Eight of Pentacles

VIII

A man sits on a workbench, forming a Pentacle with a hammer and chisel. Six more Pentacles hang on the wall of his shop, while another sits beneath the bench.

If we read the suit of Pentacles backwards from Ten to Ace—as do Rachel Pollack and Arthur Waite, among others—this card makes a bit more sense, for it speaks to the labor that precedes the harvest pictured in the Seven. But it speaks to even more than that; for this labor is work to which we devote ourselves in a spirit of vigor; work that is purposeful as well as rewarding. When we find our “true calling” in life, we dedicate every fiber of our being to it because we know that we are doing something more significant than simply pocketing a paycheck. See the worker in this image. He has already run out of room to hang his Pentacles on the wall—he literally has all the material wealth he could ask for—so now he must start stacking them on his shop floor. Yet he continues his work apace, seemingly oblivious to the wealth around him—talk about an abundance of riches!

In our personal lives, this represents the moment when we “discover” our true calling in life—the function that God would have us perform that honors His Creation, that makes us happy, and that compensates us financially. This can happen very early, or very late, in life. But the timeline doesn’t matter; all that does is that we spend the necessary time examining ourselves and asking what it is that we would most like to be “remembered for”: merely being a dutiful worker bee, or someone whose work gladdened men’s hearts, and our own as well.

Meanings in a reading can include: Diligence, labor, purposeful work, an abundance of riches, or a spiritual calling answered; but also callings ignored, meaningless work, misapplied energy or success delayed. When we find work that brings us happiness and satisfaction, those feelings emanate throughout the aeons, and make our world a kinder place to live. Wherever we can spread love—be it in the bedroom or in the board room—we must take every opportunity to do so. It is the reason why we’re here!    

Dante DiMatteo

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