Is it possible we haven't discussed eights at all on this blog?!?
Funnily, this week I had a reading where three of the four Eights were pulled. And basically, in a row (though they are not pulled the row, as you may or may not know). Again, I wonder to no one in particular why I chose to do these cards this way...but Eights we will touch on today as we venture into the Pentacles.
Like all of the Tarot's Even cards, Eights are about balance. The Even cards each deal with a different kind of balance, however. Twos are about Balancing Energy. Fours are about Stability (or a four legged table's balance). Sixes are about Restoring Balance. The eights, however, are about balancing power and success, each dealing with this balance of power in their own way. In this way, when you lay the Eights in front of you, there doesn't seem to be a theme. But if you look at them as Restriction of Power, or the Exertion of Power, you can see the theme of Balance of Power in them all. The Eight of Wands is the card that comes after movement has been blocked (restoring balance of forward motion), Eight of Cups is moving on physically and emotionally to restore balance, Eight of Swords is about restriction of power (feeling powerless), and the Eight of Pentacles is about financial power through hard work. If we look at the Eights in terms of where they fall in the numerology of the Minor Arcana, the Eight proceeds the completion of the Nine. So the Eight raise the last blockages to completion, the final leg of the race, so to speak. It is why the Eight is so disturbing, because Swords deal with perception. The last illusion is that one is trapped, powerless.
The Eight of Pentacles doesn't have the illusions to restriction of power as the other Eights do. In fact, for a financial or career pull, this card becomes a wonderful ally, reminding you to continue working hard, honing your skills, you are almost there! In this card, we see a man on a bench, carving a pentacle into a coin. Behind him, the village readies for him to begin selling his wares. His role is that of the apprentice. He is working hard to learn his craft, and this learning comes in the form of repetitive creation. This is how we learn after all--doing the same thing over and over. Though the sky in the background of this card is grey, it is not considered a dark or depressed card. This is often called the Card of the Apprentice. Generally, it comes when someone is considering or in school, finishing their degree, working in an apprentice-type job, or as an intern. This is the long road toward financial completion. But this work can be a project (like writing a novel, or working on an art project), or a relationship, like someone in counseling if this is a relationship issue.
The card harkens to the Seven of Pentacles, where a man is depressed, standing in a field, hoeing his pentacles. Wondering when the fruit of his labor will be manifest. This is the man taking back his power and learning a new skill, honing his craft, making something for his future. So, the achievement of power is through work here, and that after all is the theme of Pentacles--finances, home, security, career, hard work. Though he is an apprentice, you do not see his mentor. It is because the card emphasizes personal power through hard work, self-discovery, and education. So, though this card is about apprenticeship, it isn't about searching for a teacher, per se. I want to emphasize that concept, because there are cards that do recommend you find a teacher--the Hermit, for example. The Three of Pentacles is about finding a benefactor (financial partner). This is about honing your skills. Working hard, mastering your craft, so to speak. I pulled this card often in the months before I launched my business. So at that time I did a ton of free readings and crystal healings, figuring out where my strengths lay, how to work with people, etc. That was me honing my craft.
I want to talk about three Pentacles that people often conflate. I talked about them above a bit, but let's look at them together. The Three, the Seven and the Eight. The Three of Pentacles is the card of the Artisan. This is someone on their soul path, creating art or rather his job is based on his unique skills. It doesn't have to be art, music, or writing, but often is. The benefactor plays a role in his work, after all, he works on commission. So this is often about financial partnership. The monk represents the blessings of a Higher Power, so it is soul work, often. Something the artisan sees as his soul path. This work is technically, spiritually and financially fulfilling. (The three in this card.) The Seven of Pentacles is a card of impatience that fulfillment hasn't come yet. So, it also is about hard work, but almost that frustrating toiling on hard work. I have pulled this when someone is in the last stages of their phD, for example, or in a position in their job where they aren't being promoted. There is a feeling of dissatisfaction, frustration, impatience here. The fruits are growing on the vine, but they are either not enough, or not ripe yet. The Eight is also about hard work, but the Apprentice knows his fruits are of his own creation, and right there. There isn't a sense of frustration here, just hard work and learning. So compared to the Seven--the Eight is a spiritually balanced card, while the Seven is one of imbalance.
I hope that helps. I often go where my brain (or Spirit) leads me on these blog posts, so maybe I was the only one who confused these cards when I was learning, but I think it is useful to look at the cards of the same suit together, or the same number. I think if I make it through the Tarot, I will begin to do that on this blog, looking at numerology, or the suits together. We can learn a lot about themes that way. I also apologize for not writing last week, or my newsletters. I'll be back to my usual schedule this week. Again, any questions or topics you would like discussed, please feel free to write them in the comments.