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How to Read the Eights Tarot Cards

Learn how to read the Eights tarot cards from expert Ellen Goldberg, M.A. in this Howcast video.


Hello. I'm Ellen Goldberg and I welcome you to a Tarot moment from the
School of Oracles. In this segment, we're gonna have a brief overview of
the four Eights of each of the suits of the Minor Arcana. The Eights, in
relation to the Tree of Life, belong to the Sphere of Hud, ruled by
Mercury, and so it is a mental suit, and therefore each of the Eights has
some mental attribute about it. The first we'll look at is the Eight of
Wands, whose name is the Lord of Swiftness. It's the only card in the
Minors of this deck that doesn't have, say, a picture of a scene that
describes it, but simply has eight wands.

But there's a reason for that. It
is a scene, in and of itself. This Lord of Swiftness, whose astrological
attribution is the planet Mercury and the sign of Sagittarius, the mind is
going fast. And the eight wands here are like arrows shooting through the
air, and it has to do so much with force approaching its goal. Things are
happening swift and fast. Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, is a big
freewheeling sign, and Mercury, our fastest planet, and Sagittarius, the
archer who shot these arrows, is never gonna hold Mercury back. And so
everything that happens with this card, happens fast.

Some of the meanings
on the higher polarity is force approaching its goal, quick decisions,
impulsive decisions, sometimes even long journeys, because both Mercury and
Sagittarius love to travel. Know that you're going to be learning things
maybe even by the school of hard knocks, because you're gonna be going
through things so fast you might want to take a little time and, uh, just
make your mind up a little more carefully. On the lower polarity, well,
things have gone too swiftly. Maybe you've gone so fast, you've even
overshot the goal. Missed the goal. This card, on the lower polarity, says
"slow down". You may be in an absolute frenzy, and it will take you nowhere
but panic and disorganization.

The Eight of Cups is called the Lord of Abandoned Success and its
astrological attribution is Saturn, planet of karma, and the sign of
Pisces, the most mystical. So this is a very spiritual and mystical karma.
In fact, many saints had the placement of Saturn and Pisces. It's a test of
severance. Can you let go? Here we see somebody who is leaving eight cups
that are standing. They have not fallen over as we see in many of the other
cups. They're full, and yet he's wearing a red cloak and red shoes, showing
the passion for walking the mystic path. He's leaving something behind
which other people may not understand why, because it's full. But he knows.
He knows he's doing it for himself, and for the higher self. There's an
eclipse of the moon going on here, or perhaps an eclipse of the sun. But
those eclipses represent times to go interior, so this is an interior
decision going on, and it's also mental because they've made the decision
to let go.

Sometimes, with this card, you're forced to let go. On the lower
polarity, one of the meanings I know is, "The flood comes, head for the
hills." Other times, it's desertion. Paralysis. Just leaving, even before
the situation warrants it. I always get a kick out of what Aleister Crowley
said about this in the more negative manner, because he said, "This card is
like the morning after the night before, only the night before never
happened." You just have that feeling.

The Eight of Swords is called the Lord of Shortened Force. Remember
the eights are mental, and here we are in a mental suit, so there's
definitely a very big lesson in this card. Its astrological attribution is
Jupiter and Gemini, where it is in its detriment, because Jupiter is so big
and expansive and Gemini is the mental sign, and here the thoughts are all
over the place. No wonder they call it Shortened Force. It's not just
because it's held in, this is what the mind looks like when it's trying to
do too many things, and it's try- has, uh, really shortened its own power
by scattering itself all over the place. Sometimes there's a sense of
isolation, and yet her blindfold is loose, her binding is loose, she could
wriggle out of that in a moment if she chose to. There's advice with this
card: Stop thinking. Stop talking. Meditate. Pull in your activities.
Center yourself. And then it will calm down and become clear. When this
card is on its higher polarity, just wiggle out of your bounds. Understand
it help it is at- is at hand. Know that the isolation is not so, and you
can find your way to stillness again. On the lower polarity, the mind is
out of control. Then you really are in trouble. You're all over the place,
your energy is dispersed, and, well, your inner self will feel just like

In the Eight of Pentacles, the Lord of Prudence, the sun is in the
sign of Virgo, and here we see the mind being used to its best opportunity.
We see a craftsman repeating, through repetition, the making of pentacles,
which in ancient times was a metaphor. Making visible coins represented
doing good works. Here, he's learning his craft through repetition and hard
work and it's going to pay off. Because we see in the background, very
lightly drawn but there for a purpose, the house that is in the Ten of
Pentacles. And so this person is going to experience prosperity. The road,
notice it's a golden road, just like the road that we see in so many of the
Major Arcana cards. He's going to be successful. He's following his heart's
dictates. On the higher polarity, this card says, "Learn your craft by dint
of hard work. Apply yourself intelligently to labor. There is only one
master, and that master is within." The sun in Virgo. Prudence means
wisdom. On the lower polarity, the work goes poorly. They are not applying.
They're trying to take the easy way out, and therefore, things will fail.
On behalf of the School of Oracles, bye for now.

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