When the Eight of Swords shows up, this is a sign that you are having too many negative thoughts to the point that you are holding your mind and yourself captive. This is also a sign of having a victim mentality, and you think there is no way out of a terrible situation. However, the reality is you can get yourself out of it even though it seems impossible. It may not be easy to do, but it is doable.
This card can represent being in an unhappy relationship, or an unfulfilling job, for example. It is a daunting idea to escape those things but it can be done with some strategy and some work. But since you are not seeing that as a possibility given by this card, you feel that you are completely trapped even though the reality is you are not. You think you are a prisoner for good in a terrible situation that really is not permanent. This is a time to be open to the idea of being free from a bad situation you are in and it is okay to get some help with it. It can be done as long as you are willing to work at it.
When the Eight of Swords is in reverse, it can mean that you have finally released those negative thoughts and victim mentality. It can also mean that you are open to new perspectives, but it can mean you have an inner critic that is deep down in your subconscious even though you don’t realize it.
Astrologically, this card is associated with Jupiter in Gemini.