Today’s card draw from The Wild Unknown Tarot is 8 of Pentacles.
I want to start off by providing an important notice, which will be included in all of this series. However, other things that will be included that you can skip to are:
I only include the latter as a comparison, to show how wandering down your own understanding of images and symbols can bring you to a similar meaning, though along a different path with different experiences. This is to help expand knowledge of the card.
I will not, however, be including the definitions from the guidebook, as that is not the point of this. Also, I don’t have rights to that material.
I started this series because I had read that people struggled with the deck purely because the definitions in the Little White Book were very Rider-Waite-based, and that there wasn’t much wisdom regarding the animals and symbolism chosen.
This series is to help you to decipher the meanings yourselves. I am by no means saying what I have to say about the cards are correct for anyone outside myself. However, I am providing my daily journal entries regarding the deck to act as a guide so that you can begin your own journey.
When I started tarot, I had no idea what to write in my journal, and thus didn’t. Instead I obsessively read and re-read the Little White Book belonging to the Spiral Tarot (which is why today I can completely quote the book). I didn’t trust myself to know the cards, even when I could recite the definitions. I was afraid to put the book down.
To this fear of lack of knowledge, the creator of The Wild Unknown writes:
You do know enough. You’ve been a person on earth every day since you were born. You’ve experienced all the emotions and situations these cards depict. Quiet the naysayer…don’t let it prevent you from sitting down with a friend (or yourself) and using these cards to help talk about what’s going on in your life. It will be positive. It will be radical. You’ll find things start to reveal themselves through the cards that have been hidden away, covered with dust.pp. 10-11, The Wild Unknown Guidebook
The 8 of Pentacles in The Wild Unknown is a predominantly white card. The card is a spiderweb with four Pentacles on either side of the card, totaling eight. In the center of the web and the card is a spider, which has skillfully woven its web around the ‘VIII’ at the top. I wonder how many people notice that detail the artist put in.
It’s a very simple card, but when you consider how long it took to draw the lines of the web, the Pentacles—whose stars are white, the background black, and the circles of varying colors—wen you consider this, there was some energy put into it. I would even argue more energy and time and concentration than any of the animal cards.
Which is what the card is about. It’s about honing the craft to perfection. When you consider other decks—specifically the Rider-Waite deck, the Pentacles are slightly different (which I only noticed when another Tarot-reader pointed it out to me).
That’s another aspect about it. The general on-looker isn’t going to notice the work you’re doing to produce your craft. Only those who are dedicated to a related field, or are working on the same skill are going to notice. But this isn’t for the general on-looker. This work is for the craftsperson.
Consider this spider. Spiders make their web for no one but themselves. Humans and animals destroy them without a second thought or without even noticing—and while I can’t speak to the spider’s annoyance or lack thereof—I can say that when this does happen, the spider sets right back to the task.
What’s the message in that? Don’t worry about the set-backs. They happen, but there’s no point in worrying about them. Just get on with it.
The traditional meaning of the card is to hone one’s craft. It’s an Earth element, so it deals with material matters such as health, wealth, and work. It is a reminder to keep practicing, to work on your work for you, to get better. Practice, practice, practice.
I think that because it’s a spider, there’s less of an emotional attachment to the work that must be done. We don’t really think of spiders as having thoughts, annoyances, or anything of that sort. It knows what must be done and it does it, and it gets on with it. If the artist had say maybe picked a beaver, we might have a little bit more of an emotional attachment to the work that is done, both from a human perspective and from the perspective of personifying the beaver.
But webs are very much seen as disposable. They’re easy to accidently destroy and thus the spider is constantly having to remake their web. This drives home the practice aspect of the card.
More than that, it’s a reminder not to get too attached at the ‘practice models’ we create. Just keep going and see where you can improve on the next one.
The Wild Unknown Tarot is a 2016 Harper One publication, created by Kim Krans. The deck is widely available at most bookstores who carry Tarot cards, but also on Amazon. Kim Krans always wrote The Wild Unknown Guidebook.
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