Immediately upon seeing, I realized that the lady in the "Eight of Swords" is the same one depicted in Robin's "Two of Swords." After reading about the Eight of Swords in Robin's book, this is indeed what the author/illustrator intended. But oh my...she now seems, at least in some ways, as much or even more in a pickle than before, because the woman is not only still blindfolded, but now her arms are bound, her clothes are tattered beyond repair, her hair hangs limp and she is surrounded and presumably held captive by a semi-circle of sharp swords. The main (and perhaps only) improvement in the Eight of Swords over the Two of Swords is that she's on land and at least off that unstable perch surrounded by an angry sea.
If, during a reading, it is clear that the woman COULD just walk through the open passage where the swords do not block her way, then various things may come to my mind as a reader including: Escape from her tormenter IS possible (even if the tormenter is she, herself, or maybe she's held captive by her own addictions to drugs, alcohol, etc. or sadly caught up in abusive situations she feels presently powerless to remove herself from, or suffering from mental illness, etc.) Hope and help may be waiting with open arms just beyond the swords and she only has to walk, run (or even crawl) away from her imprisonment to seek a new path. Of course it is possible that due to her continued blindfolded condition, she's truly unaware that help IS possible and escape is but a few steps away. Or maybe she refuses to see the help available, fearful of the future and clinging to what she knows, even if it is an awful existence and is spiralling downwards towards despair.
She would need to trust and listen carefully to her instincts and senses: Edging away from the raging sea behind her (Robin wrote that the water could represent her still turbulent emotions); clearing her mind enough to use the swords (of knowledge) to carefully sever the cloth that binds her arms (Robin mentioned that the cloth had bound her senses); enabling her then free hands to remove the blindfold, allowing her to see what road will take her away from her present dangerous position or give her the answers she so desparately needs. Each step above would build on another and if followed, tho' exhausted as she must be, would finally allow her to see the sun's rays beaming from behind the dark clouds overhead.
Color usage, especially when noticed by the reader, is as important in this deck as it can be in any other. I found it interesting that Robin made the hilts on the various swords all different colors...a rainbow of colors, in fact. Robin wrote, "She is surrounded by eight great swords, because the problems that beset her are very large, and very real." Robin continues, "Hidden in the problems themselves are endless possibilities." Possibilities that are inherent in what lies over the rainbow.