THE EIGHT OF SWORDS, LORD OF SHORTENED FORCE

Jupiter in Gemini, Mercury in Hod

   Your ally stands in bondage on the seashore, surrounded by eight swords. Her bonds, however, are so loose that they seem about to fall off, and the swords, though long and sharp, do not actually imprison her. Behind her looms a castle on a cliff, but no one is guarding her. It appears that she could easily escape her bondage if she chose to do so. The castle in the distance suggests any authority that demands obedience or keeps people down by conditioning them to believe in their own powerlessness and limitations. The eighth sphere on the Tree of Life is the sphere of Mercury, a God who “shortens force” through thought, and thought-forms can establish splendor (“Hod”) in the different levels of the psyche, but they can also create “mind-forged manacles” that bind us in unproductive and limiting--even self-destructive--behavior. However, on the level associated with the element of Air in the eighth sphere, the influences of Jupiter and Gemini can be felt as well. Jupiter is the God of expansive, orderly, upbuilding force, and Gemini is an astrological sign that symbolizes the dual nature of the mortal and immortal within us. The vast sea next to your ally suggests the potential for expansiveness through contact with cosmic forces. The restrictions of the intellect in the material realm can blind a person to the creative expansiveness of the spirit, but for your ally the bonds could be loosening and the blindfold could be about to fall off. Whatever “authority” put her in that position is off in the distance on a cliff. The ocean, suggesting vast cosmic forces, is right beside her. The influence of Jupiter could potentially liberate her so that, aware of the infinitude within, she frees herself and lives an abundant spiritual life.

Invoke Jupiter.

CORRESPONDING COLOR: Russet-red.

QUALITIES: Allowing the true nature of the Self to be known despite the limitations of the conscious mind. Eliminating the restrictions of the intellect that blind a person to the creative expansiveness of the eternal spirit.

POSSIBLE ADVERSARIES: The Breakers in Pieces (Jupiter). The Liars (Mercury).

Go to the next challenge.

RELATED PATHS:

Swords:

The Seven of Swords.
The Nine of Swords.

Connecting paths:

The Hanged Man.
The Devil.
The Tower.
The Sun.
Judgement.

Astrological association:

The Wheel of Fortune (Jupiter)
The Lovers (Gemini).