July 17, 2024
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As a reminder, the suit of Pentacles is driven by feminine energy and represents values related to stability, growth, and material aspects in the life of the Querent or subject of a reading. Scholars and academics have connected the suit of pentacles to the classical element of earth, and most of the cards from that suit embody the symbolic attributes of this element, one way or another.

The Eight of Pentacles Tarot Card Keywords

Upright: skills, craftsmanship, mastery, determination, and focus

Reversed: frustration, workaholic, flawed work, and lack of commitment to the effort

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Modern Representations

“If at first you don’t succeed, try again”. “Practice makes perfect”. These two expressions are the perfect illustrations for what the Eight of Pentacles represents in a reading. Skill mastery is something that is acquired through hard work and repetitive actions, but that will soon become second nature and get better and easier with every new iteration.

Likewise, the Eight of Pentacles usually represents a quest for perfection and self-improvement, a desire to get better and better at something (or simply as a human being) and working diligently on it.

8 of Pentacles Mythic Tarot

The Mythic Tarot (1986/2008)

8 of Stones Haindl Tarot

The Haindl Tarot (1990)

8 of Rainbow Ordinariness Osho Zen Tarot

Osho Zen Tarot (1995)

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8 of Coins Law of Attraction Tarot

Law of Attraction Tarot (2011)

8 of Pentacles Spellcaster Tarot

Spellcaster Tarot (2016)

8 of Pentacles Ostara Tarot

Ostara Tarot (2017)

Upright Eight of Pentacles Meaning

The illustration of the Eight of Pentacles in the RWS tarot deck is a direct symbol of its divinatory meaning. The main character seems to be a young artisan with working-class clothes and curly hair currently at work on a large wooden bench. He uses a hammer and chisel to repetitively craft several identical items. The pentacles that symbolize this suit are the projection of these items on the card here as if they were door ornaments or fancy plates.

While some decks derived from the Rider-Waite have lost the artisan/craftsmanship aspect of the illustration, the repetitive aspect of the task being performed is usually a common denominator of most variations of this minor arcana card.

In the suit of Pentacles, the first aspect that can be drawn from the presence of the Eight of Pentacles in a tarot reading is usually related to craftsmanship work of some kind. This is about an artisan at work, using their skills and trying to perfect them.

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As a logical segue from this aspect, the Eight of Pentacles also represents hard work and perseverance, the act of repeating an action over and over while getting increasingly better with that particular action until it becomes second nature. This steady increase in craftsmanship and skill towards perfection is the final aspect most commonly associated with the Eight of Pentacles in a divinatory tarot spread.

In a Question about Love and Relationship

As usual, the meaning of a minor arcana card from the suit of Pentacles is better suited to practical, financial, or professional readings and spreads than one based on love. There is nevertheless one main interpretation that can fit the appearance of the Eight of Pentacles in a love-based reading.

The Querent needs to strive to better themselves and better their own communication skills to enhance their relationship or love interests. This is usually a pretty good sign, as true love is something that needs work in order to last in the long-term.

In a Question about Career and Work

Career encompasses school and education if that is your current stage; work that is necessary, but not what you would consider a career path; and your actual career path. Regardless of your current stage of development, the Eight of Pentacles represents mastery of the subject, the work, or career goals.

If you are a student and this is your card, then you want to study the material until you absorb it and can apply the knowledge without having to put thought into the solution or action. By graduation you should have some degree of Eight of Pentacles accomplishment.

If you are doing work that is necessary, but not a career, then you want to be the best one at the task, or at least a worker who can do the tasks needed with skill and ease. For you, it is “old hat”, and you can teach the skill to the new co-workers.

If you are in your career, then the Eight of Pentacles represents the high level of skill you need to be compensated at a high level. You are a master of the trade or the master consultant. You need to be sure you are being paid what you are worth.

Reversed Eight of Pentacles Meaning

When the Eight of Pentacles is reversed in a tarot spread or reading, the actual process illustrated by the card stays more or less the same, but the point of view and assessment of that process drastically changes.

The repetitive aspect of the work quickly becomes unbearable for the Querent, leading to a lot of frustration, and a lower personal commitment to perception or good work that will more often than not display shoddy workmanship and poor design quality.

From a more psychological point of view, a reversed Eight of Pentacles embodies sentiments of frustration and tediousness, usually as a mirror of someone’s growing suspicions and lack of concrete evidence.

In a Question about Love and Relationship

Reversed, this card indicates that your best efforts are failing. You need to try to work on your relationship in a different way. What may have worked before is no longer working and you need to change your tactics.

In a Question about Career and Work

When this card appears reversed in a question about school, work, or career, then you have probably lost your fire to do the work at a high level. You probably need to direct your energy into a new endeavor that will excite you to work towards the Eight of Pentacles with renewed vigor.

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