of shadow work
facing the darkness /
to live in the light
to live in the light
Peace family! Can I just say I love this space & y'all shares & the revelations of these cards & this work!!! I am so grateful for each & every one of you, your transparency & your energy. My heart is so freaking full.
Also, I want to apologize for posting today's card so late (for some of you it might already be tomorrow), but this card whooped my tail! I'm 'bout to tell you how & when you read my story you'll understand that truly these energies are current, present & alive within us RIGHT NOW, revealing themselves for these lessons. Whenever I teach / study a tarot card, the energy of that card literally shows up in my life so that I can understand in practice, not just in theory & since we're on this journey together, the same might be happening for you. Let us be patient with ourselves...
Let me also preface this explanation by saying I am tired! I work constantly, because it seems like every new thing I get an idea to do, brings ten more things to do. The work never, ever stops, it just grows. I don't like taking breaks either, I just tend to wear myself out & then my body shuts down & forces me to rest. Ever since Covid when my kids started going to school online & I didn't necessarily have to make my sleep / work schedule revolve around pickups & dropoffs, etc. I reworked my schedule so that I could work uninterrupted at night. So, I work from about midnight until 7am, doing readings, updating my website, fulfilling orders, etc, & then I sleep until 9, wake them up for online school, sleep again until like 11am, take care of my younger babies, do household stuff, & then after dinner around 8, I crash until 11 or so & then get up and do it all again. This last week (especially with being committed to blogging every day), my days have started blurring together & I was getting to that level of exhaustion where I was emotional, irrational & pretty much surviving on coffee, weed & lo-fi.
Which is the state of mind in which I sat down at 1am this morning to understand & write about the Eight of Pentacles. Mind you, the Eight of Pentacles is also known as the Sun in Virgo. It's the combination of energy from the Sun card (Sun) & the Hermit card (Virgo). My natal sun is in Virgo, so I already knew I was finna feel attacked. I stared at this dang card for an hour waiting for the language of the picture to reveal itself so I could break it down the way I normally do but the only thing that broke down was me. After awhile I was just sitting there crying, feeling exhausted, pressured, sleepy, jittery, stupid. I made a deal with myself that I would ease up the pressure & just take notes on whatever came to me, but that I wouldn't write the actual post until later.
As soon as I eased off my own own back, slowly, the meaning began to trickle in. This is finna be a loonnnnng post, because once the answers started coming, they did not stop.
But first, let's look at the Eight of Pentacle's parents, the Sun & the Hermit. Remember, the Sun is the renewal, optimism & joy ( + innocence / ignorance) that comes with being born again in the spirit & learning to use new spiritual gifts. This is an odd energy to combine with the Hermit, because the Hermit is about being old & wise & focused on criticizing & analyzing the past before moving into the future. When you put these two together, the Sun in Virgo is basically what happens when you try to teach an old dog new tricks. They may learn (eventually) but they ain't gonna like it, not one bit.
Ok, now let's look up at the Eight of Pentacles (all the way at the top) literally: The first thing that came to me was making money, because in the tarot, pentacles represent money, & dude is...making it. There is a pentacle lost under the bench, so it looks like although he's making money, he's losing money too. He's creating the pentacles on a block of wood, so I realized that meant create-on block or creative blocks. And then I stared at the card some more.
Even though the answers were right there in my face, I couldn't see them. Then I was drawn to the fact that his tool is right by his eye, actually too close to see clearly. I was like, oh wow, literally me. I tried to imagine what dude in the picture would tell me if he could talk, & I heard him saying he's making money with his stake. I made with my stake. I made with my stake over & over. So then I realized this picture is saying that he is making the same mistake over & over, but he's (look at his posture) too stooped under to stand, or too stupid to understand. (Again, me.) Because he's making the same mistakes over & over again with his money, perhaps he's had to make some hard choices. I saw how the one pentacle was low under the table so I heard, money low, loaned money under the table. The pentacle has fallen behind his heels & I heard, fell behind a heels (fell behind on bills).
I looked back at the tool in his hand, & it seemed like a hammer to me. I thought, that thing would hit him really hard in his face & I heard hard to face. I saw that his left knee was touching the pentacle, which is also "work he's done himself," & I realized the picture was saying knees to work done himself, or needs to work on himself. (Again, me.) His knee is also touching his wrist, & I heard knees to wrist or needs to rest. It's hard to rest on a workbench (work binge) tho. His shirt is rumpled & out of his pants. He should put on a new shirt because that one was worn out. He's worn out. (& then I looked down at the black hoodie & crusty black pants I've been wearing four days in a row & again was shook at the accuracy.) If we assume that perhaps his first couple of pentacles in production were sub-par because he tried to do them on a flat surface; he needed to create-a-block (creative block) to prop (propel) his work. Once he took-a-brick (take a break), probably everything went smoothly after that. Look at how the man needs a shower, a shave, a haircut; he's been working so hard he hasn't had time to take-hair-off-himself (take care of himself/ take care of his health). Mind you, I realized the whole hair thing as I was randomly taking down a braid & putting it back in because my roots are fuzzy & I never take the time to do my hair all at once. This card is LITERALLY ME.
I figured I needed a fresh perspective so I took a break, smoked a little weed (dont' judge me lol) & sat back down at the computer. Immediately, I was in a more forgiving space with myself. If we look at the pentacles as the man's possessions, & he is renewing them over and over, then even though he's making the same mistakes, he's also "renewing/reviewing what's mine," or renewing/reviewing his mind. His work tunic is tied in the back three times. He's tried three times. The first pentacle is in the shape of a star, & the star is missing under his stand. First, I started to misunderstand. Then, the 2nd star on the ground is leaning on the stand, not lost under it. Second star on the stand / Second, I start to understand.
Then I realized that if we're counting the total number of the pentacles moving down the pole, the ones that have fallen off the pole are "less ones," or LESSONS. Instead of dropping it like the others, the worker has caught the most recent less-one, or finally gotten the lesson. Once you finally get the lesson, you realize there are so many lessons to get! If the lessons are pentacles, they literally never stop coming down the damn pole. The pole is outside because it is too tall to keep inside. You can't keep it tall inside, or, you can't keep it all inside. These lessons must be shared. Anything that is shared is a gift, & since these are personal lessons, this man is forging these gifts himself. This gives him purpose, mainly to forge gift himself, or forgive himself. Even so, some of these lessons/ gifts were lost & they were valuable. These are costly lessons. For the ones he has finally caught, he can charge a price. The more he gives his gifts-as-a-prize (gifts at a price), word about his production (which is self-made btw) will grow. When folks ask, who made it?, he can proudly say I MADE IT!
If we look at how the man's head is positioned, he appears to be nodding, literally on his shirt seam. He nods-on-my-seam, or he is not a machine. His work must be done piece by piece, one piece at a time & he must make his peace with that. Since he's self employed, he defines his own time. These gifts from the Most High (pole) will be given in defined timing, or divine timing. I looked closer though & realized its not a pole, its a tree that you can't see the top of. If we look at the home to the left of the picture, we can assume the man is on his family property, therefore these pentacles are passed down his family tree. These mistakes turned lessons turned gifts turned prizes are his inheritance.
Yet the man is alone, not shown with his family. In the left corner of the picture, we see his home & his back (which is unsupported as he works). We can assume he left home & had to turn his back to support himself, even though he's dedicated to the generational work of turning mistakes in his bloodline into lessons & gifts, even at the expense of his health & self care. There is one nearly perfect pentacle at the root of the tree, & the man's toes point to it. His toes-to-the-perfect-one. He was supposed to be the perfect one; one of his slippered shoes is tucked under the bench; he tries to hide his slippers / slip-ups but we can all see them anyway. We can also see his left heel is tucked in, or his heel in, or he's healing. If the two pentacles on the ground represent the man's first two mistakes, then his right foot (heeled) is tucked between them. We can see he has his heel between mistakes or, that he has to heal between mistakes. He can't hide his failures or his progress. His work happens in stages / on stage, so it is public & also incremental. This may be uncomfortable but will ultimately only increase the proof that he's self-made. The personal value of his work is directly tied to his ability to recognize the importance of the mistake / lesson / healing & whether he defines time to forge gifts for himself / forgive himself in divine timing. It won't matter that he was unsupported at home, because he's learned to work alone. He is self made. He is an army of one, & he discovers himself-as-team, or self-esteem. Yet since his gifts are also home-made (home aid) , they will bless his lineage whether they appreciate him or naw.
As his work increases, his opinion of his work will determine its quality. Currently, he has a low-inspect station or low expectations of his work. Everything is coming faster; he's overwhelmed by the gross amount of work (mistakes-lessons-gifts-prize-mistakes-lessons-gifts-prize) he has to do & he also feels gross because he doesn't have time for anything else. There is a freight being downloaded (afraid of being let down/ afraid of letting others down /afraid of downloads from the Most High) & its overwhelming af. Dude can never get it all done because as soon as he grasps one less-one, it changes into another & another & another. These less-ones are various, multi-fastened (multifaceted) & always accompany some sort of loss. They each are in the shape of a star & he has to make himself a star over & over again (make himself start over & over again). They only flow in one direction too (down). He can't gift-it-up (can't give up). It's very specific work too & the money comes down from the Most High (tree) accordingly. He pays attention to the details, working in his fine tunic (fine tuning). However because of his low-inspect-station, his view of his work is too narrow, too limited. He needs to raise his inspect-station, or raise his expectations. Doing so will allow him to raise up his eyes (raise his price), because he'll see how valuable his work/worth has become based on the extent of its reach (tree).
Rather than focusing on every little mistake & lesson, he'll see that he can maybe relax a little bit because after he's done all he can, his work/worth can stand. In fact it has become the stand (rooted in imperfection, mind you) , the standard by which other work is measured. After consistent practice (crack this), he has broken the mold.
Whew that was alottttt! The shadow of this card is being hard, critical & unrelenting of yourself. It's also giving up & quitting because it feels too hard; not because you're lazy but because you're overwhelmed. The light is accepting that the work is hard & you're likely unsupported, so you have to be gentle with yourself (take breaks), acknowledge that you can only do one thing at a time, engage in self care, & gain some perspective about how much your contributions (borne from imperfections!) really matter, both within your family (even if they don't give af) & within the world.
This is where I would typically explain a personal Eight of Pentacles story but I feel like I wove it in there somehow. Imma take this card's advice & let my work stand alone, quit typing & take a break.
What are y'alls Eight of Pentacles?
all of us.