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Insights on the 8 of Pentacles

One of the key skills of reading tarot is how to take cards with quite a traditional meaning (perhaps the 2 of cups- lovers) and translate the card so it can apply to any area of life.

I thought I’d start with the 8 of pentacles. Often considered a card of work, apprenticeship or learning a skill. And really core essential meanings for this card.

But if someone has asked about “how do I improve my marriage” or “I am feeling overwhelmed by life right now” how do you translate this traditional card of work into other areas of life?

In more general life I often see this card as getting organised, self discipline, and staying focused on one thing at a time.

I read a book a while ago (wish I could remember the name) that explained- when we promise ourselves we will do something (lets say completely empty the garage and clear it out) every day we don’t do it we feel slightly disappointed with ourselves, even if we can’t pinpoint why. I see this card as organising your mind, and life so you are always focused on what ever you are doing, completely. It is too easy to let the different areas of our life bleed into each other… you are checking work emails on a date, checking places to go for a date at work, and planning dinner during meditation.

Look at the card. He has total focus on the one pentacle he is carving.

The background has receded to emphasise this moment of total focus.

Then the 8 of pentacles can be that delightful experience of practical mindfulness, or the bliss of peak experience.

Whether this is totally focused on playing snap with a toddler, enjoying the laughter, the smile, the interaction. Or Completely engaging with a loved one. Fully connecting with them whilst you talk. Watching their face for those subtle meanings, and being completely present in the moment.

Watch out though- if this card is paired with the 10 of wands it is one of my key warning pairs. If the 8 of pentacles is self discipline & focus, then the 10 of wands can avoiding looking at the bigger picture (just look at the card).

Now we have “procrastination through business”. I’m sure you’ve done it yourself. Very focused at getting lots done, just not the things you know you really “should” be doing. This is the same as me starting a complete kitchen clean on the day I had put aside to do my accounts.

Add in the uber self-disciplined 9 of pentacles to this heady mix & I have often seen a touch of O.C.D creep in (no- I don’t use the tarot cards to diagnose, I use this term loosely to describe the mental state of extended procrastination through excessive tidying/cleaning)

As I identify very much with the high energy, can be chaotic, oh lets get on with it, type of “wands” energy I know this card well. It regularly crops up in my readings for myself. I am forever trying to be self disciplined & focused!

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