Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Life's Path

Drawing still from the  Tarot of the Renaissance by Pietro Alligo and Giorgio Trevisan, published by Lo Scarabeo, today's card is the Eight of Pentacles.

At first glance this image reminds me more of traditional Eight of Cups pictures.  Here, though, instead of leaving behind a stack of cups, the figure walks a path paved with pentacles.  He holds a telescope in his hands, folded behind his back.  So, while having the ability to see into the distance ahead of him, instead he chooses to follow a path already laid out.  Or perhaps the pentacles appear after he passes, as there are none in front of him!  Although there are no obvious obstacles in the meadow, the path meanders instead of following a straight line.  Is he creating this path he walks, by his very passage, wandering where the fancy takes him rather than plotting things out in advance: circumstance rather than foresight?

All of this makes me think of my life path, and that of many others I know.  Although where I am makes sense to me, it certainly hasn't been a direct path: I've worked, and in some cases still work, as a proof reader, a language teacher, a legal assistant, a TV researcher, a yoga teacher, an office manager, a market researcher, a book-keeper, a tarot reader, and a counsellor.  What I've done has depended on where I was and what was available, rather than me saying as a child, "I want to be... when I grow up."  I wonder, if we actually looked through that telescope, would we have chosen a different path.  Or do we need to walk this strange and winding route to get to where we are going?  Probably the latter, I think - after all, it's really about the journey not the destination.

I am grateful for this adventure that is life.


  1. That's a really interesting way of looking at the card and got me thinking about my own life's work. Part of me wishes I'd used that telescope a bit more at times, but there is also something to be said for taking those more intuitive and creative steps. There are a lot of things to experience on the journey, rather than zooming straight from A to B without feeling the steps in between.


  2. wonderful post. This is the way I've lived my life too, but I love spontaneity and change. If I had to choose a path and then live it IE. what I want to be when I'm grown up, akkk, gag me with a spoon :)

  3. I love your take on this card. Did you notice he wears a cap and gown? I'd say the stones are the skills and knowledge he's learned so far. He's journey has only just begun. The telescope is an extension of his intuition to be used as needed.

    Love the card. Thanks for sharing.

    Cher Green

  4. Hi PNL, maybe our desire to sometimes use that telescope is one of the things that draws us to the tarot? :)

    Hi Sharyn, yes, I have to say the words "job for life" fill me with horror rather than security ;b

    Hi Cher, oh, I hadn't noticed that, good call!