Using the Tarot for Creativity and Empowerment

Journey into the Thoth: 8 of Swords



Card: 8 of Swords
Suit: Swords
Element: Air
Section: Minor Arcana
Esoteric Title: Lord of Shortened Force
Card Name: Interference
Astrological Attribution: Jupiter in Gemini
Ruling Planet: Gemini
Qabalistic Attribution:
Dates: May 21st to May 31st (1st decan)


Two perfectly matched long-bladed swords pointing downwards are positioned in front of six shorter broad saber or slashing type swords, each of the six with different blade curvature. The blade of topmost sword is jagged. Crowley states that the six swords displayed are: the Kriss, the Kukri, the Scramasax, the Dagger, the Machete and the Yataghan.

The straight and identical blades of the top two swords (those pointing downward) contrasts greatly with the curving blades of the sabers.

The background of the card is a dark striking red/dark violet with jagged orange edges.


  • Two downward pointing swords – Manifestation of will
  • Six sabers – Interference with will – obstacles & difficulties
  • Short Blades – Shortened force, will weakened
  • Dark, violent background – Strife, worry
  • Various jagged, geometric shapes – confusion, lack of clarity
  • Astrological glyph of Jupiter in the top center of the card
  • Astrological glyph of Gemini on the bottom center of the card


The two parallel swords represent Will – will that is blocked/crossed by the six crooked sabers, representing shortened force that is the title of this card. The curved and jagged blades of the sabers symbolize the obstacles, annoyances and restrictions that interrupt the straight flow of energy.

The two swords pointing downward can represent a decision between two situations or issues that has to be made but no matter what you choose, you encounter an obstacle (one of the sabers), which could very well be your own fears and doubts.

The dark and crimson background with jagged edges may represent the confusion, irritation and frustration we experience when our effort are thwarted. The clarity that we usually experience is gone, replaced by annoyance and the inability to think in an analytical manner.

This card advises that at the moment, it might be best to wait it out and not make any major decisions.


Interference, restriction, doubt, confusion, inner conflicts, inner troubles, external intrusion, lack of persistence, constraint, people standing in your way, limitations, paralyzed progress, unsure of how to proceed, vicious gossip, nit-picky, distrust, seeing no way out, oppression, powerlessness, worry, lack of confidence, fear of change, stuck in destructive thought processes, lack of patience, prison/incarceration,


Malice, cruelty, interference lessens, restriction lightens, regaining self-confidence, lesser obstancles, renewed faith in yourself, release

Image from Thoth Tarot copyright © U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

1 comment… add one

  • The samurai sword ban only aeilpps to curved ones, you can buy fully sharpened straight ones to display legally. If the blunt one you want is curved you may have some problems convincing security that it is purely for display as they may confiscate it. I would reccomend getting one that specifically says it cannot be sharpened (sometimes due to the metal they’re made out of or because they have holes close to the edge which can make them look cooler but are not traditional’ in style). Also curved blades are legal if they’re over 100 years old as they count as antiques (but they’re hella expensive!)


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