Deirdre of the Sorrows - Eight of Coins


When looking through traditional decks, we usually see a man hard at work, manual labour being very prevalent. It will often show that you have done well to build on your skills and experiences, and are now at a stage where the learning process has moved into a state of natural competence. Becoming a master of your trade as opposed to the apprentice.
With this deck, we see that learning never really stops. If we use the tarot system as an example, we will never be able to say we have learned all there is to learn. Each deck brings new experiences, each time we use cards in conjunction with each other the permutations increase accordingly.
The card is again unusual in as much as there are 4 characters portrayed, all involved in different activities. The boy on the left is involved in a form of exercise. He may be stretching prior to undertaking his main activity, thus preparing his body and muscles for the work they are about to undertake.
The central character may be the class teacher. She is reading from a book, a further pile of books on the desk in front of her. The character to the right is playing a violin. The female student is shown in the foreground of the card sat at a desk with a book open in front of her. She is looking directly at us with a smile on her face.

As usual, each character has their own story to tell, and should be looked at in their own right. Each may well link in with the theme of the card I have typed above. They could all have come through a period of learning, and are now putting their skills to use. Notice how none of them are focussed on the teacher. This I believe does show that they may now be ready to become self reliant with the knowledge they have been given by the teacher. When we break away from formal learning (school etc) a new type of learning takes place. That could be in the form of learning independence, learning self-belief, application of knowledge etc. However, the teacher is still on hand to offer words of support or encouragement.

He really does seem lost in his own world. His eyes are closed as he stretches out the side of his body. I am a qualified gym instructor and see this stretch as either being preparatory or a cool-down. If preparatory it shows you are preparing yourself and your body for some serious work ahead of you. Failure to do this could result in injury or muscle strain. Is there something you feel you should be preparing for? If you see the stretch as being literal, does it show you need to stretch yourself and your abilities a little more? You may be capable of more than you think, but will never really achieve all that is possible unless you push your limits a little further as you progress on your journey.

He really does seem to be caught up in his own private world here. If the story could be told to us, he may well be responding to the emotion and words as the teacher reads from the book, and is accompanying her with suitable music. In this respect he is in harmony with the teacher. Is there something you could be doing with someone else whereby your joint efforts can bring about great reward? Both the teacher and the student are utilising different skills here – the spoken word and music, yet both synthesise really well. If you associate with this, it shows you have great ability, but think how that could be enhanced if joined with somebody else who shares your common goal.

With the pile of books in front of her, we can see how Deirdre has classed this card as indicating further learning may be needed, or there is a requirement to return to training. The students may not be aware of this at the moment, but those books show there is possibly a lot of work ahead of them before they can really leave the classroom and go it alone. All the students look relaxed so the learning should not be arduous in any way.
I think we also need to remember that the teacher is also a student in their own right. Each group of students will bring with them different life experiences which when shared, lead to learning for everyone including the teacher. If you associate with this latter statement, what can you learn from people around you?

We can see her in at least two different ways. On one hand she is obviously enjoying the experience in the classroom. Yet another indication that any return to learning will be enjoyable and fulfilling. On the other hand it could show that she is distracted from her work. She is looking up and laughing. Not disruptive by any means, but could it show that you are not getting your head down right now when you should be? Are there tasks there that need tackling, but you are choosing to find merriment instead? She has good intentions as shown by the fact she is sitting at the desk with the book open, but may need to concentrate on the task at hand.

The coin and the dunce hat remind me of two approaches that can be taken when teaching. Either positive re-enforcement can be given through the issuing of a coin (reward), or negative re-enforcement can be given through the issuing of the dunce hat. Do you find you respond better to praise or criticism? How does this apply to your current situation?

Overall, this card is both positive and active. You can expect to find yourself involved in something that has potential to bring about a sense of achievement or reward. If it is something you have already been working on, give yourself a pat on the back – you may have broken away from the apprentice label whereby you shine with natural ability.