Eight of Swords: The Doubting Mind

Eight of Swords: The Doubting Mind

Posted 06 July, 2020 at 04:20

Author Alison Jeavons Creative on behalf of Soulchology

"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

The above famous quote by Henry Ford is the war cry of the Eight of Swords Tarot.

Have you ever found that you can be so excited or motivated about something only for it to take one remark from someone to bring your good idea crashing to the ground and before you know it, you’ve abandoned all hope and discontinued your efforts?

Perhaps your momentum slows down because you’re not seeing the results you had hoped for as quickly as you had liked leaving you feeling disheartened, dejected and thwarted. You may have many things on the go but feel you lack perseverance and compare against others, so give up before you get any real traction because escaping commitment of ‘flogging a dead horse’ means you’ll avoid disappointment.

A diminished idea of yourself often dictates that preserving the way you’re viewed is the real priority, therefore you won’t risk anything that could lead you down an unsuccessful path. You focus on what you stand to lose rather than gain and won’t act without a guarantee of success. You may find yourself leaning toward another idea and so the pattern continues leaving you riding an energetic rollercoaster of highs and lows and feeling drained by doubts and fears.

Many of us at some time have been here in one variation or another - battling our egos whilst in pursuit of conscious awareness, peace and flow.

  • 8 Swords Tarot: Entrapment | Ego | Fear | Mindset | Self-Doubt | Restriction | Self Limiting Beliefs

  • Soulchology Book Recommendation: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers

  • Relating Chakra(s): Heart + Higher Heart | Sacral | Root

  • Supporting Crystals: Rose Quartz | Hematite | Larimar | Amber | Dioptase

  • Numerology 8: Manifestation | Positive Intentions | Accomplishment | Executive Mastery | Ability

The artwork of the Arcanum deck perfectly captures the imprisoning energies of the egoic mind at work, and for me personally, illustrated the mechanics of my critical mind that used to be deeply entrenched in early years trauma including adoption, bullying and rejection that had set the stage for my own self-doubting mindset as I grew up.

When you get this card in your readings, it’ll represent your comfort zone. Self doubt doesn’t just imprison your mind, it also interrupts the body by throwing in anxiety related challenges such as disruption to your digestive system, headaches, migraines, muscular, skeletal and other physical issues that have arisen from a psychosomatic lifestyle.

The Eight of Swords speaks of the isolating, self-imposed restrictions you hold about yourself that can derail your life unless you become aware of the patterns you have going on, and push your energy forward to resolve them. Negative experiences do not define you and you’re not a victim to them unless you allow it.

from self preservation to positive expansion

Although your experiences are individual to you, this card demonstrates the controlling chatter of the mind which is your subconscious belief system hard at work. This is directly opposite to the peace of consciousness which is what you gain when living in the present with as much awareness, ease and flow as you can.

Many moons ago when you were brandishing a club looking for your dinner, the ego mind served you well as it was your cue to pay attention and save you from a lion, but over time an ego unleashed can undermine your emotional balance and sabotage progression.

You may have heard the term ‘self limiting beliefs’, but have you correlated the ego with this? Whether you think you can’t do something, or whether you brag from the rooftops about how great you are, the backstage intention remains; your mind is working to keep you safe from something external to you that it believes will hurt you in some way. It is a control mechanism… and you’re giving away your power.


Some people believe we think first resulting in felt emotion. However, I believe we feel first through our heart which is the ultimate window of communication to our soul, or consciousness. Your mind acts as the receiver to your feeling and subsequently processes your emotion through your belief system, commonly called your lens, or your filter, which is based on your entire being and experiences. Your mind, or ego, is your belief system through which you subsequently act upon.

Many will tell you to ignore your mind but have you tried this? If you resist something, what happens? It bangs on the door even louder. To push it away will only serve to strengthen it. Instead, invite it in for a cup of tea and listen to what it has to say. Be interested and observe it. It wants to be heard and is a valid part of how you've managed to stay alive to read this. It’s kept you safe all these years, but what you want to do now is reassure it that you’re not going to do anything life endangering, that you’re wearing your big pants and capable of making decisions that aren’t going to get you eaten.

As you read this your mind may be flicking to a worst case scenario that if you believe you do take action on, will result in you getting eaten. This is a trick your mind plays to keep you standing still. When you observe the advice your ego is serving you with, it’ll loosen it’s grip when it’s had it’s say. It won’t go away, it’ll be there for the ride until you convince it - by taking action - that you can be trusted to make sensible decisions that fuel your growth. And you can thank it all the time for having your back whilst you do so.

Your mind is a muscle and taking back the control of it is a daily practice of whatever works for you from meditation to journalling and everything in-between. The goal is not to try and silence your mind but instead to witness what it says, allow the thoughts and images to flow effortlessly through you like baggage on a conveyor belt. The object is to achieve balance between your heart and mind to welcome in the greatest amount of love and growth available to you.

three perspective shifters

• try creating a situation where your ego isn’t involved, such as volunteering some of your free time for a good cause and giving unconditionally which will lead you to a sense of pride and accomplishment

• celebrate the smaller milestones of your larger goal and reward yourself along the way. By viewing each element as a smaller project within the whole, you’ll be acknowledging your efforts, creating new phases and far less likely to give up

• acknowledge that if everything was that easy to accomplish, there would be no learning. Seek out inspiring individuals who have gone before you in overcoming obstacles despite adversity, which will help you to develop a more helpful perspective

Over the years, learning self compassion and acceptance has been one of the factors that’s helped me to reduce my inner walls, enabling me to fulfil long time desires. ‘I no longer automatically think I can’t, because I know I can when I apply myself’ has become a daily mantra and I continue to face my fears and act despite them because I accept the fact I’ll never be a ‘done job’. 

With patience, awareness and a daily practice, you will evolve your mindset and embrace imperfection. Remember, there is no mastery - there are only levels to master.

Journalling Prompts:

  • What could be possible for you if you felt differently? 
  • And what, if you believed you could change the way you think, would that allow for you?

More from the Soulchology Journal:

Death: Your Sun Sets To Rise Again

Knight Of Swords: The Moment Of Truth

Ten Of Wands: Lightening The Load

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