Tarot 8 of Pentacles Guidance for Loss and Grief of Change

8 of Pentacles A while ago I happened to be searching for information for someone from the archives of my own blog and came across a post that I wrote when I lived back in the mountains.  A pang of intense emotion accompanied the read remembering my life then as it contrasts to today’s challenges since I moved.  I’m sure this has to be a universal sentiment—as most feelings are!  What do we do when we want to go back to the past but simply cannot?  How do we handle it when our present situation falls so short of a past that we feel so fondly about?  This could apply to just about any kind of loss—this question.  I want something right now—an insight, some guidance, or wisdom to help me with this feeling.

There are many tools to use—Lord knows!  I have a huge toolbox too!  But for now my tarot cards are handy, so I did a shuffle and up came the EIGHT OF PENTACLES.  What message or insight does this card bring?

First, I’m taken by the fact that the man on the card is secluded in his work with the town or humanity in the distance.  That sure describes the situation—civilization was in the distance back then.  Today I am literally in the middle of other people’s lives—bumping into them in my own apartment even though I live alone!  [Long story – you don’t want to know!]

So first thing is that the card, in this case, describes the dilemma or situation that is being asked about.  That is so true of how it is when I work with the cards—it lets me know I’m on track; it’s validating.

This card is about developing skills and talents.  I suppose that is what grief, loss and change do—we develop new skills and talents because of that.  We want to go back and can’t (for whatever the reason) and here we are—it’s new, different and we just would rather not participate in the new reality!  Yet, here we are.

Well, that’s one insight to help with this feeling… this pang of wishing things could be like they used to be!  We have to remember that we developed skill and talents in that old situation and our life now is about developing new skills.

Yes, I hear ya’.  I don’t want to either and don’t like it one bit.  I want to love my life like I used to! 

The 8 of Pentacles is about broadening the horizon on an earthly level.  The Hermit card is most it’s opposite… the Hermit is how I used to be—alone, solitude.  Hermit is about inner knowledge and 8 of Pentacles is about outer, earthly knowledge.  Well, I’ll say this much.  I’ve learned a lot about the smells of Indian cooking, and hookah smoking and the vocalizations of Indians too!  More than I ever wanted to know but then again I’d never have known any of that if I’d stayed in the mountains.

This card also is about preparing, being prepared for something—well, whatever it is, I hope it’s going to be joyful because I’ve had enough of the opposite to last me a while!   I guess anyone who’s suffered a loss will understand that firsthand and say the very same thing.

Discipline is another aspect of this card or this part of our life journey represented ‘by’ this card.  But we are not supposed to look for an end result with these types of situations –these experiences that have us wanting to go back to how it used to be—we’re not supposed to look for an outcome.  We’re supposed to just get through them knowing we are being prepared for something in future somehow and that we are developing some type of discipline and training.  And we must try to elevate our sorrow or feelings of loss and use the depth of feeling to reach out and help others.  I’d like to think that writing this blog post may be doing that in some way.

In our life we are guided, led and sometimes shoved in directions the help us “push the envelope” so-to-speak so that we don’t become complacent.  Or perhaps we have perfected our skill and the universe had more confidence that we could handle it that we ourselves do at the present moment!

Maybe we are to become more fully conscious of our work, our true work. And to do that we cannot go back, only forward—whether we like the current pangs of desire to return or not.   If nothing else we will become experts on dealing with wanting to go back and dealing with the feelings of not being able to!

This card is encouraging us to have confidence in our skills and talents and to understand that we are learning something new that we will use to bring to our life to benefit ourselves and others—we are being prepared to elevate our skills.

THE HIEROPHANT

The Hierophant AKA The High Priest
The Hierophant AKA The High Priest

I wanted more not being fully satisfied with the information from the 8 of Pentacles.

I put all the major arcana cards together, wanting more of  MAJOR insight so-to-speak.  Whats the bigger picture?  ask the Major Aracana.

In the Hero’s Journey, the Hierophant points to “education of the hero”.

In that sense, our education–yours and mine reader.

Hierophant is the name given to the High Priest.  One task of the Hero faces is the search for meaning–that’s certainly what I’m doing.

It’s also about conforming and adapting to “the system”—wow.   Learning by living with others—well, I’m certainly doing THAT in this apartment situation in which when the neighbors talk, they talk to me too since their voices are in my room as well as their own.  They speak Hindi and i have no idea what they are saying though.

Alright, i agree that I need to mediate on this a bit more.  Maybe that ALONE will keep me from being melancholy about my past!

I may come back to this post to add more as I reflect upon this.

ADDENDUM:  this is me coming back to this post after 5 days.  Around the time of the original post, it was the anniversary of my mother’s death, three years ago.  I don’t know if this was subconsciously affecting me or the stress of living with the Indian couple below me which felt that day like a mini-breakdown of some kind–on my last nerve with their constant noise.  However, shortly after that post I went into a meditation period which lasted 10 hours with only short breaks for bathroom and a bowl of soup–otherwise I sat in a semi-lotus pose on my bed chanting and turning to my old ritual of praying the rosary and periods of complete silence and breath work.  In that 10 hour period the messages of the 10 of Pentacles and Hierophant were much clearer.  I was actually taking the advice of the cards—doing my spiritual work away from the human community (my meditation music gave me the space) and turning to the old religious-type traditions of prayer, chanting which merged catholocism, hinduism and tibetan buddhism.  I knew then that i was doing the Hierophant “thing” without knowing it until that moment.  In the midst of the 10 hours i asked for one message or insight not wanting to clutter up the energy but to rather simplify it and clear it instead.  The one message was given at my request.  CENTER is the word that I heard and then I heard BETWEEN THE TWO PILLARS and then I knew that it was the Hierophant card meaning that I was being given and i was doing that very thing so it was as if it all came together.  The next day i remained in that quiet centered state also.  I am blessed to be able to schedule my own work and life and living alone I was able to devote myself to 10 hours of meditation as therapy doing my spiritual work. 

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