8 of Pentacles

Alt names: Prudence, Discipline
Keywords: Effort, work diligence, skill
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Range of meanings

Light: Doing your best. Bringing enthusiasm and zeal to your work. Making an effort to be the best you can be. Finding the work that is right for you. Taking care of the small details. Becoming a finely skilled craftsperson. Building something with your hands. Making a handmade gift.

Shadow: Working yourself to death. Doing a half-hearted or sloppy job. Continuing in a job you hate. Buying thoughtless gifts. Producing work with shoddy craftsmanship. Rushing through your work. Rejecting opportunities to learn more about your craft.

Questions to ask

  1. What might happen if you shunned distraction, isolated yourself, and focused yourself entirely on the work at hand?
  2. What small step can you take right now toward realizing a larger plan?
  3. What are the obstacles between ourselves and our best work?
  4. How long has it been since you were “lost in your work?
  5. How can you improve your level of dedication and focus?
  6. What work do you do best? What about that work appeals to you?


Personal Growth: Instead of just getting by, a mature person recognizes that every project and every interaction is a reflection of character. What would recent projects say about you? With an eye toward improving your image and reputation, how might your work and speech need to change?

Work: All too often, compressed schedules demand we do “just enough.” Today, try going beyond the bare minimum. Add that extra touch. Devote a little personal time to completing your work. Even if the task is an ordinary one, strive to make today’s product extraordinary. Others may not notice the difference—but you will.

Relationships: Discover what your partner loves or needs and make a special effort to deliver those gifts, words, or service on a regular basis. Consider the value of a handmade gift. Partners should look for ways to demonstrate their dedication to each other. Busy? Make sure a request from your partner or friend rises to the top of your “To Do” list.

Spirituality: Rituals can feel silly, and formal prayer can feel stiff and unnatural. Today, though, invest a little extra time and energy into your spiritual observations. Choose something to wear that reflects your faith. Acquire a special item for a home altar. Be in the moment, devoting extra attention to the small details of your faith.

Fortune-Telling: Stop over-analyzing, researching, and outlining. Buckle down and get the work done.


Astrological: Virgo

Planet: Sun

Fool's Journey: The Main Character is shown to be the very best at his or her chosen vocation.

The Number 8: The Action: movement, outer work.

Coins: One of the four suits of the tarot. Also sometimes called pentacles or diskc. Coins suggest health, wealth, practicality and physicality. Their domain extends beyond money and finance to all physical things, including the human body. Coins explore your attitude toward resources of all kinds: what you’ve been given, and what you do with it. In RWS-influenced decks, Coins are often called Pentacles. A pentacle’s design (with the upright star in the middle that represents the human body) reminds us that physical blessings, from possessions to our bodies, are to be used for higher purposes. In your own life, how often do you focus on 'the star in the coin'?

Devoted Craftsman: RWS-inspired versions of the 8 of Coins often show an isolated worker carving a number of shiny new pentacles. He loses himself in the work.

One at a Time: Our friend on many versions of this card has several coins hanging on the doorpost, but he can only make one coin at a time. This represents how some work, especially involving craftsmanship, can't be rushed.

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via TarotTools.com.