Eight of Coins/Eight of Pentacles
I see and I forget
I hear and I remember
I do and I understand
Practice makes perfect. The Eight of Coins is the card of learning through continual effort – as I said before, Earth is not a fast element, and requires patience to bear fruit. The only way you’re going to master anything is by doing it, again, over and over, for a long period of time. The goal here is practical experience rather than theory, because theory can only get you so far in the real world. Unlike the Three of Coins, which shows a rewarding and expressive career, the work shown on the Eight often goes without reward until the very end. It can be hard to keep going, especially when you know your current work isn’t any good. Oftentimes you have to work simply for the sake of working, and this can be frustrating. But the reward for this work is self-improvement, and being able to do something you weren’t able to do before.
My art instructor sometimes had a saying: “people will do anything to be able to draw, except actually put in the effort to learn.” As it turns out, practice makes perfect isn’t really fun at all, especially when your efforts are… not very good. Practice can improve you, but slowly, and it’s pretty easy to get demoralized when looking at someone far better. It’s easy to buy into the myth of “talent” – which is to say, deciding there’s no point in continuing to work at whatever you’re doing, because you don’t have the magical “talent” that will make you able to succeed.
So what happens? You give up half-way through, is what. The Eight of Coins inversed is giving up your effort, because it’s not going as fast as you want. If you’d kept going with it, things might (likely would) have paid off, but the constant feeling of mediocrity has robbed any interest you had in pursuing the skill any longer. Perhaps you’ve found and new area of interest more to your liking, but be careful not to constantly hop from one interest to the next, giving up every time your learning seems to plateau.