Eight of Pentacles
Seeing as this is the first entry of a daily draw, I wanted to give a little bit of an introduction.
The card for today is the Eight of Pentacles, and I wanted to look into the various interpretations of this card so that we can gain a more holistic meaning from it. I’m using the classing Rider-Waite tarot, the Thoth Deck, the Spiral Tarot, the Vampire Tarot, The Faerie Tarot, the Impressionist Tarot, and the Prisma Visions Tarot. I’ll supply a little more information about all of these decks at the bottom of this post.
Table of Contents:
What I’m Considering
When I drew from the deck, I was thinking about my own position in the world. What I would like to do in the future is consider the events in the world and draw a card regarding that. However, as I ease myself into this, it is just my little world being contemplated.
Eight of Pentacles Descriptions
In the Rider-Waite deck, s carver faces the right side of the card and works on a coin, raising his hammer and angling his chisel just right. He has already made several. Behind him the sky is grey and in the far distance is a town with a road leading to it. The Spiral Tarot draws from this, showing a man working in his shop on his craft, though facing to the left side of the card.
The Fairie Tarot shows a faerie practicing her music with a castle in the background. The Impressionist card draws from the piece Laundry Girls Ironing by Edgar Degas (1884), showing two women working hard to iron eight sheets. The Vampire Tarot shows a master allowing an apprentice to feed on him while the Prisma Visions Tarot reveals a woman watering her garden that is blooming. The Thoth deck shows a tree with eight flowers and branches coming from it. The glyph for the sun is at the top and the glyph for Virgo is on its trunk.
Taking the Symbolism Apart
The first thing to consider is the suit of the card, which is the coins/pentacles/disks. It represents not only the element of earth, but the material world as a whole. It is mostly geared toward career or financial gain, though on a higher level, corresponds to manifestation.
Some decks refer to the coin as the pentacle for a few reasons:
- It has five points, which geometrically relates to man. It is the representation of the human body.
- The five points correspond also to the other fives that make us up: the five limbs, five senses.
- Most importantly, the five points represent each of the elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit.
- The five points also represent five parts of the cards themselves: the Major Arcana, and each suit. When all this comes together then there is mastery, application within the mundane world, manifestation.
The next thing to consider is the number, which is eight. Eight in tarot corresponds to mastery and action. It is an indicator of growth within the self regarding the suit it is in. It is the power within being revealed, causing the growth, pushing toward mastery.
The only card in my collection that depicts the astrological associations is the Thoth Eight of Disks. It shows the Sun in Virgo.
Each of the Major Arcana are ruled by a sign, and the Hermit is ruled by Virgo. This is the indication of calm, calculated movements to gain understanding.
Likewise, the Sun has it’s own representation, which is knowledge of the self and knowledge of will. When we consider our astrological signs, we are generally looking at our sun signs, and the sun rules the self.
Putting it Together
The Eight is a level of mastery and the coins represent our ability to manifest within the material world. However, the influence of the Sun in Virgo shows us it is a slow but steady mastery, one that will be reflected inward and outward. The Eight is a number of movement as well, indicating that through the development of the skill, growth is made within the suit of coins, which is within a hobby, career, or craft.
This is a slow development, but a worthwhile one. As a result, it calls for patience and forgiveness of the self as the querant develops. Mistakes will be made, but they are all a part of the learning as well, and they only act as additional lessons which strengthen the skill.
The work done in the Eight of Coins is the diligence known to those who want to perfect their craft. This can mean an internship or an apprenticeship. Only through practice can we achieve the mastery we need to be able to live on our abilities. This takes time and fortitude, but will pay off in the long run.
Keywords: diligence, practice, steadiness, persistence, patience, mastery.
Relating it to the Focus
As I said before, I focused on me as I pulled this card. I include this introspection for those who are learning to read tarot. When I began reading I struggled to apply the messages of the cards, and so I found examples like this very helpful.
When I woke up this morning, I sat down with my Kindle and couldn’t settle on anything to read, so I read a bit of everything. I have a book that I love that I’ve read before about the development of numerology and different branches of it; I’ve been researching how books on crystals are written and scoured through a few of them; I remembered that I want to get my garden planted and decided I should research that; I remembered that I was part way through a really good piece of fiction, which then led me to GoodReads, which then made me pick up my physical book I’m reading as well…and so on. I went through maybe seven or eight different genres of books before I decided it was time to sit down and do some tarot and write this post.
The application is that I need to focus and work on just one thing at a time. I’m never going to develop a mastery of anything if I can’t just focus on one thing at a time. I need to be patient with myself, and I need to practice what I do know and create something of worth before I move on to the next thing.
The Decks Used
Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’
Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.
Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.
Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.
The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.
Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.
Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.