In Margarete Petersen’s Eight of Feathers, the ever-present sphere is almost completely obscured a mish-mash of dark-red (blood-stained?) feathers; it looks as though they’ve been through hell and back. Through them we see an eye: all-seeing? A rather fearsome head and outstretched arms can be seen through the feathery mass near the bottom...a native carving of some kind perhaps? There is certainly a sense of being hemmed in by all the feathers, and of something terrible going on beyond our control. Yet the eye seems to be steady, the one thing in the image that sees us through whatever’s going on around us.
|Eight of Feathers (trimmed): © Margarete Petersen tarot
Like the Eight of Flames, I have a sense of there being a need to focus, to choose a direction – and also about needing to think about the situation before acting. I’ve always seen this card as being about seeing beyond the things that hem us in – taking the blindfold off, seeing beyond the fence of swords. So in this image the swords/blindfold are replaced by the feathers – and perhaps too the fierce-looking carved figure. The eye in the centre is what guides us out of the morass.
I also see the Eights as being about the combination of Two and Four – balance and stability – so the Eight of Swords/Feathers would indicate regaining both things by re-thinking things and finding a way forward. The card is linked astrologically to the mutable sign of Gemini and the Sun - adapting, being flexible, moving into the light.
Locked in, full of fear;
See beyond what keeps you stuck
And walk into light.
Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA, 2004