Crouched over a workbench and wearing a carpentry apron, we see a figure in the Eight of Pentacles deeply concentrating on carving out a golden pentacle, with a chisel and mallet in hand. A tree near this industrious figure has six pentacles lined up vertically along its trunk, with an eighth coin lying at the foot of the workbench. Pentacles imply all things material, and the tasks often encountered in relation to acquiring wealth and financial security. Do we cling to our material possessions as in the Four of Pentacles, or do we struggle with lack of resources – as shown in the following card of that suit? The truth is that comfort and prosperity are important to us all, regardless of what degree. The Eight of Pentacles shows us the importance of choosing and pursuing a vocation that challenges us, yet fills us with purpose. The woodcarver (or ironsmith, depending on interpretation) shown in this card is cultivating financial success by accessing his truest potential, working diligently to nurture that potential, and fostering patience in himself as he learns the skills that he will need in order to become a master at his craft. This card is often called the Apprentice, emphasizing the training necessary for true mastery.
The Eight of Pentacles signifies a learning curve in our future. We are being presented with a chance to succeed materially if we are willing to learn and persist despite potential mistakes or lack of experience. With patience, self-discipline, and compassion, we can take on new opportunities and fulfill a deeper purpose in our life, where we’ll see ourselves eventually reflected in our own craftmanship.
Birds are industriously building nests, bees are collecting nectar, and flowers are bright with blooms. Spring is the perfect time to seek inspiration from the awakened earth around us, level up our skill sets, and take on strategic challenges that, with a little elbow grease, can turn into bread-winning opportunities. Eleuthero Root (Eleutheroccus senticosus) is the herb best suited to accompany such goals. Similar to Schisandra Berry, which is discussed in more depth in January’s Tarot Reading, Eleuthero is also an adaptogen, or an herb that improves our resistance to stress and the physiological harm it causes, while also reducing fatigue and harmonizing hormones related to the stress response. Eleuthero has been shown to increase endurance capacity in male athletes, elevating their cardiovascular functions, such as heart rate and oxygen use, during exercise, and keeping their blood sugar normalized even under heavy exertion. Besides boosting energy and stamina in the body, Eleuthero is also known to increase concentration and focus, thus making it a wonderful choice when cultivating a shaky skillset or taking on a new responsibility.
In March, we explored the Ace of Pentacles, which handed us an auspicious chance or fortuitous possibility. Now in April, we see how the Eight of Pentacles emphasizes the determination, attention to detail, and fortitude that taking true advantage of such a lucky opportunity requires. With a humble approach, perseverance, and the help of Eleuthero, we can tackle our goals – one day at a time, one pentacle after the other.
*Tarot reading is based on the Rider-Waite Tarot Card deck, illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith
Geer, Mary K. Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for the Inward Journey, 2nd Edition. New Jersey, The Career Press, Inc, 2002. P261
Physiol, Chin J. “The effect of eight weeks of supplementation with Eleutherococcus senticosus on endurance capacity and metabolism.” PubMed, 30 April 2010. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21793317/
Tierra, Lesley Lac. Healing with the Herbs of Life. Berkeley, The Crossing Press, 2003. P120