Interference: Confusion, Obstacles, and Frustration
The Eight of Swords. Interference. Frustration. Annoyance. The Odds Stacked Against You. Helplessness. Restriction. Confusion. Obstacles. Hassles. The Eight of Sword corresponds to the Sefirot of Hod: the response to the weakness of Netzach that results in a weakness itself, of Thought, Knowledge, and Intellect. The energies of the Suit of Swords react strongly to the degenerate weakness of Futility – giving in to surrender – and instead go in the opposite direction, overcompensating. Instead of surrendering, the energy continues on and attempts to fight on as much as it can – but that fight isn’t always easy, and when one does not even allow oneself to rest and tries too hard, obstacles will get in one’s way, and hassles will make progress difficult. Tjis card represents those obstacles and hassles and their effects; frustration, a sense of helplessness and a feeling that the odds are stacked against you. You may be confused (this could also be a source of these obstacles), and feel restricted. Doubtless you will become annoyed at everything that gets in your way as well. This card represents all of the things that impair your growth – mostly intellectually and morally, but in other areas as well. This card represents all of those little things that get in your way adding up to drive you crazy.
The Rider-Waite art depicts a tied up and blindfolded woman surrounded by swords. This art emphasizes the ideas of helplessness, restriction, and the odds being stacked against you, as she is all of these things. The Thoth art shows two straight swords with several less-than-straight swords running across them, literally interfering with them. Each of the interfering swords is different, representing the idea of lots of small annoyances adding up to cause a big problem.
In a reading, this card simply asks you to examine the role of annoyances, hassles, and frustrations in your life. Have you lately felt that everything was working against you and you couldn’t get anything done? Have you been irritable and felt restricted lately? Reversed, this card’s energies are twisted or hidden somehow; perhaps the reason you’ve been unhappy lately is because of these small hassles, or maybe the things interfering with you are not what you would expect.