Eight of Swords: Restraint Outside of the Box
On my side of the table…today was a good insight into why we Tarot readers (pro and not) tend to collect decks like magpies collect shiny stones. There are subtle differences in messaging that can come through the different styles and artwork. Through quirks of language and the inner workings of intuition, it is very easy to anthropomorphize these things, and give them personalities and moods. Sure, I know. It’s all just projection, but thinking in those terms is sort of freeing. By parking that inspiration aspect of the cards externally, it clears bandwidth for the ‘psychic’ part of this. By letting the cards function as a muse, we can turn our attention inward, to the purely intuitive aspects of a reading.
Elizabeth Gilbert talks about inspiration and the Muses. I find it helpful to think of the cards as the muse in a reading. Blame the whatever-it-is on the cards as muse / source of the inspiration, then you and I can both focus on solutions and creative, outside the box thinking without judgement, without any sort of performance anxiety on either side of the table. If you do any sort of creative work or have any creative hobbies, it is well worth a watch:
That in itself is a bit of today’s 8 of swords message. Creative problem solving and outside the box thinking are the usual messages with this card. But today wanted to be outside of outside of the box.
Which gets back to that projected personality and mood thing. Sometimes, when we work with one deck extensively, it can get stale and sort of wrung-out feeling. It seems crazy to describe an ebb in creativity or intuitive inspiration as “the deck is tired” or “it doesn’t want to talk about this” but that sort of expression captures the subjective experience of it. The Witches Tarot that I usually use just wasn’t having it today. Sure it was projection. The feeling was pure “don’t talk to me, I haven’t had coffee yet” first thing in the morning vibe. On the other hand, the Heart of Stars box was close at hand and all “pffft…easy. I got this”
So here you see it…Eight of Swords from Thom Pham’s excellent Heart of Stars Tarot. I’m always grateful for his permission to use the deck here in the blog and on the YouTube channel.
This card is inspired by Love, and Other Drugs. I’ve never seen the movie, and probably never will (in spite of it being filmed in Pittsburgh.) From what I’ve heard, it has a fatal flaw as a movie: an utter lack of spaceships, marvel superheroes or action scenes.
The Heart of Stars deck not only has today’s guidance idea well in hand, it turns it on its head from the usual. Usually card advises to stand in power despite outside restraints, to find a creative, out of the box way forward BUT exercise care in doing so. Even more traditionally it is about restraint or constraints in general. Today, rather than overcoming external restraints, it is about imposing internal ones.
To paraphrase an old proverb…even an idiot can seem intelligent if they keep their mouth shut and their hot takes off of Twitter.
I gotta work on that one….
In any case, the advice here is to hold up. Stop yourself for half a tick. This isn’t the day / energy for instant gratification. Know for sure before you talk. Have your facts straight before you act. Measure twice and cut once. If you have to ask you can’t afford it, and for the love of all that’s holy wash your hands and wear a mask in public.