Card Meanings Rider-Waite- The Eights

The eights are movement, something developing or happening. The Keywords here are:

  • 8 of Wands- communication
  • 8 of Cups- abandonment
  • 8 of Pentacles- mastery
  • 8 of Swords- constriction

Going Deeper

8 of Wands

The 8 of wands speaks of things happening fast and communications of all sorts. It’s ‘movement at the station’. For situations where you have been waiting for something to happen, the appearance of the 8 of wands suggests that movement is about to or is happening. On it’s own it’s neither a positive or negative card, but it is an active one. Sometimes things move too fast with the 8 of wands, leaving you in a swirl of events without much time to think about them.

In relationship readings you can expect a lot of communication, discussions and changes to happen with the 8 of wands. It also indicates a time of general harmony and ease. It’s not to say that there are no problems, just that whatever problems do exist are easily dealt with.

In negative card positions the 8 of wands can be all talk and no follow through or someone with a million pie in the sky ideas they never really get around to doing. It can be the “gonna do” attitude of someone who always appears busy without actually accomplishing anything. It can also be rushing in before thinking, or jumping to conclusions with too little information.

As a person the 8 of wands is always on their phone, texting, or social networking. That or they could talk the hind legs off a donkey. They are usually quite nice people, just with very short attention spans.

8 of Cups

It is a time of leaving when the 8 of cups appears. Sometimes it’s a situation you are happy to leave behind, at others it’s more sad. For whatever reason you must move on from a situation that once made you happy- either you have out grown the situation or it has run it’s course or you simply need to find a new challenge. It isn’t always a sad card. It’s focus is less on what you are going to- which is new and exciting- and more on what’s left behind, and that needs to be honoured too.

In relationship readings it can indicate a parting of ways. If your relationship is already rocky and you are thinking about it anyway then the appearance of the 8 of cups suggests that you’ll make the decision to move on. It can also indicate taking time away to think things through, a need for space to evaluate your situation. The 8 of cups rarely comes as a surprise because by the time it shows up then walking away will have been on your mind for sometime.

In negative card positions it can indicate someone who turns their back whenever the going gets tough, or someone who is always searching for greener pastures. It suggests someone who, once having conquered the challenge, immediately becomes bored with whatever they have gained.

As a person the 8 of cups is a seeker, always searching for something more. They are looking for depth and meaning and underlying causes. It sometimes represents someone who has recently suffered a loss or one who has walked away from their past.

8 of Pentacles

The 8 of pentacles often appears for those who are studying or learning a new trade or skill. It suggests that you have learnt the basics and are now learning to apply that knowledge to your life. It is patient and wise and suggests that you are taking your time over getting something just right.

In relationship readings the 8 of pentacles is about applying learnt skills to better your relationship. Again, it’s about taking time to get things right. Sometimes it can indicate that your job or vocation is playing an important part in your relationship or even suggest that you are working together.

In negative spread positions the 8 of pentacles can become rather obsessed with perfection, expecting everything to be just so. It can be about never being satisfied with your efforts, instead constantly going over what you could do better or differently. It’s the perfectionist taken to destructive levels.

As a person the 8 of pentacles is the student who is nearing the end of their degree or course of study/ apprenticeship or someone who considers that they have a lot yet to learn in life. It is the card of the diligent pupil, one who never takes short cuts but who is focused on learning to get it right.

8 of Swords

The 8 of swords can indicate a time when outside circumstances are constricting you or your own hang ups and thinking. We often feel powerless when the 8 of swords appears, as if there’s nothing we can do, the only thing we can do is just get through it, one little baby step at a time. Though you may be unable to take the action you would prefer, this situation won’t last forever and you’ll have to trust your instincts in an otherwise uncomfortable situation.

In relationship readings the 8 of swords can indicate a time when the problem to solve isn’t yours. There is nothing you can do because you can’t solve your partners problems for them, you simply have to be patient and prevent yourself from taking over. Be patient.

In negative spread positions the 8 of swords can be willful ignorance. It can be about deliberately choosing not to see anything bad around you or pretending that it’s not your problem. It can be refusing to act or using outside excuses about why your hands are tied. At it’s worst it’s ignoring a situation that you should do something about but refuse to for fear of the consequences.

As a person the 8 of swords represents someone who is trapped by circumstance into their situation. It is also someone who feels they must do “right” no matter the cost. This person has a keenly developed sense of justice and at it’s worst will feel as if they are paying back “bad karma”.


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