I often view the 8 of Pentacles as the journeyman card, symbolizing someone who has spend years and much time and effort in achieving a level of expertise in his/her chosen field. Today I got a different insight into this card or perhaps better said I found another layer to its meaning.
For the past three years, the majority of my time has been consumed caring for my elderly mother-in-law and deaf and retarded brother=in-law. My hubby and I both lost our jobs in March 2009. The more time we spent with my in-law’s the more we realized that they are no longer able to live a completely independent life. They don’t require constant supervision but they do need someone to check on them several times a day, make sure they take their meds and eat. This is not an especially horrific responsibility but it can be exhausting and grinding. There are days when I find it impossible to get out of bed because the sheer repetition of these tasks and the fact that they seem never-ending just wears me out.
While looking at the different depictions of the 8 of Pentacles I drew today, I was struck by something. Had we not put all the time and effort into building our resources over the past few years, we would not have been able to be there for my in-laws now. We worked very hard and tried to be disciplined about putting money into our savings account. Right now those savings are being eroded but at least we are not broke or homeless. We have drastically cut back on some expenses but I do not feel deprived (most of the time). This has given me the opportunity to mother my mother-in-law. It has given me a lot of insight in the aging process, my issues dealing with needy, dependent people, and my own attitudes towards obligation and personal responsibility. I am very happy that I am able to be there for my in-law’s at this time even though I deplore that fact that she is in this condition. It is infuriating that anyone human being should spend the “golden years” of their life this way. However that would take me off on a different tangent.
Drawing the 8 of Pentacles today allowed me to realize that my efforts and hard-work have given me this gift. It is something for which I am profoundly and deeply grateful. Even though I am not able to pursue and manifest my other goals and dreams at this time, I feel more confident that when the time is right I will be able to that. If I can create enough of a nest egg and gather enough resources to allow me to live through this, then I can achieve any goal upon which I set my mind. I am powerful and my magic is powerful.