The Eight (VIII) of Pentacles

The Eight (VIII) of Pentacles – The Skilled Master

8 of Pentacles Upright


Success, Commitment, Financial Security, Craftsmanship, Master, Expertise, Specialised, Specialist, Hard work,  Workaholic, Highly Skilled, Excelling, Raising The Bar, Ambition, Confidence, Pride, Personal Fulfillment, Quality, Standards, Reputation, Dedicated, Absorbed, Concentration, Application, Productive, Effort, Painstaking, Methodical, Thorough, Meticulous, Diligent, Impeccable, Attention to Detail, Nitty-Gritty, Close Inspection, Checking, Caution, Getting On with Your Work, Completing Tasks, Multi-Tasking, Hammering Away, Interesting Work, Projects, Giving it Your Best, Knowledge, Education, Scholarships, Mentoring, Qualifications, Multi-Talented, Training, Learning, Improving, Researching, Ambition, Working your Way to Top, Physical Strength, Health, Financial Strength, Strong Position, Progress,  Hard Work Paying Off, Rewards, Results, Reaching Goals, Meeting Deadlines, Finishing Touches, Finer Detail, Works of Art, Working For Yourself, Building Up a Business, Trade, Legacy, Community, Giving Something Back


Card Imagery Description 

When we last left the Pentacle’s Man in Card Seven, he was taking a break from all his hard toil to contemplate his achievements to date.  He needed to review his plan or goal to determine if he was still on track and whether any changes needed to be made.  He had been working very hard for a long time and was on the brink of reaping the rewards for all his sustained and constant effort.  He stood in a field of flourishing Pentacle Plants that he had painstakingly cultivated and nurtured from seedlings.  He had given his all to the crops that surrounded him and had thoroughly researched his farming methods, being careful only to use the best quality seedlings, and ensuring that the soil was the perfect environment for them.  He had left little to chance and had sought the advice of experts instead of jumping in without a clue in the world.

The Pentacle’s Man never liked taking risks so he was honest and upfront about what he knew and didn’t know. Neither did he claim to have abilities he hadn’t.  Whatever he lacked, he trained at or read up about.  He was not prepared to leave room for any errors as this was his window of opportunity to success, and the realisation of his dreams.  And so, he worked night and day, and at times became oblivious to what was going on in the world around him.  Friends and family barely saw him as he was putting all his time, energy and resources into his ambitious goal.

The Pentacle’s Man knew that this was his chance and he was going to throw himself totally into the job at hand.  He knew all too well, how circumstances can change rapidly.  One day financially sound, healthy and fit, the next day bankrupt, stressed and ill.  It had happened to him, imagine him, a Pentacle Man falling on hard times? Yes it is hard to imagine but it happened.  It happened back in the Five of Pentacles when he lost everything except the shirt off his back.

He had got off to a marvelous start in the Ace, when Spirit handed him his first Pentacle and nudged him towards the pathway that led out of the garden and off into the hills.  His Pentacle was large, heavy, sturdy and solid.  It was also worth a considerable sum.  With this Pentacle he could really do something, make something of himself and build a good life for any family that came along. Spirit told him to use the Pentacle wisely and not to waste it on trivial items.  Before he headed off on his path, Spirit told him that ‘when you have nothing, it is hard to get anything but when you have something, it is easy to get more’. Therefore if he worked his Pentacle well, it would yield more Pentacles which would yield even more Pentacles and so on and so on.  However, should he let the Pentacle slip away between his fingers through negligence and lack of thought or planning, it would be very hard to get it back again.

The Pentacle’s Man understood the message contained and he assured Spirit that he could be trusted with his precious gift for he was a responsible man, practical and down-to-earth.  Never would he do anything silly that would endanger his Pentacle or weaken its worth.  In The Two of Pentacles he set straight to work and found a way to double his gift.  He found some part-time work which just about covered his expenses, while he saved as much as he could, adding it to the original Pentacle.  He had a plan.  He wanted to go to college and study to be a Stone Mason. He was fascinated by old historical buildings, especially the ancient churches near where he lived.  Growing up he had often spent hours on his own, studying the intricate work and marvelled at the craftsmen who had put so much effort and time into their trade.  He would run his fingers along the grooves in the old granite stone and imagine how wonderful it would be to do the same.  He knew what he wanted to be when he grew up and told his teachers and family on numerous occasions. No one doubted his childish dream for they could already see promise in this young boy. His schoolwork was excellent; his handwriting much older than his years and his attention to detail and homework quite superb. He had been a joy to teach and never got into trouble with anyone.  Such a sensible young man indeed.

It was a bit of a struggle making ends meet while working and saving.  He remembers that period of his life as being very stressful.  He cut back as much as he could but still there were bills to pay and food to put on the table. At times he thought he would have to dip into his savings for there seemed to be more money going out than coming in.  It was all a bit of a juggling act but he just kept his head down and kept going.

In the Three of Pentacles, he started college and his Stone Masonry Apprenticeship. He was to gain his knowledge first-hand while working on the restoration of an old church.  He worked under a team of mentors; expert craftsmen, architects and historians.  He followed their guidance and instruction and before long he was allowed work on some of the less intricate pieces.  He was thrilled to get this opportunity and to be picked for such an important task.  The college mentors had chosen him because of his ongoing and sustained results in exams and assignments.  He showed a deep interest and dedication that very few of the other students did.  He had demonstrated consistent high standards in all his work. He had been singled out to work beside some of the top Masters in their Field and he felt honored and privileged to be handed down this knowledge from such passionate men.  It was true he had a vocation and all could see that he would go far.

In the Four of Pentacles, he landed his first commission and was handsomely paid for it.  He was selected from a panel of Stone Masons to completely renovate a number of buildings in one of the oldest streets in the city.  He threw himself into the work and as the money came in he began to save and invest.  He became obsessed with his work and was always the last one to leave the building.  He refused all offers of social invitations and the opportunity to have a bit of fun.  When he was obliged to attend official functions related to the building work, he rarely mixed and was known to be tight when it came to buying anyone a drink.  He believed it was a waste of money, money that could be better utilised elsewhere.  Those who worked with him thought him mean.  Rarely did anyone see him dressed in anything other than his Stone Mason’s apron, covered in dust, with hammer and chisel in hand.  He had turned into a very serious fellow indeed and his mood was often dour and unfriendly.  He hated anything that got between him and his work.  The only other thing that held his interest was checking his bank statement and investments.  He had plans, big plans, not like the others who would be content to work for someone else in exchange for a small fee.  He wanted to become his own man and run his own business.  He wanted full control and knew he could do it.  If he was in charge, there certainly would be no slackers.

In the Five of Pentacles, his whole world fell apart.  On travelling to work one morning, he stopped to read the newspaper on a street stall (rarely did he buy one). The headlines had caught his attention and his eyes nearly popped out of his head when he read them.  It appeared that the bank where he had kept all his savings had collapsed.  They had closed their doors and would not reopen them.  As he read on, the report told of angry scenes outside the bank. The bank’s customers had been told that their money was gone, all gone. There were riots on the streets, with people getting injured and even killed.  The Pentacle’s Man dropped the paper and ran as fast as he could to the bank. He could not believe his eyes when he saw the mob that had gathered.  He grabbed out at people shouting at them to tell him more.  It was true, anyone who had savings in the bank had lost them all.  There were rumours of bad investments and even embezzlement and fraud.  There would be a huge investigation and inquiry.  In the meantime, the money was gone.  Distraught and horrified the man continued on to work as it was the only thing he could do.

As he arrived to don his apron and collect his tools, he was met by two Officials from the organisation behind funding the renovations.  They looked very serious.  They asked him to step into a room as there was going to be a meeting.  When he entered the room, he saw all his co-workers and even the administration staff.  Something was wrong and that was for certain.  Very calmly and with great dignity the Head Official began to speak.  He sadly announced it was with great regret that all work on the renovations would cease with immediate effect.  The funds for the building had been secured in the bank which had just collapsed.  There would be no further money to pay for supplies or staff. Worse still, there would not even be enough money to pay the staff for the current week’s work.

Amid scenes of shocked disbelief, the Pentacle’s Man had staggered from the room, bewildered and distressed.  He had walked home in a daze of dread and increasing worry.  Inside his front door, lying on the mat was a letter from his investment company. He knew before he opened it, that it was bad news.  He knew the investment company had strong connections with the bank.  That is how he heard of them in the first place. He had been advised by his Bank Manager to invest his hard-earned money with them. He was told it was rock solid and would yield excellent returns in years to come.  The letter told him that his investment was no more.  For the first time in his whole life, the Pentacle’s Man did not know what to do. His mind was in a state of panic and he was close to hysteria.  His money, all his money gone.  This was a nightmare, unbelievable. He was ruined. He had no money, no job and no savings.

When the shock finally wore off he tried to secure employment but so many had lost their jobs as a result of the bank collapse that it was impossible.  No one had the money to pay for professional Stone Masons anymore and all Government Funding had been withdrawn.  There was always the Social Welfare but he was too proud to go there.  He was not the type who had to take hand-outs from others. He had worked and earned his own way from the very start.  What would people think of him if they saw him standing in a queue with all the other jobless people?  No, that was not for him. He would get by somehow or other like he always did.

The day the bailiffs came to repossess his house, he believed his world had come to an end.  This was his idea of hell.  He walked out onto the street, with just the clothes he was standing up in. It had begun to snow and there was a biting cold wind.  He walked aimlessly as he had no idea of where he should go. The dreadful thing was, he had nowhere to go.  He was all alone, no friends, no family, no money, no food and now, no home.  As darkness fell the streets emptied except for those like him, who had nowhere to go.  He looked at these ‘beggars’ and felt tainted by their proximity.  He was hungry and thirsty but had no money to buy food or drink.  Passing by a restaurant his stomach clenched when he inhaled the waft of cooking smells that drifted out as the door was opened and closed.  Glancing in the window he caught sight of people he knew, people he had worked for in the past.  They sat in front of large plates of food and drank rick dark red wine.  One of the diners briefly looked out towards the window but the Pentacle’s Man withdrew rapidly. He was ashamed to be seen in such a disgraced and ruined manner.  As he stumbled on through the night, getting weaker and colder, he thought for the first time of all the beggars and down-and-outs he had seen over the years.  He had always blamed their lowly position on laziness and lack of ambition.  Now he saw things differently.  He could not be accused of being lazy, nor could he be accused of being lacking in ambition.  However, he too was on the street, down-and-out with the rest of them. He had never stopped to offer them money or food in the past. Instead he had just passed by, ignoring their plight, believing them to be the responsiblity of others.

He was found that night by a group of volunteer workers from the nearby Homeless Shelter in The Six of Pentacles.  He had taken shelter in a doorway and half-frozen from the cold had drifted into an exhausted sleep.  A young woman volunteer had gently woken him before leading him by the hand to a waiting vehicle. She wrapped a warm blanket around him and gave him a hot drink and some bread. The volunteers treated him so kindly he almost cried.  Back at the shelter, they took his details before bringing him to a room where there were several beds.  The beds were separated by curtains for privacy.  The volunteer girl told him to get some rest and that they would talk more in the morning.  As the Pentacle’s Man lay down his weary head, he was aware of the presence of many others sleeping in the remaining beds.  Who were they, he thought? Were they beggars, the chronic homeless, down-and-outs, alcoholics or were they people like him? People who had recently fallen into bad luck, people whose circumstances had suddenly changed for the worse? He made a vow never to judge others again for terrible things can happen to anyone.

After a good night’s sleep, the Pentacle’s Man had washed and ate of a hearty breakfast.  He was then taken by vehicle to another building where he met with a man who took more details from him.  He asked about his circumstances and if he had ever worked.  When the Pentacle’s Man told him his story he empathised with him and told him that he wanted to help get him out of the bind that he was in.  He told him that he needed to register with Social Welfare and then they would look through whatever employment there was to be found that might suit him. Unfortunately, he doubted if there would be any Stone Masonry work going.  However, a job was  job and a means of getting back on his feet again, a start so to speak.

The Pentacle’s Man was relieved to be getting this help.  If they hadn’t found him in the doorway the night before, he dreads to think what might have become of him.  After signing on in Social Welfare, the Pentacle’s Man spent much time with the Employment Facilitator discussing possible positions.  There was nothing suitable for him but they did come up with something else.  It was a new Government Scheme that had been launched for those who wished to start their own business.  The Scheme would provide training, mentorship and a start-up grant to successful candidates.  The only draw-back was that funding was only for horticulture.

The Pentacle’s Man, knew something of working the land for he was a true Earth type and loved being around nature and enjoyed working in the open.  He would learn whatever he had to and if selected as one of the candidates he would show them what he could do. He would work really hard and make them proud of him. His heart still lay in Stone Masonry but he was a practical man and knew that for the moment, he would have to put that to one side.  One day, when circumstances improved he would go back to it and take up where he left off.  Right now he was being given a chance to get out of his dire financial mess.  He was going back to work and would give this new project everything he had.  His money and all he had possessed was gone. But for the charity of these wonderful people and many more like them, he might be gone too.  He relished the idea of getting back to work and stuck into the job at hand.  He would make a success of this and would be very careful not to put all his eggs in one basket like he did the last time.  The Pentacle’s Man felt happy  and was smiling.  Gone was the dour, mean-spirited spendthrift of the Four of Pentacles.  All that money he had and never the chance to enjoy it.  He realised now that there was more to life than just money.

In the Seven of Pentacles he was put to work.  His job was to clear a plot of land and grow a crop of Pentacles from seedlings.  He would have to learn the whole process of cultivating and growing these profitable crops.  Again, he had mentors and advisors who monitored his progress.  He had made some good friends at the job centre and homeless shelter. Some came and helped out clearing the land and even though he worked hard day and night, he did try to keep in touch with them even though they complained they never saw him anymore. He would never forget his time on the street and the hopelessness of poverty.

The Pentacle’s Man worked hard, day and night, just like he had applied himself to his Stone Masonry Apprenticeship.  He grew stong and healthy working on the land and developed a deep love for farming.  It turned out that he was green-fingered too for the Pentacles he grew where prize-winning.  When they were eventually harvested and brought to market they made a record profit and his Pentacles were widely sought by buyers worldwide.  It was a great success and he was rewarded well for his efforts.  No longer on Social Welfare or under the watchful eyes of his mentors, he was free to take on contracts and began to act as a Consultant for Pentacle Growers.  The money began to pour in again and bit by bit he managed to get back on his feet. He bought a small house in the countryside and ran his business from the back bedroom.  He was kept busy and always seemed to be working in one form or another.  Now that he was financially secure again, he began to think of his Stone Masonry days.  There was the ruin of an old cottage on his land and he decided that he would restore it himself and use it as a building for facilitating Horticulture Workshops.

As we join The Pentacle’s Man in the Eight of Pentacles, some time has passed since he dug out his old apron, hammer and chisel and set to work on his ruined cottage. We have journeyed far today to observe a Master at his work and hopefully get an interview out of him.  We find the Pentacle’s Man, hard at work once more.  We had rung the front bell several times but the man was so involved in his work he hadn’t heard us. Instead we just follow the sound of hammering that is coming from the back of the building and find him chiseling away.

He is very welcoming in his greeting and apologises for not hearing our arrival. He explains that his wife is normally at home but today has had to deliver an order to a very important client. He tells us that it is easy for him to get so absorbed in his work that he would forget to eat. He said he would starve if not for his lovely wife coming to drag him in to the table. He informs us that he must continue with his work while we speak as he has certain deadlines to meet for the commission he is presently working on.  ‘Please go ahead’ I assure him ‘that is what we have come to see’.  The Pentacle’s Man returns to the bench he was sitting on and picks up his hammer and chisel once more. Bending down he lifts a thin round stone slab and rests it gently on a red brick.  He is engraving the stone with a perfect Pentacle. As he chisels away, very rapidly but carefully, we take a good look at him.

He seems older than the last time we met him.  His face has filled out and his body too.  His hair is beginning to softly grey in areas but he looks more relaxed in himself, happier I think.  His red trousers tells me of the passion and dedication he has for his work and the sheer devotion behind every hammer strike.  His blue top suggests the deep spiritual aspect and creative inspiration behind all his works of art.  Here is a man who feels his work on a deep level.  This is not a job to this man.  As he lovingly engraves each stone we can see it is a vocation, a work of love, and we envy the sense of personal fulfillment he must feel.  Oh to hear your calling, to know it and to follow it. To work at something you really adore must be the most wonderful thing in the world. This Man has that X-Factor for we can see it in his body and face.  He is almost meditative as he goes about his work and am sure he has blocked us out and forgotten we are here.

I draw him back by asking what it is he is working on?  Without looking up, he tells me that he has been commissioned by a Luxury Castle and County House Group who use a Pentacle as part of their logo.  For their Eight 5-Star Hotels, they want a Handcrafted Engraved Stone Pentacle to hang above each magnificent entrance.  The order is to be completed and delivered by early next week.  He is putting the finishing touches to the last three.  He has five already completed and they are hung on hooks on the wall beside where he works.  We ask if we can take a closer look? He just gives a nod of his head and carefully we walk over to them.  From a distance, where we were seated, they looked magnificent indeed but on closer inspection, we gasp at the exquisite detail and skill that went into crafting these incredible Pentacles.  ‘They are absolutely fabulous, just amazing’ we compliment him and he seems pleased to hear our remarks.  ‘Tell me’ I ask, ‘how long does it take to complete each stone’? ‘About three days’ he replies ‘I have to prepare the stone first by sanding, smoothing and coating it with various solutions.  The stone is very fine so I have to be especially careful when chiseling, as it is easily broken. This particular stone is very expensive, so breaking it is something we don’t like to do if at all possible’.  He lifts the stone he is working on to his face and blows gently on the nicely forming Pentacle to clear the stone dust before settling it back onto the block. I ask him if he can tell me how much such a commission would cost but he just smiles at me and lowers his head once more.  ‘I presume it costs a lot’ I prompt.  ‘You could say that alright’ he replies ‘if you want the best, you have to pay for the best, and I am the best’. ‘I see’ says I.  Who can argue with that?  This man, this Pentacle’s Man is the very best to be found.  He is a First Class Stone Mason and in recent years has travelled extensively working on some of the finest buildings in the world.  He is Top of his Trade and highly qualified.  He has endless letters after his name and can command a huge fee for his work.  By God has he earned it though.

We interviewed this  Man some years ago when he had been awarded Pentacle Farmer of the Year after literally dragging himself off the ground and out of poverty.  We had been told that he had lost everything in the big bank collapse and had been reduced to living on the streets.  Luckily for him he was taken in and cared for by a Homeless Shelter Organisation who arranged for him to meet with Employment Officers.  He had been a very willing candidate and those who encountered him were impressed by his work ethic and grim determination.  He had served his Apprenticeship as a Stone Mason and had a highly paid job. He had lost that too with everything else.  Stone Masonry had been his first love, but nevertheless he threw himself in wholeheartedly to learn the skills and art of horticulture.  He believed that all knowledge was good and empowering.  He was the sort of man who could turn his hand to anything and make a success of it.  Not only was he a successful and brilliant Stone Mason, he also proved himself in Farming too.  He had very quickly built a huge reputation and worked as a Freelance Pentacle Farming Consultant while also farming a bit of land he had bought.

He met his wife at the local Country Market.  Ambitious too, she was in charge of running the Market and had her own stand where she sold her homemade organic preserves. They made a right pair and as soon as they bought their country home, he started on renovating the old stone cottage on the land while she set about planting hundreds of fruit bushes and trees for her jam making enterprise.

When he had the cottage completely restored he began to run horticultural workshops from it. He taught people how to grow their own, how to evolve organically and how to rotate the kitchen garden.  His wife taught jam-making classes and they rented the building out to other workshop facilitators.  It was during this time that people started to comment on the building as much as the workshops.  They were amazed to learn that he had restored it himself and that he was a Qualified Stone Mason as well as a farmer.  The knocks started coming to the door and the phone began to ring with enquiries as to his availability for specialist jobs.  The Pentacle’s Man took on as many as he could for he truly loved his Stone Work.  However, he had done no further training since his days before the bank collapse.  He was not content with his level of skills and declared to his wife that he wanted to be the best of the best so he was going to take some time out and get further training and qualifications.  He had very high standards and he now had the money to go back to his first love, Stone Masonry.

He travelled to Italy and spent 6 months training on very fine detailed work in ancient abbeys, cathedrals, castles and medieval villages.  By the time he came home he was a new man and highly qualified.  He built himself a separate workshop area for his stone work, set-up a website and declared himself officially open for business.  While he was in Italy, his wife had enrolled on a course in internet marketing while the children were at school and so was ready to work beside him once he returned.  He already had a name for himself before he went, but now he was in a whole new league. His enquiries were for very specialised work and they came from all over the world. His business grew rapidly as he built success upon success.

He still had his farming business in operation, still worked part-time doing his consultancy business and also taught workshops when he could.  If that was not enough, this man wanted more and this is something I want to ask him about.

‘I hear you have taken on a new project, can you tell me a bit about it?’ ‘Ah you mean The Pentacles School of Training for the local towns in the region?’ he breaks from his work to discuss this as I know it is very close to his heart.  ‘Yes, the very one. Is it true that you are funding the building of this school yourself?’ I ask. ‘Well, to be honest, you are sitting in it right now.  The whole house and these outbuildings will all be converted into a Training School in Horticulture, Craftwork and Stone Masonry.  I have bought a large site out in the heart of the countryside where work has already started on my new home and large workshop.  I will be relocating there with my family as this place is becoming too small for my needs.  I have worked hard for everything I have ever got but I also have been very lucky and very blessed with the people who helped me when I was down on my luck.  I had lost everything and was close to dying on the streets when I was rescued by some very good people. These people helped me put my life back together again and gave me a second chance. I wouldn’t be here today if it was not for them.  I am now in a position to give something back and I would like to help my community as much as I can. This Training School is specifically for people like me, people who had lost hope.  There is so much unemployment today and a huge need for both young and older people to up-skill or retrain. However, most of these people do not have the resources to do so.  Hence, my school. All the courses will be free of charge and all students who pass their exams will be given a job placement.  A team of volunteers will be helping me convert the whole house and the outbuildings so that it is suitable and accessible to all.  They have ready-made working gardens to train in and the workshops are already kitted out.  We will fundraise every year to pay for trainers and supplies but I will also be awarding a Stone Masonry Scholarship each year.  The businesses in the region have been wonderful in offering support and the local Government Enterprise Agencies have given it their backing so it is good to go’

Won’t you miss this place and what about your wife and her garden?  It must have taken a lot of hard work to get it to this stage? Will she have to start over again?’ I ask, amazed by the sheer work that would be involved in recreating this environment elsewhere, and from scratch.  ‘We are looking forward to the challenge and neither of us are afraid of hard work.  We know the ingredients of success and will just apply what we have learned here to our new place.  We have a lot of experience behind us so are confident of our abilities.  It will be a success don’t you worry.  We only deal with success these days.  We want to put a lot of effort into creating a lovely home for us all to live happily in.  We know exactly what we want and are working closely with architects and builders to get just the right look.  There will be wonderful walled gardens and orchards.  We are not getting any younger either and want to be comfortable and enjoy our old age. I am sure we won’t be able to keep this pace up indefinitely’ he laughs.

‘Sounds like a splendid idea to me.  And what of your children, are they happy with the move?’ Well my young lad is already in his apprenticeship with me and I think he is going to be even better than me when he qualifies.  He is showing remarkable talent for one so young. I am very proud of him’ he beams and I ask of his daughter and her view.  ‘Oh well, she is the wild one of the family and wants to travel before deciding on any career. I don’t know where we got her from.’ he says fondly but I can tell that the interview is drawing to a close as he puts his head back down to is work.

‘One last question if you don’t mind?’ ‘Fire away’ he jokes.  What advice would you give to all the young boys and girls out there who are just starting out? I move closer to hear his reply as people generally pay him money for his advice.  Work hard, and then work harder even still. Set yourself a goal and work towards it.  Do something you really want to do because you will be a long time at it. Work, but not just for money’s sake.  You must love the work you do or your work will never amount to much.  Once you find what you like or are good at, then commit yourself to it and go for it. Set your personal standards high and never waver from them. Be the best you can and then try to improve on that.  No matter how old you get, you are forever a student. Education and retraining keeps you fresh and young. Get qualified in something and then add to it.  You have many abilities and can do more than you think. Never, give up no matter what happens. Keep your head down and keep at it. Once you believe in yourself, others will too.  Never be too proud to ask for help. Think success and you will be a success.  Share your Success with others. Give something back. Expect only the best and never settle for anything less. Have patience and learn to pace yourself.  Make sure you have a contingency plan.’ He looks down at his work briefly but I can see he has gone somewhere else in his mind and I presume he is remembering his own past and all he has learned along the way.  You cannot beat experience and this man has it in bucket loads.

I thank him for his time and wish him the very best in his new home and with the Pentacles School of Training.  He doesn’t see me out but is kind enough to invite me to the launch of the school and asks me to promote it as best I can. ‘I will be delighted to’ I assure him and then head back the way I came. As I get into my car I think of all the lucky people who will get the chance to come to the school here.  He has assured me he will work closely with the school and be involved at every step of the way.  I do hope he hasn’t taken on too much, but he is fit and healthy looking and from what I know of him, very sensible too.  I am sure he will not overdo it. He certainly has made great progress and is in a very strong financial position, top of his game and in a league of his own.  Expert, Master, Genius.


After the careful handling, maintenance and future planning in the Seven we now see the efforts begin to payoff. Here is a man diligently carving a Pentacle. On the tree hang Five Pentacles, which he made earlier. Another two lie on the ground by his feet. He pays great attention to his work. This is the Apprentice that was seen in the Three of Pentacles as he studied and developed the skills that would bring him financial reward. He has now matured into the skilled craftsman or tradesman who pays meticulous attention to the quality of his work. The red tights and shoes symbolise the passion he puts into his work. We get the impression that he is so involved and intense with his craft that he is oblivious to the fact that he is on his own. However, this may be deliberate on his part as he prefers as few distractions as possible. He gets everything he needs from his work.

The man has at this stage in the journey of the Pentacles has realised that working and having money is not enough. He now understands the importance of his work is not only to bring him financial rewards but also to bring him personal fulfilment. He realises that to be really good at what he does, he must be happy doing what he does. The town in the background is the same town found in the Four of Pentacles. He now knows what the town needs, who his clients are and the products they require.


The Eight (VIII) of Pentacles – The Skilled Master

8 of Pentacles Upright


Success, Commitment, Financial Security, Craftsmanship, Master, Expertise, Specialised, Specialist, Hard work,  Workaholic, Highly Skilled, Excelling, Raising The Bar, Ambition, Confidence, Pride, Personal Fulfillment, Quality, Standards, Reputation, Dedicated, Absorbed, Concentration, Application, Productive, Effort, Painstaking, Methodical, Thorough, Meticulous, Diligent, Impeccable, Attention to Detail, Nitty-Gritty, Close Inspection, Checking, Caution, Getting On with Your Work, Completing Tasks, Multi-Tasking, Hammering Away, Interesting Work, Projects, Giving it Your Best, Knowledge, Education, Scholarships, Mentoring, Qualifications, Multi-Talented, Training, Learning, Improving, Researching, Ambition, Working your Way to Top, Physical Strength, Health, Financial Strength, Strong Position, Progress,  Hard Work Paying Off, Rewards, Results, Reaching Goals, Meeting Deadlines, Finishing Touches, Finer Detail, Works of Art, Working For Yourself, Building Up a Business, Trade, Legacy, Community, Giving Something Back

When the Eight of Pentacle appears in a Reading it suggests that you are working very hard, not just at present, but over a long period of time.  This is something that you find quite easy to do as you are completely dedicated to the task at hand and like nothing better than to get stuck into your work. Like the Eight of Wands, life has taken off for the Pentacles too.  You are bound to be crazy busy at present,  mega productive and super industrious .  It seems like you can make a success out of anything you decide to turn your hand to.  Any obstacles that may have stood in the way in past are now history and you are free to pursue your course of action and any projects you may be working on.  You are now at liberty to indulge your own interests and special projects too. There is a wonderful sense of coming into your own and feeling extremely confident about what you do.  You work with a strong sense of purpose and life is feeling wholesome and worthwhile.  Everything is falling into place and your two feet are firmly planted on the ground. This is a time for making excellent progress.

The Eight of Pentacles heralds success as a result of sustained and concentrated efforts.  Your commitment and unrelenting effort has paid off and you are now in a very strong position.  While others around you have been running around like headless chickens, trying this and that, you have kept your head down and hammered away on making progress in very specific areas.  Where you are now is not a case of just being lucky for you have earned every cent of your success from serious application and self-discipline. This Card very often deals with finances and career but the success that accompanies this Card can be applied to any area of your life.  Not only are you a success at what you do, but others see you in that light as well.  You may see yourself as someone who is just getting on with their work but from the observers point of view, you are a role model and inspirational.

One of your many outstanding qualities is the impeccably high standards you set for  yourself and everything you get involved in. You believe, that if a ‘job is worth doing, then it is worth doing well’.  You are scrupulous in your attention to detail and the quality of your work is excellent. The Eight of Pentacles suggests that you are highly qualified in your field of expertise and probably have attained other ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ diplomas and credentials.  It is no doubt that you are ‘top of your field’ and ‘top of the class’.  You would be considered an expert by your peers and someone who has vast experience behind them. You are highly sought after.

Another of your qualities is patience, and when this Card appears in a Reading, it will be asking you to take your time and not attempt to take any short-cuts with what you are doing.  It is quality and not quantity that matters at the moment so you must pay attention to the fine detail and not just be in a hurry to get things finished and done. Only your best work will do and possibly even more is expected of you now, so do not disappoint.  Keep hammering away until you get it just right.  You have really come a long way and should be proud of your abilities and all that you have achieved.

The Eight of Pentacles appearing can act as a reminder to do something that you really enjoy doing.  That something may be work-related, relationship, hobby, sport,travel or just about anything.  When you love what you do, it will always shine through and work that is completed with love will stand out from the rest.  The Pentacles are associated with the material world and the physical body so it is easy for them to get  carried away with only caring for the Outcome.  They can become workaholics, financially successful but dull and boring or health freaks who allow themselves no treats or rest.  This Card however, brings maturity to the Pentacles Journey and carries a very strong message.  The Outcome or Reward of course is important, and we all must set goals to work towards, but the journey to the desired outcome or goal is as important if not more.  To be ultimately successful like the Figure in the Imagery of this Card we must be on a journey that enables us to wake-up in the morning and hop out of bed, eager to get on with the day’s work, instead of the horrid bone weary dread of dragging ourself into another day of drudgery. We must be able to look back on our journey once completed, with fond memories and pride.  The Eight of Pentacles promotes hard work and effort in order to yield results but it certainly would not condone viewing your journey as a chore, necessary evil or tedious.  If you are not happy doing what you are doing then go out and find something that will.

The Eight of Pentacles can suggest that you have very strong abilities or skills that you may not be utiliising to your best advantage. You may have a hobby;  doing or making things in your spare time, which brings you great joy.  This hobby has been finely honed over years of application and trial and error.  You probably self-taught, through research and reading up on your subject.  Your work is more than likely exquisite  but is possibly kept to yourself.  The Eight of Pentacles can be indicating that you are sitting on a goldmine.  It may be time to show others your abilities and skills by exposing it to a wider audience.  Your own impeccable high standards may not deem your work fit for sale as you can be your own worst critic but I guarantee you that others will be excited by what you have on offer and will be prepared to pay for such high quality work. Time to tidy up on your presentation skills and showcase your work at an exhibition, trade show, craft fair or market.  Take your work to the people and let them make up their own mind.  If you feel unsure about certain areas, then do a few evening or online courses to add a professional touch.  You could also seek the advice of a Mentor at the Local Government Enterprise Offices.

The Eight of Pentacles is often a Card for study and learning but unlike the Three of Pentacles where the Figure was only starting out as an Apprentice, The Eight suggests that you may be working to add to your existing qualifications or getting re-trained. The Pentacles hanging on the Wall in the Imagery may be your proud display of Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and Awards .   This is not someone approaching their subject for the first time but rather someone who is interested in specialising in a certain field of expertise.  This is someone who wants to be the best at what they do and become a Master of their trade. You may be going for your Masters, PhD, Consultant or Professor. Education is important and you will be happy to add to it wherever you can; taking classes, courses or online study, anything really that will improve your existing skills and expertise. The Eight of Pentacles can suggest that you are going back to college as a mature student or gaining extra qualifications through work. You may be planning to do or start-up something when you retire and are getting trained in that particular area. There is certainly a plan of action and you know exactly what it is that you are doing and want.

An alternative message to the one above can suggest that it is time to push yourself some  more.  Even though you have worked consistently hard and are highly qualified, you have not fully realised your true potential.  The Eight of Pentacles can appear to ask you to raise the bar even further to improve your performance,  for you are well capable of it. You can do even better than what you have done to date. This Card can suggest that you might have reached a stage where you have plateaued and are pondering over whether you need to do more or be content with what you have achieved.   It is for certain that you are aware of areas, qualifications or skills that would be well worth adding to your repertoire, portfolio or CV.  Whatever dream or ambition you may be considering chasing, it is well within your capabilities and reach.  It will involve having to work hard of course, and you will be expected to fit your studies into an already very busy life, but any sacrifices made will be well rewarded. The Outcome will bring substantial gain for you. The Eight of Pentacles can also symbolically represent being awarded a Scholarship or being given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to study under one of the Great Masters. Go for it.

The Eight of Pentacles is a Card for commitment to a person or situation. Great effort is put in to maintaining a high standard of work whatever it may be related to. It is a Card for success and building on further success.

Commitment to your community and environment is also very important and this Card asks you to help out wherever you can, especially using the skills and knowledge you have at your disposal.  Think of what it is that you have or can do which might benefit others around you.  Experience like yours is invaluable and you might be able to give someone a start by taking them under your wing. Don’t look at it as tedious or boring but more so as the opportunity to pass on your knowledge or legacy to those who come behind you.  Take the time out to share you success with those around you so that they too may have the chance to be successful in their own right.

Healthy and fit too, The Eight of Pentacles suggests you are paying much attention to your body and looking after its needs. Exercising, eating healthy and getting plenty of outdoors activity does take a lot of self-discipline but it’s no problem as you have it in bucket loads. The Eight of Pentacles confirms that you are or will (depending on position in spread) be feeling very well and strong in mind and body. In fact you haven’t felt so well in a long time, but that is also because you are emotionally happy too. You are doing exactly what you want to be doing and you should be proud of yourself.

When it comes to relationships The Eight of Pentacles suggests that you are putting great effort and commitment into your relationship. This is a very strong and secure relationship, based on trust, faithfulness and loyalty.  You understand what it is that you need to do to keep your relationship stable. Your relationship means a lot to you and you will do whatever it is to make it work.  You may also be taking steps to improve on your relationship instead of letting it trundle along.  You are conscientious, caring and not prone to taking your partner for granted.  This relationship is relaxed and steady with no emotional or aggressive outbursts.  You do not consider this hard work as you consider your partner is worth all the effort. This is indeed a work of love.

However, financial security is also very important in your relationship, so you may be working hard to build a secure future for you and your partner or family. Make sure you remember to go home regularly and make some time for fun and social activities.  The type of person you are, leaves you exposed and vulnerable to becoming a workaholic.  If you let this happen, then it may very well destroy your lovely relationship.  You must work hard at striking the right balance. You can have both you know!

With regards to career or business, the Eight of Pentacles is a very positive card and not only shows that you are working very hard and very diligently, but that you also love what you do. You are committed to your goals and ambitions and accept the hard work that is required to realise them. Those around you in the workplace turn to you for advice or to follow your lead.  More people learn from you than you realise.

It is for certain that you are a hard-worker and have no problem working on your own. You use your initiative and are diligent in your approach to every task. No job is too small or too big and all are equally important. You take set-backs in your stride and when a mistake is made, you learn from it instead of giving up and walking away. You can be trusted to complete any task given to you and are not easily distracted. You have the makings of being the perfect Home-Worker because you are super-disciplined and can work on your own initiative. You are likely to work long hours  and prefer to be allowed get on with your work without interruptions and obligatory break-times.

In Business, The Eight of Pentacles can indicate that you are working flat-out at present and are constantly on the go.  Orders and contracts are flying in with staff working overtime to meet the increasing demands and ensuring consignments are despatched on time.  You have no doubt built a reliable reputation for professionalism, quality and service within your industry and will be eager to build further on these. Keep up the good work.

Should you be planning on starting a Business, then The Eight of Pentacles lets you know that you have the commitment, dedication and tenacity to make it a success. The success is in the detail of the business and that is where you excel. Getting down to the nitty-gritty, and painstakingly going through all the ins and outs, is something that most of us try to avoid, but not you. You will cover every area, giving it your full attention, checking and then checking again to make sure nothing has been overlooked. You are methodical in your approach and very resourceful.  Knowing your subject or field of expertise inside out will be the key to your success.  You might think of getting some extra qualifications to put you top of your game and in a league of your own.

If you are looking for an idea for your business, then look to the nearby community to establish what it is they need, for they will most likely be your best and most loyal customers.

If you are hiring staff for your business or interviewing, then the Eight of Pentacles advises you to select only the best and most highly qualified, even if it does entail increasing the package that is on offer.  These highly skilled staff will make an excellent investment for your company and will raise the standards of their fellow employees.  You may also consider making an investment in further training or education for your staff. The payback will be noticed in increased profits for you and your business.

The Pentacles hanging on the tree can symbolise all your qualifications or displaying your goods for sale in a shop window. Maybe you are working on pieces of art or sculpture to exhibit in the local town.  This card suggests that you have many qualifications, talents and abilities. If working on a project, entering a competition or looking for sponsorship your hard work and effort will pay off.

You may be working hard on building up your business even if it does isolate you from friends and family. The Eight of Pentacles can also suggest that you have several projects going on all at the same time.  People may be advising that you ‘have too many fingers in too many pies’ but you are well able to manage and pace yourself when this Eight is Upright.

The Eight of Pentacles is one of several Cards in the Tarot that put an emphasis on Community.  It is a Card that appeals to your conscience and asks you to make a contribution or to give something back.  If you are in a position to help others as a result of your success, then you should make an effort.  Time spent in volunteering, mentoring or sponsoring those less fortunate, or individuals who show natural ability or skills, will be immensely worthwhile and rewarding.  You could take in a few interns, sponsor a related competition, offer a scholarship or provide funds for projects and building.


8 of Pentacles Reversed

Lack of Commitment, Lack of Success, Disinterest, Poor Quality, Boring Work, Repetitive Work, No Effort, Half-Hearted Effort, Failure, Weakness, Unproductive, Unremarkable, Mediocre, Setting Sights Low, Shoddy Work, Rushed Job, Botched Job,  Careless, Rough, No Finesse, Cheap, Rogue Builders,  Bad Reputation, Lack of Ambition, No Qualifications, Under Qualified, Unprofessional, Uninspiring,  No Work, Job Loss, Poorly Trained, Financial Weakness, Recessions, Neglect of Health,  Lack of Respect, Mean-Spirited, Workaholic, Materialistic, Money Mad, All Work and No Play, Getting Nowhere in your Career, Exam Failure, Lack of Concentration/Focus,  Impatience, Over-Stretched, Taking on Too Much, Taking Short Cuts, Taking Risks, Get Rich Quick Schemes, Scams, Laziness, Idleness, Care Less Attitude, Debts, Overspending,

Well, what a change when the Eight of Pentacles Reverses.  Instead of the commitment and dedication of the Upright we now see a lack of commitment and disinterest when it Reverses. When we look at the imagery of the Reversed Eight, the Figure now appears to be careless with his work.  The Five Pentacles hanging on the wall, along with a sixth balanced precariously against the leg of his bench all now display the Pentacle in its Reversed Aspect.  There is even a Pentacle cast carelessly on the ground where anyone could walk on it or trip. This is not good, not good at all.  The Reversed Aspect suggests a disconnection between the physical and spiritual.  The Physical/Material side of Pentacle/Man dominates and governs, while the Spiritual/Emotional side is suppressed.  This will lead to all kinds of problems and changes in behaviour.  It has now come down to all about the Outcome and Results. Call it what you like, but we now see signs of being overly materialistic and money grabbing.

When this Card Reverses, we now see the town and community above the man.  To the Pentacle Man, it and the people who live there, are out of sight and out of mind.  All he can see now are his Pentacles and what they can do for him.  He builds on his success and accumulates, but it is all for him.  This can suggest that you are so caught up with all that you are doing and working towards, you give no thoughts to those around you.  You may be in a very privileged or advantageous position where you could help others or make a contribution yet fail to make any effort.  You may not believe that it is your responsibility or that all should work as hard as you do to get ahead.  Remember, that not all have the same drive as you and their personal circumstances may be very different to yours.

When The Eight of Pentacles appears it can be a harsh reminder that hard work, diligence and putting in the necessary time is not something that you are familiar with. You cannot proudly claim these admirable qualities amongst your standards and principles because they just don’t mean a lot to you.  Indeed, the less you have to do the better. You may desire all the rewards and benefits that hard work and effort bring but that is where your interest ends.  You lack the will power and self-discipline that work requires.  You may believe that hard work is for other people and that you know a better way of finding success.  Whatever it comes down to, it is bound to involve taking short-cuts and trying to turn a quick book.  There is certainly no plan of action other than to make gain as quickly as possible and by doing as little as you can. Qualifications and study are for fools as far as you are concerned, because you know that you can get by without them.  Sure, you can even buy qualifications on the internet.  Studying and books are not your thing and you prefer to do a bit of this and a bit of that rather than apply yourself to any one particular area. Heaven forbid that you might actually get knowledgeable if you did.

To the casual observer, you may look like the ‘real thing’, a successful person or business man/woman who must be busy and ‘rolling in it’ because you will undoubtedly display all the trappings of success, such as fancy car, offices and stylish suits.  You will promise the world and take everything that comes your way.  You will also take money up front before lifting a finger to earn it. Then comes the even harder bit, getting started on whatever project or job you have agreed to do.  You just find it very difficult to muster up the enthusiasm and will drag your heals for some time before making a half-got effort at starting.  With lack of interest, discipline and a sense of pride in your work, you may find it impossible to finish any task you start, especially if it comes down to the more detailed or tedious side of it.  You will avoid it at all costs and find endless excuses as to why you can’t do it right now.

With no heart or pride in your work, it is bound not to be up to much.  The work suggested can be absolutely anything you are involved in and not just business work or a job but very often the Eight of Pentacles represents such areas.  Your attitude to anything you do is ‘ah sure it will do’ or ‘it’s fine’ or ‘who cares’ , ‘sure it’s only….’ and ‘sure, nobody will notice that’. You actually could care less about it and believe that you have better things to be doing with your life than wasting your times on such boring and tedious things. You have an in-built natural lack of respect, not just for your work, but also towards those you deal with.

The Eight of Pentacles Reversed can suggest someone who is a bit of a chancer and prepared to take advantage wherever they get the opportunity. Having a good reputation means little to them as they are bound not to have many repeat visitors, customers or clients.   There will always be plenty more gullible and unsuspecting people out there. As a result they have a tendency to botch up jobs, leave work unfinished, try to rush it or take short-cuts.  When the Eight of Pentacles Reverses, the proud detailed work displayed in the Upright Card only appears so from a distance when it Reverses.   On close inspection it can be quite shoddy and unprofessional. It may look thrown together, poorly designed and roughly finished.

The Eight of Pentacles can suggest the rogue builders who are not properly qualified and lie about their abilities and skills.  They promise you the world and will badmouth other credible builders just to get the job from you.  Money is usually required in advance ‘just to buy the supplies of course’ and usually they will tell you they can get the job done much faster than the rest.  Then they don’t turn up on the first day, or the day after that, or the day after that.  Phones go unanswered and messages unreturned.  Just when you think they have done a runner with your money, they turn up with a couple of lads and proceed to throw themselves into a flurry of activity.  Of course, they never get through a full day’s work at any stage because they have to leave to get more supplies, which they need more money for, or have some lame excuse about the weather about to turn.  What started out as a simple building job suddenly turns into an ongoing mess. The only thing that seems to be going anywhere is your money.  These scenarios generally end up with having to get some responsible builders in to sort out the problem and get it finished.  It is then you discover, that nothing has been laid properly and may even be dangerous.  The Eight of Pentacles Reversed warns you to be on your guard when hiring any tradesmen for they may not be reliable or even qualified.  Make sure you ask for proof of their trade credentials and check all documentation and references thoroughly.  If they cannot give you a list of satisfied customers to contact, then give them a wide berth for they are probably cowboys.

On the other hand, when we look at the extreme aspect of The Eight of Pentacles Reversed, we can recognise all too easily the highly qualified professional or skilled tradesman whose work has either dried up or gone altogether.  Recession may have had a terrible impact on your livelihood, and whereas once you were busy and in great demand, no one now has the money to spend on your quality goods or services.  You are left in a dilemma because what you once prided yourself on, and trained so hard to get, has possibly left you in a situation where you are unemployable.  You may be left with no choice but to retrain in an unrelated area or adapt your product or services for the current market.  Cheap and cheerful may be the way forward for you now but it will bring you no sense of personal satisfaction or fulfilment for you are not doing what you trained so hard to do. However, this Reversed Eight of Pentacles will remind you that you must do what you have to do at the moment to survive.  It asks you to keep your head down and work as hard as you can to ride out the storm.

The Eight of Pentacles Reversed often suggests a lack of patience and frustration.  You may be tired waiting for things to happen or take off.  You might want a rapid return on your investment and are not prepared to wait for it to mature.   Your desire to get rich quick may find you taking short cuts and making mistakes. You might risk losing everything you have invested if you make a move too soon.  Try not to take any sudden drastic action or make impulsive decisions that will leave you exposed and vulnerable. You may have a tendency to self-sabotage any opportunity that comes your way.

The Suit of Pentacles also governs the physical body and in the Upright we found great health and a commitment to looking after and caring for oneself.  However, when this Eight Reverses we have two extremes.  You may not be paying attention to your body.  There may be too much eating of the wrong food types and excessive drinking. You may not be getting regular exercise and have become lazy and lethargic.  Weight is bound to pile on and your health could be affected.  Then again, you may have become muscle-bound from weight training and overdoing it in the gym.  You may also have gone overboard with dieting or extreme food fads.  A healthy balance needs to be found.

The Eight of Pentacles Reversed can suggest failure in exams. The terrible thing is that you do have the ability but have been lazy and lackadaisical about your work.  You are not pushing yourself enough. You have also been setting your sights low, prepared to accept mediocre results when you could easily be top of the class.  You really need to commit to what you are doing and apply some self-discipline and control if you are ever going to qualify.  This Card Reversed does not augur well if you have been hoping for an award or scholarship. You are likely to be disappointed, but yet again, the necessary work has not been put in. You could easily let a golden opportunity slip between your fingers.

Where Relationships are concerned, The Reversed Eight of Pentacles suggests that you are not putting any effort into maintaining yours.  You could have a habit of not being able to follow through once the initial stage of a relationship has passed.  You may start out with good intentions only to find that you lose interest or become lazy in your approach.  The Eight of Pentacles Reversed is a warning sign for lack of commitment and disinterest.  Either you or your partner thinks only of them self and their needs. They couldn’t be bothered doing anything, especially for their partner.  This could be a very selfish relationship.

You or your partner may be a workaholic, which makes for an unhealthy and unbalanced relationship.  Your career may be more important than your relationship if you are very ambitious. Then again, you may choose to stay single while building your career or business.  You might also walk away from a very promising career in favour of your relationship, especially if you decide to start a family. However, this Card does remind you that you have many talents and when you are ready can easily work from home or start a home based business.

The Eight of Pentacles Reversed can suggest that you are you bored in your relationship?  Does it all feel like too much hard work?  Do you really love your partner or are you just with them for the financial rewards that may be gained? If your you or your partner are setting up a business then this Reversed Card can suggest you won’t see a  lot of them.  It depends on how committed both of you are to the relationship as to whether it will survive this period of time. Remember, all hard work and no play made Jack a very, very, very dull boy indeed. This Reversed Card can also act as a warning that the person you are getting involved with may be in a lot of financial debt or difficulty.

Career-related, you may be working in a boring job but continue to stick with it because the money is good. You might deliberately choose a job or career based on the little amount of work you have to do to earn your pay.  You may be looking for a lifetime job that will offer a pension and perks but with few challenges or the chance for advancement. It might be a cushy ride you are looking for.  There can be a lack of ambition in your life and you probably have no goals set for your future either.  You might be prepared to just drift along, doing casual work here and there as you go, with no real plan of action.

You might also be in a job that has no prospects.  No matter how hard you work, there will never be a promotion or pay rise.  You may need to think about looking for a new job.  Perhaps you are not qualified for the job you really want so you may have to think about enrolling on a course of study. You may also have oversold yourself for a position and are now struggling to complete tasks.  Then again you may have gone as far as you can in your career but still feel that you have not realised your full potential. You will need to sit down and give this some thought.  What else would you like to do? Have you a hobby that could be developed into something more?

The Eight of Pentacles Reversed can highlight the problem of being  under-qualified or possibly no qualifications at all?  The lack of ambition and qualifications may find you taking on jobs that are boring, repetitive and meaningless. In the Reversed Card, the Pentacles hanging on the wall now take on the form of a conveyor belt in a factory. Your work could involve you doing the same old thing over and over, for hours each day.  This scenario is often found with young people either opting out of school early or refusing the chance of college because they couldn’t be bothered with all the study. Trying to put an old head on young shoulders, as we all know, is next to impossible and the young people are quick to point out that all they want is to get a job and earn some money.  So that is what they do.  At first, in their early years, the freedom of having a bit of money in their hand at the end of the week sustains them.  They can buy their own clothes, socialise, possibly get a second-hand car and go on the odd holiday.  As far as they are concerned , they have made it and have all they need.  It takes some time for them to realise that without further education, training or up-skilling, it is unlikely that they are going to go any further than where they are now.

You may become bored with your job and work habits. You could possibly be working very hard for little pay or could even be out of work.  Your job has probably become tedious and repetitive. You may have reached a stage or age that finds you regretting not going to college, learning a trade or getting properly qualified in something.  However, the Eight of Pentacles Reversed, reminds you that it is never too late.  You could go to college as a mature student or begin a course of study in your spare time that will lead to qualifications.  On-line Study is always another option that can be fitted into a busy lifestyle.  Chances are at this stage you have a fair idea of what you would like to do, and so should eagerly apply yourself to the study of it. If not, then you need to go back to the Seven of Pentacles and spend time giving thought to your future. Decide where you want to go and who you want to be.

This Reversed Eight, depending on surrounding cards could highlight the very real dilemma of being highly qualified but unable to find work. On the other hand,  you may have a very good job but are taking it for granted.  For some reason, your mind is not on your work at present.  There are outside distractions interfering with your work.  You may be bringing personal problems into the workplace and  are not getting your job done.  Then again you may be socialising a bit too much, coming to work late, tired and hung over.  Your work is definitely suffering, the quality of it has gone down hill and is lacking in your normal professionalism.  It is unlikely that you are meeting targets and deadlines and are totally disorganised.  Your work is really not up to scratch and others are noticing it too.  It is time to get a grip of yourself and knuckle down, otherwise you may get called to the Boss’s office for a right telling off if not an official warning.   You may also be spending more than you are earning, as bills mount and credit cards get maxed to the limit.

The Eight of Pentacles Reversed can suggest that you have many talents and abilities but fail to use or develop them. You could turn your hand to anything but either through laziness or lack of self-confidence you neglect to give anything a try. Your life may lack purpose and direction.  You may not have great staying power, so when a job reaches the point of focussed concentration or difficulty, you can feel panicked or overwhelmed and doubt your ability to complete. You think failure instead of success and concentrate on your weaknesses instead of your strengths.  Go away and quietly tackle from start to finish, just one small task.  Don’t tell anyone what you are about for that will put pressure on you.  You may just need to be left alone to get on with your work.  Take small steps and put your very best into it.  Practice makes perfect. As long as you do not try to overstretch yourself immediately, you will get there in the end.

In Business, The Eight of Pentacles can suggest that you have been so absorbed in your work and what you do that you may not be aware of changes in the current market.  You may be producing or over-producing goods that are no longer in demand.  You may be breaking your back on a business that is going nowhere. Your business may be outdated and old-fashioned or totally disorganised. You need to go back to the Seven of Pentacles to re-evaluate and review your business plan, as it needs to be changed.  

In business, you may also be trying to do too much yourself.  You may be working 24/7 with little time to rest or relax.  This could be down to an inability to delegate or the lack of funds to hire help.  You may not trust others to do the work or perhaps you check and recheck all your staff’s work instead of letting them get on with it.  If you have cut corners with hiring under qualified staff, then it is bound to show through in the quality of their work. Be very careful if there is a tendency to avoid spending money within the business.  You may think that you are being prudent and sensible but very often you have to speculate to accumulate.  Therefore, if equipment needs updating, staff need re-training or a product needs re-vamping, put your hand in your pocket and pay for it.

There is also the tendency with the Reversed Eight of Pentacles to turn into a workaholic.  You may have lost sight of your goals and dreams in the midst of hard toil and labour.  You may work just for the sake of working, with little personal enjoyment.  You may have your finger in too many pies. Results and Outcome can become more important than job satisfaction. It might be all about money, money, money and nothing else.  All work and no play made Jack a dull boy.

If you have been working on a large commission or contract, you may find it difficult to get paid when the Eight of Pentacles is Reversed. Do not leave any chance for complaints about your work or the quality of the finished product, for your buyer may try to get you to knock down the price.  Make sure you get everything in writing and are crystal clear about the job specification before you start.

*We will next visit the Pentacles in Card Nine and we shall see this time if they have managed to maintain their success or will we find them back in the scene from the Five, after losing everything again? They do seem to be in a very strong position at present and it is wonderful to see all their hard work beginning to pay off.  They have certainly earned every cent of it. I wonder what changes the Pentacles will have made to their life in Card Nine? Will they still be working as hard as they known to or will they have relaxed a bit? I do hope they are taking enough time off to enjoy their success as it would be a pity to see them working their fingers to the bone until the day they die. We shall find out soon enough.          

Back To Lesson 8 

Ace of Pentacles   2 of Pentacles 3 of Pentacles 4 of Pentacles 5 of Pentacles 6 of Pentacles 7 of Pentacles 8 of Pentacles 9 of Pentacles 10 of Pentacles

Aces Intro Twos Intro Threes Intro Fours Intro Fives Intro Sixes Intro Sevens Intro Eights Intro Nines Intro Tens Intro

The 78 Cards – Detailed Study Version (Card Description, Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

The 78 Cards – Shortened Version (Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

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9 replies »

  1. Thanks so much for this explanation. I have read lots of books on Tarot that say that the 3 of Pentacles is a master craftsman and the 8 is an apprentice. It’s never stuck me as right – that a 3 is more developed than an 8. Here is the answer I’ve been looking for. Your explanations make so much sense. I’m ditching the books and sticking with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Josephine. Thank you for your lovely comment. I was always taught that the Three of Pentacles was the Apprentice and The 8, the Master . Three is about growth, progress and development, the role of the Apprentice as he learns his craft. Eight is about power, speed and strength. The Master is accomplished and qualified. I still have much work to with with rewriting the many of the Cards. 5 to 22 in the Major Arcana still need to be reworked along with tidying up the Queens and Kings. Will get there eventually.


  2. Wow this is lovely. I’ve never really understood tarot before despite the years I’ve had friends who were interested. But I do have this habit of finding playing cards in the street and when I look them up they are symbolic of something in my life. Your description of this card could not be more accurate, and the story you told has made the card, and now perhaps all of tarot more accessable to me. I never really knew the story if the journey of each suit before. Thank you so much for this brilliant description. It has made my day and I look forward to reading the rest of your site.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome work. I’m truly impressed by the knowledge, devotion, love and the deep look you take into the precious language of the tarot. The full description of the deep underlying pattern of the whole suit is priceless, specially when fleshed out in such a mundane storyline, so very appropriate for the suit of pentacles and a strand of the art of Living that the Tarot heralds.

    Tarot is (together with astrology) one of my dearest passions and one of the sign systems I trace and I listen to when navigating Life. Lately, I keep getting the 8 of pentacles in my readings and I actually resorted to the internet looking for some other voices other than my own. I was hoping for an in-depth vision of the 8 of pentacles that complemented my own feeling of it, that really resonated. And here I landed. I got goose pimples when I read your great piece.

    Funny that it’s also made me realise that I ‘ve been myself into tarot like the man of the 8 of pentacles :-), for years, hours on end, absorbed, out of devotion and of some sort of calling from early on in my life -I ain’t no master, though. And I keep on getting some people saying I should do something out of it in a professional manner, specially at this crossroads in my life. I just never feel my work is quite good enough for such standards; ‘I need to work more on it, I need to be more connected, more…’ -. 8 of pentacles…indeed.

    Thank you so much for your excellent work and very specially for the crafted-love of the tarot that shines throw your words.


    • Hi,

      Well here is your mate. I never feel good enough either and am my own worst critic. I fuss and fret every time I release new content. You say you have given years and hours on end to tarot and feel it is your calling, yet worry that you are no master. I can tell you that I am the farthest thing away from Master you can get. I am not a Tarot Purist. I care less for many aspects of tarot that Masters might obsess over. I write about tarot, not so much in tarot fashion but rather via an engagement with my creative imagination. Yes, of course, the principles of tarot must be applied but not rigidly. There are so many schools and systems of tarot out there that who can say which is right and which is wrong. Whatever works for you! I regularly get comments from tarot students who say that this or that aspect or approach is wrong, but I am not attempting to sway anyone. I aim to bring the imagery and characters to life through story telling using the Elements and numerology to guide me. That is where my work with tarot lies. I will leave the rest to others.

      I too am the 8 of Pentacles and at times find it hard to finish a project for release. I continue to pick at it. Like the Empress, I am not always to keen to let go of my creations. You have it in you, yet feel its not enough. Believe me, no one will judge you in that manner at all. You are every bit as good as the rest and I bet you have your own unique version to share with the world. It all helps when learning tarot and my advise to students of tarot is to read as many variations on the subject as possible. Sticking rigidly to one system may seem the way to go, but it cuts you off from other experiences. I would have a go and just do it. I will be launching a YouTube Video Channel for my site this year, once I learn how to use the equipment, but am nervous of being in front of the camera and making a fool of myself. I have watched many tutorials and the advice they all give, is to just do it. Just jump in and learn as you go along. It will get easier and easier. If you wait until you think you have it perfect, it will never happen. They warn to be prepared for the initial videos to be a mess but its the only way to go.

      I do hope you bite the bullet and take the advice of your friends.

      Best of Luck,



  4. “The Eight of Pentacles can be indicating that you are sitting on a goldmine. It may be time to show others your abilities and skills by exposing it to a wider audience. Your own impeccable high standards may not deem your work fit for sale as you can be your own worst critic but I guarantee you that others will be excited by what you have on offer and will be prepared to pay for such high quality work.” So glad you said this! There’s something I’m working on right now and the 8 of pentacles showed up in a reading. I don’t know if this person reads reversals. I hope it was meant to be in the upright position. But anywhoo. There is something I’m working on right now. My biggest fear is that I’ll put all this time, work and money into it and not still not end up putting it out there because “it’s not perfect” or fear that I forgot to have included something else AFTER the fact. I have to remind myself that nothing will ever be perfect and to just do it


    • Oh Kayla,

      I am with you on that one. Sometimes we pick and pick and pick at something. Turn it this way and that, go over and over it and in the end still find fault. The Eight of Pentacles very much shows this exhausting side of perfectionism. The pentacles lying on the ground are versions of his products he has discarded, binned, deemed not worthy for anything but the bin. They may have taken a lot of his time and resources, but he cannot stand over them. The pentacles on the tree, being a series of drafts, none yet to his satisfaction. He is working on his latest version, which will likely become another draft to join the others. At what stage will be satisfied and say ‘there, tis done’ ? Meanwhile, other business thrive in the background selling items and products that are dreadfully sub-standard in comparison. They do not have any qualms about taking money for them, and the customer happy with what they consider value for money. If the figure beavering away could just step back and say enough, enough, set a deadline for final completion and release his creations to the market where the punters will quickly let him know if what he has is of worth and value. Yet, along with his own inner-critic, he also fears the criticism of other, the negative feedback, the trolls who never have anything good to say about anyone or anything. As a true Pentacle, he is seeking a guarantee of success and acclaim before he will release. He wants to know it will be a success rather than take a risk, a chance and throw it out to see. After all his effort when he goes to do his costings, he will find that no one will be able to afford them if he includes his exact labour costs. He will be working at a loss if he spends so long on each item. He would need to sell to the higher income customer, but that might make him even more meticulous and self-critical. Tough one for sure!



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