The 8 of Swords in this deck is composed of two sets of four swords woven together into a pair of diamond shapes. Four of them are pointed down, and the other four pointed up, so that each set is facing off against the other, the tips of the front pairs touching each other.
Between the two sets there is an intricate bit of knotwork filling the space that is composed of two two triads surrounded by circular patterns and locked together by a diamond shape.
In the center of each set of four swords, the space in the middle is also filled by knotwork, reminiscent of a circle cut into quarters.
Above the upper set of swords there is a small white glowing light, but the rest of the background is filled with an angular background (squares divided into triangles) that is made up of deep red, purple and blue shades - the overall effect of all this squared and filled up imagery is darkness and claustrophobia... it's all so complicated and orderly that there is no room to breathe.
The small light shows that there is something beyond this tightly bound situation, but very little room to maneuver to access it, and it does little to bring light to the situation - it is either far off or very surpressed.
The way these two sets are squaring off against each other looks like a stalemate to me, and not only is either side willing to back off... they can't, because there is no room to move. It's very difficult to see any way to change this situation.
The 8 of swords is one of my least favorite cards in the deck, and the one I most often see in readings to describe the surrounding feelings - when we're having a problem we need to seek guidance for from a stranger, it seems it is because our situation has reached a point where we've tried everything we can possibly think of to change it - and our instinct when it comes to fixing things is to increase order and stabilize, when sometimes what is really needed is a shake up. So we patch, patch, patch until it's absolutely as stable as possible... and then we find ourselves stuck, because all we've done is strengthened the stability of a bad situation.
The light here may be the only way out.... to let it go, stop propping it up... bring in some chaos. If what you've done a hundred times isn't working, don't try harder. Try something different.