The eight of pentacles depicts a craftsman working at his trade with diligence and dedication. Using the tools of his art and craft he is in the carving of a set of pentacles, symbols of wealth, stability, abundance. He does his work alone, away from the nearby town or city and he displays the collection of his worldly creations on a nearby tree as signs of his accomplishments achieved through the long work honing his skills. The eight is a task nearly at its completion, a task that relates to material things of the world, physical works that bring us material outcomes. It calls us to focus with dedication and diligence on the tasks at hand to bring our art and craft into material manifestation.
From an inner perspective this card is a point of reflection of the art of crafting the self. This can be considered from a physical and a spiritual perspective. In a material sense the crafting of the self relates to the body, the care of one’s physical form, our most basic resource, which is the vessel for spiritual experience and expression in this lifetime. It indicates a person who is taking physical action to improve their basic nature. Physical training to improve ones health or gain new skills approached with focus promotes a sense of discipline and pride. Thinking about this in terms of the body it promotes not only a healthy, fit physical form but an understanding of the body as a tool. A tool for experiencing the sensual pleasures of the earthly realm to their fullest. This will be a great week for engaging in physical training of some kind with a view to building discipline in ones practice.
This week will be all about reviewing projects and planning you have in place, looking at things with an eye for the finer details. With this card being ruled by the sign of Virgo we can embrace hard work and diligence, evaluating ourselves and our creations with a clear logical attitude that is critical and yet non judgmental. Working with this energy can teach us about our perfectionist traits that can be a great tool. Used in a healthy way perfectionism drives achievement like a tradesman working with his hammer and chisel but it also has the potential to create self defeating traps by setting the bar for achievement to high,. Learning when good enough is good enough is key lesson to be learned so that we can use our resources of time and energy with wise prudence.
From the spiritual point of view then we are gifted with our basic natures, our own innate tendencies and predilections and it is up to each of us to acquire tools that can help to shape and mold the prima materia of our drives and instincts that we may manifest our desires in the material world. Again this can only be achieved through diligence, dedication, persistence and work. The lessons of the eight of pentacles is all about learning and applying ones skills, the process of apprenticeship, the journey of being a student to becoming a mastercrafter. Apart from the practicalities of learning skills and techniques the process of apprenticeship shapes ones values. Is Through the at times arduous process of committing oneself to learning a skill over many years there is a maturity gained that teaches the values of dedication, diligence and the importance of valuing your time and resources. As you progress from a being a student to a trades person a sense of humility and patience is cultivated, there is a tempering of ones character in the forge of hard work that leads to realization that the work of the mastercraftman is the work of a lifetime.