8 of Pentacles

show up

Eight emerges from the uncertainty of seven with momentum or direction + Pentacles represents navigating the physical world

from Darkness of Light (1st ed.)

And so, in the centered aspect of the Eight of Pentacles, we pursue the daily hands-on work involved in the mastery of our craft (including our spiritual craft). As Lindsay Mack said, “the true essence of soul work is not in the outcome but in showing up every day.” Persistence pays off. It’s through repetition that we progress.

Remember also to take joy in the details; the spirit with which we work is in the result, and the essence of this card lies in the desire to express ourselves through our work.

In resistance, we lack the motivation or discipline to put the effort in.

In excess, we fear not being perfect. We get caught up in the details or become driven by the expectation of perfect mastery.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Do you lack self-discipline?
  • What patterns do you repeat over and over?
  • Do you get stuck in attention to detail, driven by perfectionism?
  • What are you obsessing over?

What else? It seems pretty straightforward, but no card has a singular, simple meaning, and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

8 of Swords

step free of limiting beliefs

Eight brings new direction or realignment + Swords represents the mental realm of our belief systems and communication

from Tarot of the Holy Light

And so, in the centered or balanced aspect of the Eight of Swords, it’s time to step out of the mental constructs and limiting beliefs which hold us back. The blindfold in the Smith-Waite card indicates denial; if we choose to remain fenced in by fears, doubts, and judgements, it’s self-imposed, and we’re invited to liberate ourselves from thinking that we’re trapped or bound in some way. There is a way forward. Breathe and step into it.

(This is not to make light of the fact that some are truly imprisoned and/or oppressed in some way, and this card can certainly come up in those situations; but in keeping with the focused inner lens of shadow work here in this series, we’ll save that for another post.)

In resistance, we remain in denial of our own autonomy, our inner development paralyzed.

In excess, we play the damsel in distress. How does that serve us?

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • What beliefs limit your momentum?
  • Are you allowing others’ judgements to impact you?
  • What fears hold you back from speaking your truth?
  • Is your ability to communicate stifled? How or why?
  • Where do you need to step up?
  • How has playing the victim served you in the past?
  • Is there an exiled part ready to integrate and take on a new role?

What else? You may have other insights into the complexities of this card. How has it come up for you?

8 of Cups

move on

Eight offers a new direction and readjustment + Cups represent the emotional realm and how we relate to others

from The Shakespeare Tarot by Chris Leech

And so, in the centered aspect of the Eight of Cups, the Seven has given us new perspective from which to readjust, and we turn away and move on. We may have an emotional attachment to something, but it no longer serves our higher purpose and it’s time to leave the past behind in pursuit of something that offers more fulfillment. This is not a sad goodbye as in the Five of Cups, but a reflective and hopeful step forward. Take that step; even if we don’t yet know what that new horizon is, we’re asked to be available for it.

In resistance, we remain in a situation that no longer serves us (out of emotional insecurity?), refusing the call to leave.

In excess, we tend to walk away from situations rather than face them. Perhaps we’re abandoning success.

Questions we may be prompted to consider when this card comes up include

  • What do you find yourself dissatisfied with? What is no longer serving you? Why don’t you leave it behind?
  • Are there emotions, memories, experiences of your past that could prompt forward movement if resolved? How can you start that dialogue with your parts?
  • Are you in denial about moving from one stage to another?
  • Do you have spiritual aspirations? Have you been ignoring them? What step can you take toward them?
  • Is it time to plumb the depths of your subconscious? How might you start that journey?
  • Are you in need of an emotional break or a sabbatical?
  • Do you have a pattern of walking away from problems rather than facing them? What are you avoiding? What parts protect you from it?

What else? There are many layers to explore with this card, and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

8 of Wands

trust that things are moving swiftly, now

Eight opens up from seven’s stationary hold with new perspective from which to launch or realign + Wands represent our inner fire – energy, passion, and identity

from Paracelsus Dreams Tarot

And so, in its centered and balanced aspect, Eight of Wands reveals a new direction for forward movement, perhaps after a delay or blockage. There can be a sense of excitement with this card. Like an arrow in the air or an express delivery, something is released and it’s moving fast. I think sometimes of blocked Qi in the body– if you’ve ever felt that energy being released by a needle, it’s a powerful feeling and a literal example of the release of energy.

With eights, we may go in one way and come out another, we may not know where it’s going or where it will land, there may be a change of direction; but this card indicates that things are moving and coming into alignment. Allow it to take its course.

In resistance, we remain stuck in delay. There is a feeling of stagnation, rigidity, or being blocked. What prevents us from releasing the arrow?

In excess, we may be overstimulated and ungrounded. When things are going in too many directions, it can feel dizzying and out of alignment. Sometimes, overstimulation can result in meaningless activity. Are we rushing into something? Haste makes waste.

Questions to consider when this card comes up may include

  • Do you feel blocked? When did it start? What part is served by that?
  • What area of life feels sluggish? How can you help it to flow more freely?
  • Are you rushing into something? Why? What consequences could that present?
  • Do you feel overstimulated? Is there a specific area you can harness that energy in?

What else? This card can go in different directions, and you may have other insights! How has it come up for you?