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. 

Human Dramas and Family Theater Versus Peaceful Nature and Serenity Within

Nature Scene
It’s heaven….this pic is… Look! Not one human in sight! Yet, this type of scene and others just like it and the peace and the quiet that accompanies scenes like this lives inside / within each of us. And no matter how many humans with their dramas are around, we can go there, live there, love there! I’m there!

People. Wow.  Family people. BIGGER WOW.  My recent move has taken my trip here on Earth to another level.  Let me just use the words “other level” rather than put any other descriptive adjective onto it. 

As they say, it is one thing to meditate up on the mountain in a cave quite alone and totally another to bring your soul into the village and practice there! I can see I’m going to get some good practice! 

Yet, I’ve brought the mountain with me—it’s in my heart and in my mind and yes, the mountain is in my soul.  The mountain and my soul are one—and like the American Indian would say, “I am one with the Earth”.  In fact, I have a t-shirt that says that on the front.

I’ve had more human activity and family activity (call it human drama—that’s more the truth) than I’ve been accustomed to in the past.  I’m still making the adjustment and truthfully have longed for the solitude from which I’ve come and have had moments wherein I’ve had to consciously remind my ego-self that all that I seek exists within.

Change takes some getting used to–I’m living that truth fer’ sh’ure!

It was therapy–I just came back from a 2 mile hike in a nearby state park area; very nice.  I still want to call on the I-ching oracle for a word or two about this whole topic of human dramas and dealing with that type of energy scenario.  You might be having the same type of issue because after all the Sun in still in the family sign, Cancer.  And it’s still within striking distance of a wide opposition to Pluto.

The question has to do with dealing with those dramas–what should we keep in mind around the human theatre arenas?  The information below is general and not necessarily specific to my situation–it’s just some I-ching wisdom to apply to human theater generally.

Well, we’ve received several things here.  One is to remember that in the heat of the drama or in the midst of the battle, it is best to not charge up the hill when both sides are firing at one another, least you become the unwitting recipient of a bullet or two.  Or you could become shouted at when one of the guys from the opposing side mistakes you for the enemy.  Making one’s self a small target at those times is wise–once the heart stops pounding and you catch your breath, the circumstances may change by then. 

The other bit of guidance is if you do make a preemptive strike, trust that your intuition was guiding you to do so and do not defend your actions or entertain any type of rationalization. 

Aside from that, be willing to “roll with the punches” as the sayings go while increasing your strength and capacity to endure difficulties in the face of change.  If recent change is part of the scenario, its normal to feel vulnerable and shaky at times.  It’s also normal to doubt and question yourself in areas where there was previous unshakable certainty!  All that is “par for the course” to use another saying.

Keep a steady pace and stay in touch with the real needs of the moment rather than bringing in past of future scenario thinking. 

Remember, that we can’t always make sense of things or other people when it comes to human ego-dramas or family-theatre. 

Breathe deeply and tune into the inner guide, the voice of truth that speaks from your intuition.

Most of all, have patience with yourself and this will help you to have patience with others–yet, don’t allow yourself to be a doormat either!  If YOU don’t respect you, who will?

If you weren’t ready for the human drama and family theatre productions that certain changes can provide, remember that the Tao would not have provided the current opportunity. 

That’s how to see it all — as one big opportunity to expand your Earthly trip! 

 And yeah, that other opportunity… to take a drive to the nearest state park and go for a hike by the lake!  Amen.