In Queering the Tarot, Cassandra Snow takes the most common interpretations and manifestations of the cards and discusses ways you might read them for a LGBTQQIA2SP+ client – or for yourself. Read the whole series here!
It makes sense that the Eight of Pentacles, a card of literal or metaphorical apprenticeship or scholarship, follows the Seven of Pentacles.
If the Seven is where we are called to plant our own seeds or right our life’s wrongs, then the Eight is where we learn how to do that. This is where we find our own groove and become comfortable doing the work of running our own life. No one expects you to be a master gardener overnight, but they do expect you to do the work of the Eight of Pentacles; the work of learning, studying, and trying. This card is fun when it shows up in readings, because I’ve seen it be this deeper, all-encompassing message…and I’ve also seen it literally mean it was time to take up a new career by studying under someone or going back to school.
In the mundane, LGBTQ+ seekers are probably thinking about going back to college or a vocational program for non-profit work or community building, and this card is showing up as a good omen for that course.
It could show up for someone who wants to learn how to do the necessary work in their community but needs a mentor or advisory first. Many queer seekers go into their schooling or adult life not sure who they are and not sure what life truly holds for them. The Eight is definitively a next step card, but can often call us into a calling we didn’t know what we had. It’s important to spend some time navigating the waters after your first come out, working to simply find your footing. Once we’ve done that for awhile, our place in our community often becomes crystal clear. That’s when this Eight shows up to encourage us to gather the tools we need to create the resource or skillset our queer community needs from us.
In terms of learning and teaching, this card can also indicate taking a Kink path – particularly where BDSM is concerned.
It’s not responsible nor realistic to assume you can wake up and just BE a dom(me) or a sub. Most who commit to that spend some time getting to know the community as well as reading books about sex education and healthy expressions of Kink.
The same is true for those breaking into polyamory for the first time. This you could potentially pick up and just do, but it takes awhile to learn how you are polyamorous. Do you want a primary partner? Do you believe in closing off your relationships at all? Do you know what your cap for how many people you can date or sleep with at once is? Even if you know in your soul that you are a polyamorous person, you probably can’t answer these questions without spending some time learning and figuring it out.
Some people also need time to fully understand what they like and don’t like sexually as they come into their bodies as a queer person.
Bodies are weird, regardless, and those of us who are queer are more likely to take our time getting to know ours. That’s a good thing, and this Eight of Pentacles shows up to let us know we can take our time and will end up much happier and more satisfied for it.
Outside of the bedroom, there’s still a lot to learn about queer community – where to go, where to eat, where to see shows. The number of things to learn grows exponentially when you look into activism and community building, which we talked a little bit about earlier on in this series. Certainly queer people are not obligated to become activists or community builders. It is more common than not if you hang around long enough though, especially in smaller cities where there is no community to find, and so it must be built. The Eight of Pentacles encourages you to find your way in time, or perhaps bring in an unofficial mentor. Chosen family in queer community traditionally shows up when young LGTBQ+ kids are looking for someone who can show them the ropes of being “out”. We see it in the formation of families in ball culture, for example, but it’s something we all look for and create at some point.
The biggest way this card manifests in our queer lives is when we are learning to pave our own way.
All of the hard lessons of the Seven and needing to pull ourselves up and create something out of nothing begin to resolve in this Eight, though not as effortlessly as we would like. It is a hard, gradual learning process, but in the end we move ahead to the next card (the very affirming Nine of Pentacles). First though we land here: in a place of apprenticeship, and the question to ask ourselves is not what we want to learn, but who we want to be after we learn it. That is where the real growth happens, and what the Eight has been trying to dig at all along.