It’s like the difference between taking a lunch break and quitting your job.
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Today’s card is the Seven of Pentacles. It picks up on a thread from yesterday’s Ace of Cups. Remember how there was a sense of a seasonal shift in season toward a quieting to balance peak summer. You have to give the seeds time to grow before the harvest can happen.
The same idea applies generally, not just to medieval farmers on Tarot cards. Persistence is important. Perseverance is a key to success.
The other day I was browsing the Psychology Today website (as one does) and stumbled on a review of Angela Duckworth’s book Grit: The Power of Passion of Perseverance by Michael Page. Angela Duckworth is a psychologist who studied the psychology of success. She listed the qualities exemplified by successful people in a wide variety of careers and industries. According to the review, grit was defined as perseverance combined with passion and it was more often present then talent or genius. Grit and persistence topped genius and giftedness.
The seven of pentacles is reminding us to protect our grit.
There is a difference between a pause or a short rest and giving up altogether.
The occasional pause to rest and reevaluate is as essential to success as the passion part is essential to the persistence part to create Duckworth’s grit of success.
Blindly, rigidly plowing ahead keeps us from adapting and it can be a recipe for burnout. Even if you manage to persist through the burnout, you lose the passion that is equally a part of the overall success.
This strikes me as the yang side of the four of swords’ rest and contemplation vibe. The four of swords is inwardly contemplative. This card, the seven of pentacles is more outwardly focused, evaluating and assessing and re-evaluating more than meditative. It’s physically quiet but mentally active. This kind of rest is full of evaluation, planning and mentally preparing for the next step (as opposed to more active preparation advice that you might see with the three of wands)
Pentacles represent our relationship to wealth, career, and the physical realm. It is only fitting that a pentacle card would remind us to preserve a key element of long term success.
Take a pause, protect your grit, then get back to persisting.
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See you at the next sip!