EIGHT OF PENTACLES
KEYWORDS: Improvement, Purpose, Consistent, Education, Diligent, Organized, Persistent
CARD DEFINITION: You may be learning a new trade. Only hard work will reap rewards. You will be employed soon and you skill will be put to test. You should not halt with you work but continue till it gives you results.
REVERSE DEFINITION: Your energy may not be used for the right purpose. You dislike hard work and have no ambitions in life. You may not be happy with your trade and not enjoy it. Your dealings may not be transparent.
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Interpreting The Eight of Pentacles
When it comes to the importance of the number eight within the context of the minor arcana of the tarot, we find ourselves face to face with concepts such as strength and transformation or transcendence through willpower. The Eight of Pentacles applies these ideas to the area of life that deals with the element of earth and the accumulation and possession of worldly goods. However, it is important to note that not all worldly goods and assets are necessarily material in nature. Knowledge, mental fortitude, strength of character, and especially spiritual enlightenment are all very much part of the mix as well.
The Eight of Pentacles addresses the idea of reaching mental or spiritual betterment by way of industry and hard work as applied to a profession. After all, hard work is a way to gain so much more than financial security, material wealth, or social status. Industriousness and diligence also lead us to become better, wiser people who blossom in a variety of different ways through the process of making something of ourselves. Sometimes we must work very hard for a very long time in order to gain a level of success that possesses such depth, but the Eight of Pentacles serves to remind us that it's well worth waiting for and laboring toward. In addition to the concept of diligence combined with those of patience and fortitude, this card also deals with the importance of concentration and even touches on the idea on allowing work to be its own reward.
The traditional image attached to the Eight of Pentacles shows us a hard-working apprentice laboring away on a collection of pentacles. He's completed many in the collection already, he's hard at work on another, and he has yet another waiting for him to give it its own degree of polish so that it can join the others. He is fully committed to what he's doing and he's bent on achieving excellence and reaching the next level in his career. He'll work as hard as necessary and for as long as it takes to achieve the results he is after. However, he also realizes that work and occupation are much more than a simple means to an end. They're a part of a full and complete life in and of itself.
When the Eight of Pentacles makes an appearance in a tarot spread, it most likely alludes to a project or professional path that the querent has been hard at work on for some time now. Most tarot experts agree that it also indicates a period during which concentration, dedication, and effort should be kicked into high gear, as they will pay off handsomely in the end. While it is true that this will be a long row to hoe, the rewards of such an effort will most likely exceed the querent's expectations by a landslide. This is the time to keep one's eyes on the prize and keep pushing through obstacles with optimism and fortitude no matter what life decides to throw at us.
Depending on its exact position in the spread at large and the meanings of the surrounding cards, the Eight of Pentacles can also be a signal to watch for the appearance of an individual who is not only wiser than one's self, but well-placed in a position to offer a helping hand or a leg up. An enriching journey down the road to success always involves learning from others and accepting mentors as guides when we are lucky enough to come in contact with them. It could very well be that such a person is about to make his way into the querent's life very soon.