Tarot Card Meanings – The Eight of Pentacles

Card Description
A young man is chiselling a pentacle, entirely focused on the task at hand. There are six pentacles hanging down the side. Another pentacle lies perhaps discarded by his feet. In the background, a church can be seen in the distance.


Astrological Correspondence
Sun in Virgo
Mutable Earth

Card Meaning
pents08The Virgo association with the card only further serves to highlight the industriousness of this image. This is a card that denotes hard work and attention to detail. The character in the card is repeating the same process over and over which takes patience and dedication. He will not accept faults in his work, hence the cast aside pentacle. Instead, he diligently starts again, each time improving upon and perfecting his craft. He is conscientious and utterly focused on the task at hand.


When the Eight of Pentacles appears, it tends to indicate work – the day job that you go to to pay the bills for example. Perhaps the job isn’t that inspiring but you do it to the best of your ability. This card can also come up to indicate that if you devote yourself to the task at hand, you will slowly improve your quality of work, therefore giving yourself better opportunities in the future.

Virgo is the sign of service and also the apprentice. It is also the disciple. The Master is found in the opposite sign, Pisces. The Eight of Pentacles is about being willing to be an apprentice before a master builder. It’s about being open to learning the skills you need to do the job you would like to do. Training and courses can be indicated with this card. They are a step up to get to where you would like to be. You may need to go back to college, go on a works training course, attend a workshop or improve your education in other ways. The Eight of Pentacles is about being open to learning. The church in the background of this card is a reminder to follow your calling.

The Eight of Pentacles can indicate that you are fed up of being on the clock. Maybe your job is boring, too routine or your heart just isn’t in it any more. The falling pentacles may indicate a drop in income. Maybe you are too critical of your work with a perfectionist attitude. If nothing seems good enough,¬† maybe it’s time to allow yourself to simply enjoy the process rather¬† than concentrating on the end result.

Perhaps you have got too caught up in details and need to stand back to get the bigger picture. Sometimes this card reversed can mean that you have been doing the same thing too long for fear of change. Maybe it’s time to train for a different job.

It may be that you need to work smarter and not harder. Sometimes it can feel like no matter hard you work, you just seem to be spinning your wheels,. The Eight of Pentacles reversed may suggest you need to look at how you are applying yourself and consider the 80/20 rule.

I have the self-discipline to achieve my goals.

Keywords and Phrases
Upright – Diligence, focus, attention to detail, employment, work, training, education, the apprentice, willingness, service, self discipline.
Reversed – blaming your tools, boredom on the day job, working on the clock, clock watching! Self criticism, lack of focus, laziness, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

Image from the Rider Waite deck

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