Eight of Pentacles

Practice makes perfect

Sticking with this theme of work – especially hard and fulfilling work – the Eight of Pentacles shows us what can be accomplished if we really set our minds to something.

Contrary to the myth of the ‘naturally gifted’, nobody is born with the ability to create perfect works. Musicians must learn to play their instruments, practice, mess up, try again, before a perfect symphony is offered to the world. A sports star trains every day for that medal. I studied and wrote about tarot cards for many years before I felt ready to create this course (and still now, I know it’s not as perfect as I would like! I like to think in the future, I will write it all again, even better than now).

You catch my drift. Honing your skills is a process – this card witnesses and celebrates that process and all the work that is involved.

In a reading

Some goals come easy, but most require diligent work. As with so many of the pentacles cards – but here more than in any other – we are encouraged to take our time, and practice.

Be realistic about the work that you will have to put in to achieve your goals. You might need discipline. You might need to create routines or structures to help you make space for this work. You might need to study more.

Don’t be afraid of failure. If your first shot doesn’t turn out the way you want it to – try again! Keep going. Remember that practice makes perfect and with every step, every attempt, you are getting better at what you do. You might not get immediate results, but you are honing a craft, and this is a process.

The Eight of Pentacles also shows up to congratulate people who have achieved that ‘craftsman’ status. You’ve worked hard and you’re getting or have got really good at this!

On the flip side, this card carries a gentle warning about isolation. Remember that there are other things in your life – good things! Whist this card isn’t explicitly about taking a break, it reminds you to take care of yourself and bring more balance into your work, making sure you get rest, social engagement, nourishment, good food, and so on. Don’t cut yourself off entirely.