The Eight of Swords mean that there is a part of ourselves which we don't let be alive. There is a part which we try to shut away. The card means that we are inhibited because we try too much to control ourselves, to inflict prohibitions on ourselves. This leads to the feeling of not being truly alive, to the feeling of not really being in touch with ourselves and the world around us. In very rare cases the card can indicate that it is necessary to restrict ourselves in this way to prevent greater damage.