This card is linked to the Hermit and the 5 of cups cards in the journey of the Tarot. Here in the Rider-Waite Tarot card the 8 of Cups we see a man trudging across a barren marsh towards the distant mountains. He shares aspects of the Hermit who we have seen carrying the light of the lamp, and the 5 of Cups, the card of ‘Sorrow’.
In the 5 of Cups it is if he has returned from his journey of the 8 of Cups to find emotional loss, hence the sorrow. This demonstrates that things never stay the same, we may leave something and return and find change, and it is as Waite said, a ‘decline of a matter’.
In a reading this card signifies the emotional growth that requires you to move away from a current situation.