I may have mentioned once or twice before just how much I adore tarot cards. Beautifully depicted scenes rich in symbolism awaiting mystic and metaphoric interpretation - what could be better? In the course of doing personal tarot card readings (what?! you didn't know I moonlight as a gypsy?) I had noticed the recurrence of the 8 of swords in my readings. Now if you aren't familiar with the 8 of swords, well, it's not the friendliest looking card in the deck; sure, it doesn't strike the same fear in your heart as some of the other cards like "Death" or the "Tower", but it's not exactly what you want to see on a regular basis either.
Essentially, this is a card of bondage and oppression from an outside force, however, spiritually and emotionally you play some fundamental role in your current circumstance. The situation you find yourself in is of your own making and it fear that provides the bondage. You will typically see the eight of swords represented by a woman bound, blindfolded and surrounded by swords that stand guard around her or hold her prisoner depending on your perspective. A tower or fortress of some kind rises up in the background signifying the oppressor, and often the ground appears marshy and wet to show the discomfort and uncertainty. Because she is blindfolded she is unaware of the fact she is in fact surrounded by the very tools that will either prove to be her utter undoing or allow her to cut her bindings and result in her freedom, but the fact still remains that despite the bleak appearance, she does indeed have a way out.
After much reflection, I decided to reintrepret the 8 of swords like this:
Sometimes it isn't what you don't see that imprisons you, but what you don't say. Enough said.