Unfortunate, Symptom.

Paul Foster Case

The twined serpents around the vertical line of the ankh refer to the attribution of the Sphere of Mercury to the number 8, for they make a caduceus, or wand of Mercury, out of the ankh.

Time period

First decanate of Gemini, from May 21st to May 30th, under the rulership of Mercury.


Force wasted in petty affairs; too much talk; too much ill-directed action; the state of being terribly busy without accomplishing much; over-careful about details. This card is also to be regarded as portending a crisis in affairs, and probably much talk, correspondence, and moving about.


Signifies ill-natured gossip, malice and pettiness. Too much concern with personalities, and disagreements with brothers and sisters.



Thierens: Eight of Swords

Critical position, censure, crisis, chagrin, examination, research, control, condemnation, judgment, sickness, calumny. Reversed: Difficulty, obstacle, accident, treachery, fatality, adventure, etc.
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.
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.
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Eight of Swords - Interference tarot meanings
Eight of Swords shows continued thinking and analysis to the detriment of your emotional and physical needs results in 'analysis paralysis'.

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