An artist in stone at his work, which he exhibits in the form of trophies. Divinatory Meanings: Work, employment, commission, craftsmanship, skill in craft and business, perhaps in the preparatory stage. Reversed: Voided ambition, vanity, cupidity, exaction, usury. It may also signify the possession of skill, in the sense of the ingenious mind turned to cunning and intrigue.
On the Eight of Pentacles we see a young man who is hammering away at a coin. He has finished six and has another coin to go. It is clear that his project absorbs all his attention. He’s isolated himself from others in order to concentrate. In this scene we see the essential elements of the Eight of Pentacles: hard work and attention to detail.
This card often implies a time of great diligence and focus. It advises you to hammer away at the business of the moment, whether a work project, family difficulty, personal goal or unpleasant duty. Sometimes blessings fall into our laps to be enjoyed. Other times we must put out great effort to obtain them. The Eight of Pentacles represents moments when you must just buckle down and do it. Fortunately, this kind of work is invigorating and leads to superb results. The labor of the Eight of Pentacles is deeply satisfying and productive.
Sometimes we need to develop new skills. We do research, dig out facts or search for expertise. The Hermit is looking for inner knowledge. The man on the Eight of Pentacles seeks external knowledge: the how and why of the material world.
This card can also show the need for meticulous attention. People who are painstaking are often dismissed as nit-pickers, but their extra effort ensures everything is as it should be. It’s a matter of caring - taking the time to check the little details. Now is not the time to be slipshod or casual. Look for errors, and tie up loose ends. The key to success is an extraordinary effort. Whatever your task, the Eight of Pentacles tells you to give it your all in every way.