7 of Pentacles – Growth
A man stands leaning on his spade as he watches his crops, as though contemplating. The plant appears to be in bloom but he does not harvest it. Perhaps it is because, in spite of appearances, he knows that the plant is still not fully ripe. Or maybe he is planning what to do with his harvest.
The 7 of Pentacles is about patience. While patience implies waiting, it is not merely sitting around and waiting for luck to come. Rather, patience implies that we have already planned for an event to occur and put in the effort required to bring forth its fruition. As such, this period of seeming inactivity is because we understand that growth takes time and we must allow natural cycles to run their course.
A related meaning to this card is the concept of investment. We put time, effort and money into something because we can foresee future growth and return. It requires diligence and faith to invest in long term projects instead of shopping around and placing our bets on ‘quick wins’. While there are times when swift action is required and results are immediate, most important projects require time to grow and mature.
During this period of incubation, we must be vigilant while we wait. We need to continuously check on our projects to make sure all is in good order and be ready to make necessary adjustments.
And although it may not feel like it at this time, we are in control of the situation because we have time on our side. We can take this time to review our processes, reflect on what we’ve already done and accomplished and evaluate different possible paths for the future.
The 7 of Pentacles is probably the most practical card in the entire tarot deck. It promises no grandeur or excitement. The challenges we face at this time don’t make for a good adventure story. Rather, it is important precisely because it lacks all the fanfare. Life can’t be all fun and games and it’s by taking the time and effort to do the small things in life well that we adequately prepare ourselves for the big events.
Hexagram 26 – Great Taming
The image of Heaven contained within Mountain demonstrates the secret to Great Taming. Heaven is the source of creation, but in order to utilize its power, it must first be tamed. To gain control, we need to restrain reckless impulses, develop discipline through training and constantly renew our characters and commitments to our goals.
To master the art of Great Taming is to prepare ourselves for great things, not just mere survival and maintaining what has already been gained. Once we are in full control of ourselves, we transform from petty pawns of fate to being our own masters. Great Taming results in great successes.
Nine on line 1:
The first order of Great Taming is to differentiate between sound and unsound impulses and then restrain the impulses that would lead us astray. Before we start anything new, we must first stop, think and abandon all thoughts and actions that do not further our goals.
Nine on line 2:
Do not ignore the parts of a machine that aren’t functioning properly. It is foolishly short sighted to run a faulty engine until irreparable damage is done. We must address what is wrong before we can do what is right.
Nine on line 3:
Having a fine horse can take us far. But before we can ride it, we must first take the time and effort to train it. Because training requires much repetition, it may feel restrictive. But really, what we are doing is learning the skills that will eventually set us free. When we’ve successfully trained a horse, we can steer it in any direction we choose.
Six on line 4:
Some say that it’s never too late to learn. While this may be true, what is even truer is that we shouldn’t waste any time in learning. The earlier we learn, the more naturally we incorporate our knowledge into our lives and actions. Spending time to learn something right in the first place is much easier than correcting a mistake in the future.
Six on line 5:
When fighting a strong adversary, it is unwise to fight with pure force. Rather, try to understand their source of power and then redirect their energy. The same is true with our emotions. There will be time when we are goaded into anger and threatened into fear. These emotions serve an important purpose and we shouldn’t aim to eliminate them altogether. We should, however, learn to be in control of our emotions so that it serves our need instead of us being subservient to our emotions.
Nine on line 6:
This is a time when our patience and careful planning has created a large storage of energy and resources. We have developed the self-discipline required to control our powers and desires. Now, we are ready to utilize what we’ve learnt and accumulated to bring about the goals we set.
Discipline, for those who haven’t attained it, feels more like a restraint than a virtue. It appears to be a series of limitation that prevents us from fully enjoying ourselves.
In truth, discipline does require a measure of restraints. These restrictions, however, are not punishments. Rather, they are like a brace that prevents us from growing astray. It constrains so that we can grow properly.
Anyone who has studied a physical art such as dance or martial arts understands that there are things that can only be gained through repetition and dedicated effort. At the beginning, no matter how badly one desires the end goal, the process feels like a chore. The repetitions become boring and tedious. We only learn to value this stage of our development once we’ve mastered what it was meant to teach.
Discipline is the virtue that allows us to keep on moving in the right direction when we yearn for shortcuts and quick fixes.