Eight of Pentacles, Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore
The Steampunk Tarot by Barbara More is still in my around-town computer bag. Today’s single-card reflection draw was the Eight of Pentacles.
The eights represent work. The Eight of Pentacles specifically indicates pride of work, pride of ownership. For me, that pride of ownership often is reflected by worry. I regularly worry that I’m going to screw up in the writing. As I approach a publication deadline (like right now), getting it right weighs on my mind.
Pride of Ownership
Taking pride in the work and making sure it’s the best it can be isn’t a bad thing, but waking up in the middle of the night means I need more coffee to get through the day. There is a good side to this, however. When the work is done, and you sit back to admire the finished product, beaming with pride is allowed.
The Steampunk Tarot presents the Eight of Pentacles in a factory/assembly line environment. The artisan is surrounded by steam. She’s got a conveyor of Pentacles moving past her, yet she still takes pride in the work and gets them right. It’s not just churning out something manufactured. She gives the items a personal touch. There’s a bit of the artisan in each one. When those Pentacles go out, to shops, or hung in homes, the final owners may not know the artisan, but they feel her influence.
Legacies are important to humans. We like the knowledge that we’re making an impact. Hopefully a positive one, at that. When you go to work, consider that for a moment. You may be in a job where not everyone sees your influence. Still, maybe it’s a note you leave in work papers, or perhaps an email reply for a group project. It doesn’t take much, but the artisan knows that even the little things help.
The start of the Imbolc festival 2006. Marsden. Huddersfield (courtesy flickr user malcolm)
One of the spokes in the Wheel of the Year approaches. Imbolc, mid-winter Sabbat, is celebrated on February 2nd, which is Thursday.
Imbolc is a celebration of Light and Fire. It’s the Sabbat that recognizes the waning of Winter and the approach of Spring. Strictly speaking, the days have been getting longer since the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Throughout January, though, it’s difficult to detect this. The increase in daytime builds slowly. By February, though, sunset is noticeably later.
Additionally, the sun is out more! Climate change (and less winter in general) aside, we start to see a shift in weather patterns. There are more nice days than gloomy as Imbolc rules.
Christians recognize Imbolc as Candlemas, and/or the Feast of St. Blaise. Candlemas, the blessing of the candles used in the local church for the coming year, was the initial compromise between the Celtic holy day and worship of the White Christ. The crossover is typical of many Christian observances. Still, some folks didn’t want even that much of a connection to pre-Christian paganism. So, the church attached observance of a saint’s feast day to the celebration. St. Blaise is the patron saint of illnesses related to the throat.
In addition to blessing the candles, Catholics come to church to get their throats blessed. Usually, this blessing is done by a priest or deacon. The priest holds two candles in an “X”, placing the candles around the necks of the faithful. He then pronounces a blessing. So, we get the candle observance in, but filters enough to make those uncomfortable with the old ways happy.
Over time, however, it was clear that Imbolc observances dominated recognition of St. Blaise, so the church made a change. February 2nd became the celebration of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. That makes the Christian observance a Big Deal. Well, a bigger deal than a saint’s feast day. Blaise got bumped to 3-February.
The easiest way to observe Candlemas/Imbolc is to light candles! Welcome the Sun! Acknowledge that Winter is passing and Spring is on its way!
I’m working on a solitary observance this week (on top of everything else going on), so I’ll post more on that tomorrow.