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Tarot - 02 Minor Arcana - 08s Learning

Identifier

028369

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Eights (8, VIII):  Eights are cards of change and learning . These cards tell you that the only way to get where you want to be is to fundamentally change what you're doing. The suit of the cards is an indicator of where change should be addressed as well as the imagery.

·       Cups are symbolic of the Water level which is itself the realm of emotions

·       Swords are symbolic of the Air level which itself is the realm of thoughts

·       Wands are symbolic of the Fire level which itself is the realm of spirit

All change is governed by Prudence which is the Eight of Disks.  As this card is so fundamental to an understanding of how to tackle all the rest, all change in other words, we have given it a separate entry.

If we now use the card for the spiritual path we can see that Learning and lessons come symbolically around 'Day 3'

A description of the experience

Eight of Disks [Earth]


Prudence – see separate explanation

Eight of Cups [Water] - Indolence

The eight of cups signifies that a complete change of direction needs to takes place in the realm of Water.  Practically all the cards other than Mucha’s, seem to emphasise this as a marathon task.  Mucha’s card is far cheerier giving the impression that this will be an adventure.

But in Rider Waite’s card for example, the sky is dark; ahead we see a mountainous barren landscape, all looks quite foreboding and –well –difficult.   Ahead are serious new challenges, the somewhat stark emptiness implies that at least the area isn’t cluttered already, on the other hand, the man has had to don the symbolic cloak of the hermit.  And symbolically this is very key as it means that this man has detached himself from others so that he can pursue his destiny more effectively.  A lonely road lies ahead.

And he has left his cups behind, the means by which he collected spiritual energy and help.  On the other hand those cups look empty, the implication being that he was receiving very little in the way of spirit input to help him anyway – hence the need for the change.  Symbolically the man has turned his back on the way he handled his emotional life before

More often than not, getting the Eight of Cups shows that one is tired of worldly things and is about to embark on a much more spiritual journey. And if that’s the case, then be happy, because change happens when we most need it.”

Crowley’s card for Indolence shows no flowing of spiritual energy – a block – the ocean is stagnant and unpleasant, there is no recycling of energy and a dark sad feeling pervades the whole scene. 

Furthermore, each upturned cup is an island in the ocean – a separate area of spirit in an area of chaos

Eight of  Swords [Air]

The card of the eight of Swords shows a woman imprisoned by the swords that surround her.  She is also in many cards bound, and practically always blindfolded.  She has been imprisoned and blinded by her own thoughts and [if water is used in the picture], by her emotions as well.  The mind has been allowed to chatter until we have become blind about what to do and where to go and completely imprisoned regarding the paths open to us. 

We have to ask ourselves why? How did we get ourselves into these constricting ties that bind? Quite simply, we've let a rabid mind control our reality. When unchecked, a mind can breed the worst kind of fears and insecurities. And, I think you would agree there is no implement more destructively misleading and strangling than fear.  

If the lady in the picture is standing in sloggy bogs of emotional (emotion = water) waste.

“The pools are putrid, and unclear - a sign we have surrounded ourselves with the worst kind of misleading thoughts (thoughts = swords). Advice wrought from a ravenous mind run amuck. Essentially, fear has produced toxic waste, which has paralyzed us into inaction…………….. There is high irony in the eight of swords. It shows itself in the surrounding swords (thoughts) which are both our captor and salvation. The steely blades can slice effortlessly through our bindings, setting us free in one liberating swipe. Yet, unwisely we remain duped by our thoughts of limitation, and remain in an abysmal state of delusion.

So the overall symbolism indicates the need to question beliefs and to go through the process of  relearning.

Eight of Wands [Fire]  - Swiftness

In this card a flight of wands or arrows fly through the air unhindered.  Arrows symbolise spiritual input, as such any arrows flying in an orderly fashion indicate that needed input is now winging its way [to mix metaphors], at great speed to help the needed activity take place.  In other words, change takes place by making oneself open to liberal spiritual help – wisdom, inspiration, divine love, and so on. 

In each case, the emphasis is on the necessity of change and the challenge of keeping up with it.   So, get busy -- there is no time to waste!

Crowley’s card is more complex based as it is on the symbolism of the diamond.  In his Eight of Wands, two overlapping pyramids form a shape of 8 points. There are no wands in this card they have all turned into rays.
The rays emanate from the centre of the figure and pass through the corners of the pyramid terminating in arrowheads.  In other words, the use of the arrow is common with the orderly helpful nature of the input being represented by the use of the Diamond – a symbol of one’s Higher spirit.  Crowley said the following

Hod is the reaction to the ‘mischief’ of Netzach. Hod representing the Will where as Netzach represents emotion and feelings. Ideally a blend of the two is necessary for the best outcome. We fuse the Love of Netzach (ruled by Venus), with the Will of Hod (ruled by Mercury) to create balanced action.  Hod is named GLORY or splendour which represents the glory of God manifesting into form, and the awareness of spirit in human consciousness.”

This of course will all seem like gibberish until one recognises the reference to the Kabbalah and the Sephirot, which we show again for convenience.

In other words Crowley believed that the 08s corresponded to the sphere of Hod

The source of the experience

Tarot, the

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

References