20/02/18 - Mastery

20 February 2018

In his 2008 book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell famously estimated that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Known as the 'tipping point' of greatness, this theory is that it takes at least 10 years of consistent daily practice to be truly great at something. 

Deck: Universal Waite Tarot, published by US Games

I have heard this repeated many times over the last decade but when I recently saw Gladwell talk about his book (via a YouTube video) I was struck by one important thing that I have never seen quoted alongside this famous 'rule'. He said didn't intend this to be a method of 'self-help' (do x and you will get y), rather it was a call to encourage more supportive and nurturing environments (within society) so that regular practice/study is expected to allow for and lead to gradual growth, and eventual expertise. 

In the Eight of Pentacles, we see a man (a stonemason according to the Little White Book, although I always consider him to be a goldsmith) diligently working away. He has already made plenty of coins, but he looks peaceful and happy as he works. 

The card is associated with skill, intricacy, and mastery. It's related to hard work and dedication; doing the same thing over and over again. Persistence. We can only guess whether he is a master of his craft or still an apprentice, but it is clear that he is focussed and content as he practices his skill. 
As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time. - Denis Waitley
Personally, this card is a reminder to enjoy the process of learning and developing my practice (it applies equally to parenting, Tarot, Reiki, and everything else I am still learning) and to be patient. To appreciate the process and not to expect overnight miracles. 

What message does it have for you today?


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