Tarot Reversals – The Eights

You’d think that the Eights, which after all, should hold the promise of the infinity sign—an eight turned on its side—would share a theme of endless vistas and promise. But no. We could say that the Eights tell the tale of a journey—just not a very pleasant one. But a journey makes perfect sense, given that the qabalistic influence, Hod, is thought to represent the two feet of a person’s body. The beginner of the Eight of Pentacles takes the first steps. The Eight of Wands continues, swiftly approaching a conclusion; things are looking promising. But then the Eight of Cups comes to the fork in the road. And you know what Yogi Berra said: "when you come to a fork in the road, take it!" And so, unfortunately, the Eight of Swords binds herself at a time of crisis. The relationships between the divinatory meanings (as defined by Waite in the Pictorial Key to the Tarot) of the upright vs. reversed minor arcana in the RWS can be interpreted as a change of perspective. We find visual clues to better understand reversals by looking at the characters’ points of view. Where there is more than one character, we look at their perspectives of each other. Where there is a single character, from the point of view of an outside observer. Welcome to the annoying Eights and their reversals, the roadtrip from Hell of the Waite Colman Smith deck.

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