Eight budding rods streak down from a cloudless sky in Pamela Coleman Smith’s portrayal of this minor arcana card. They give the impression of nearing the ground as the perspective allows for a river to be seen in the near background from a low vantage point. In the far background there is a hill with what appears to be ruins on the crest. Scattered trees dot the landscape.
“Swiftness” is just that. Something is moving swiftly and is soon to arrive. Whether that is news, a parcel, retribution, or a promotion is dependent on the query and what cards are connected to this one in a spread.
At the beginning of a series of cards, it can indicate the matter at hand is being rushed. At the end, it can indicate the matter at hand will end sooner than expected. Again, this does not indicate of such expediency is for good or for ill by itself. The 8 of Wands is a neutral card that qualifies more direct cards. It is the adjective to a noun, and the adverb to a verb. It shortens the length of time the querent will have to wait for what ever might happen, to happen.