Does what you do matter to you? You work all night, you work all day, to pay the bills you have to pay (inspired by Abba’s Money Money Money).
The Eight of Pentacles, or Eight of Autumn, depicts a truth: we all work (not always for money – sometimes we find something to do because faffing around all day, living off the trust fund, is not good for anyone).
I recall visiting the restroom at a petrol station and gasping. Gaudy pink, red, orange, yellow, purple and blue flowers, sensibly artificial, sprouted from the mirrors and bland surfaces. I wanted a hula hoop and a tan and a bikini body right there and then.
The cleaner had elevated the space. I deposited a tip in the jar.
The above illustrates, in a realistic, everyday way, the Eight of Pentacles.
No matter the skill set required to do a job, the most essential skill is pride in what we do because we honor who we are when we do it.
Yes, there is mind numbing repetition.
Yes, we painstakingly place A above B, only to have C knock our progress over.
Yes, we go back to the drawing board, broom cupboard, building site, classroom, piano, canvas, again and again.
This card is not only about working hard, baking 30 cookies in 30 minutes in a 30 cm x 30 cm oven. It’s about attitude and focus; about going from student to master, novice to expert.
The young lad with the shy smile and wheaten hair is an apprentice. The skilled master begins the process of tutoring the apprentice in the making of whimsical musical instruments. Eveeeeentually…
after a loooooong time…
the apprentice will be the seated master wearing John Lennon specs and sporting a grey, tussock beard.
Despite the daunting longevity of his apprenticeship and sorry pay, our elf friend brings a song into each day. How?
- he knows what he is doing (crafting exquisite musical instruments)
- why he is doing it (so fairy folk can make music)
- where it’s taking him (mastery in his field; earning coins and appreciation)
- how to do it (he whistles while he works – very sexy) and
- how it makes him feel (good)
When we feel lukewarm or cold about our job, the only person who can spice it up for us is us. We know ourselves. We know what feels good. We know how to make it matter.
If I serve you coffee I will do a sensational job (you’ll be telling me about your family crisis in no time) because, not only will you be happy and give me a healthy tip, doing a sloppy job would make me feel sloppy. As long as I’m feeling sloppy my life will be sloppy. Sensational is the sensible choice.
We can find ways to elevate ourselves, our environment, and our community whilst at work. Stick eight funny post-it notes on the depressed bookkeepers computer screen, make eight clients laugh, give 8% discount instead of the standard 3% (still stingy).
Publish a blog post at 8 pm because you get a kick out of adhering to the theme.
Give your readers eight kisses instead of the routine three.
Thank you for working your way here despite your plans to be asleep by…
Eight of Pentacles Theme Song
Grit your teeth while you scrub the seat of a toilet you don’t use. Sing a song, high and strong, to chase away the blues. Irritating, fru-fru-strating, working hard muse.