The words I heard when I looked at this draw were, "The way forward is the way back, at times." Great, now I am talking to myself in cryptic riddles.
I am gonna leave this reading to percolate a bit, and let the images work on my mind, and let my inner Gandalf express himself in a way that leaves me with actual words to write on my posts. This probably requires role play of some sort.
Update: To me, the figures look as if they are forming a unit, though not necessarily a cohesive one. The Eight of Swords denizen appears to me to be turning away from the Hermit, as if the Hermit is herding her somewhere she doesn't want to be, and seems to be entreating the Magician for help, who is coming forth to give it.
I am having a hard time today fulfilling my personal obligations to myself, because the deep introspection I am asking of myself is making me see things about myself I don't necessarily want to, so I have been willfully turning away. The Shadow has to be treated gently, because above all else it is self preserving. The Magician could cut those bonds we see in the Eight of Swords, but it may not quite be time for that, for me. I may need to struggle against them a little longer.
The Magician makes me think of doing, and one of the things I do that makes me feel better is walk. I don't mean stroll leisurely, but walk so hard and fast it is very nearly running, and I huff and I puff, and my mind works and works, and then, at the sweetest moment, it goes blank, empty and peaceful. This Magician certainly appears to be on a mission, and so in addition to Morning Pages and meditation, I commit myself again to a pounding, cleansing walk every day, too. It certainly couldn't hurt anything.
These cards are from the Paulina Tarot by Paulina Cassidy for U.S. Games Systems, Inc.