Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun. You get self-satisfaction from pushing your self to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.
~ Mary Lou Retton, 1984 Olympic gold medal champion gymnast
This week, filled with the ongoing fervor of the Olympics, and the triumphant landing of the Mars explorer, Curiosity, we receive a reminder from the Eight of Pentacles that the more we focus and work hard at something, the luckier we get.
Pentacles are, of course, the Earth suit, dealing with living in the physical, material world. The Eights of the Tarot are often about getting organized, setting priorities, and moving forward (or not). So in the Pentacles suit, this is about focusing on work, success, and resources.
Here we see an artisan, who is focused on his creations. Although he is completely lost in his task, we see the city in the far distance. Perhaps this is reminder that there is a larger world to which his products must have relevance, lest his work be an act of vanity or waste of time. In addition, as one of Pixie Smith’s stage cards, this may be a reference to the awareness of playing to an audience.
There is no indication whether the artisan depicted is self-employed, or working under the authority of a larger business. But in this moment, unsupervised, he works with good cheer, concentration, and a high level of productivity.
No matter where or how you make your living, who signs your paycheck, or even if you are officially employed, you are always the most important manager of how and what you produce with your time, labor, and skill.
It doesn’t matter who is up the chain of command – the Chief Executive Officer that you ultimately report to is Source, and you can know how you’re doing by the memos you receive in your spirit. In fact, we are always the ones overseeing the quality and meaningfulness of our work.
When we remember that our creativity and labor are our gifts to one another, and to the Beloved, we do not complain, cut corners, or pretend that mediocre work can slide by.
This card invites us to seek mastery in the physical world, to cultivate and hone our skills, and enjoy the confidence and pleasure that come from labors well-done.
Are you considering a lateral move at your job, or a promotion to a new, more challenging level? Perhaps you are ready to change your career completely.
What new skills might enable you to be more productive and find joy in your labors?
This is a wonderful guidance for creative folks who are talented in craftsmanship or in the arts. I often see this card come up for people who are restless in their successful but conventional careers, and who seek a life-changing shift to more creative or artistic endeavors.
But all the inspiration and good intentions in the world will not compensate for lack of focus, poor craftsmanship, or a failure to understand how your visions and the actual desire of the marketplace must intersect.
Pay close attention to the details this week (especially since the gears may abruptly shift, as Mercury stations direct on Wednesday) and polish your best skills.
If your job is satisfying and rewarding, be thankful, and continue to grow and learn. If not, who can you ask for honest feedback regarding your abilities and possible limitations? What new tools or practice can improve your results?
Remember that our labor is sacred. This week’s guidance is profoundly simple: Do good work.
It matters little whether you are actually employed by someone else or not, or whether or not you are getting the money and recognition you desire. The real gold is the recognition that when you are in integrity with your true calling, hard work is serious fun.