Six of Pentacles, Minor Arcana, Pentacles VI
The Six of Pentacles shows a complex imagery with different people and many symbolic elements. At first glance, we see two beggars who can be said to show a mix of desperation and gratitude, a rich man in nice clothes helping them, and six pentacles that are laid out above, on a gray sky.
We also see a castle in the background, most likely belonging to the rich man or someone like him, signaling the overall high-class status of this environment. There are lush green trees in the background, representing the abundance this environment offers.
Many readers interpret this card to mean “measured compassion,” referring to the calculated help the standing figure is extending to the crouched beggars. This interpretation comes from the fact that he is holding an evenly balanced scale. Rationally speaking, the man is showing sound judgment, prudence, and humanitarianism mixed with social responsibility. He doesn’t let his emotions get in the way, while still being charitable.
Another perspective holds that this type of aid is fake or not enough. It isn’t from the heart. When there is so much abundance in the environment, why should people suffer at all? It points at class differences and the inherent inequality in our lives. Yet a third perspective posits that the beggars might not know how to effectively manage large amounts of money, if given freely, so it’s better this way. After all, even the Sun is a measured giver, sending us the amount of heat and light rays we can handle.
In divinatory Tarot readings, the meaning of this card depends a lot on the other cards that show in the spread. If you asked just one question, drew a single card and got the Six of Pentacles, ask yourself the following question: who do you associate with the most in the image? Are you the measured donor? Or are you one of the beggars? The beggar on the left can be said to symbolize an active receiver, while the one on the right is still waiting.
The six pentacles in the sky have an interesting layout. In Tarot, the left side of the cards represents the past, the middle represents the present, and the right side represents the future. The past has the most influence in this card – the beggars’ and the rich man’s choices have all contributed to what they are experiencing today. The future can be better, with more pentacles than today, but the responsibility must be equally shared: beggars need to act responsibly, learning to use the opportunities they are given, while the rich man needs to be much more generous.
In a perfectly equal world, all three people in the card would be standing up, having one another at eye level, regardless of how much money they have. They would have equal worth as humans.
If your reading is about your career and finances, one of two things is happening. If you are the boss, the card suggests you might want to cultivate more compassion in your heart towards those who are below you. Your calculated prudent approach makes business sense, but if you want people to develop deeper loyalty to you, be more generous. Give them holiday gifts, see if you can raise salaries, and more importantly, invest in their continuing education, to give them the skills that will help them and your business.
If you are a salaried employee, the management might not be treating you fairly or generously. They might be fussing over every penny they give you. Are they really in a bad place, financially, or is this just how they are? How long will you put up with this? You deserve to be compensated and respected more. If you work for yourself, you might not be getting compensated enough. See if you can raise your rates.
What does the Six of Pentacles Tarot card mean for love?
For both singles and couples, having the Six of Pentacles in your reading might mean you need to make sure there’ll be equal give-and-take in your relationship (current or future), and that both sides feel that the other one is the best person they can find. Otherwise, if one person feels undeserving of the other, even just a little, there’ll be problems.
Singles must gauge whether their dates possess enough self-confidence, and both singles and couples must make sure that the other is in the same league with them. The Six of Pentacles points at inequalities, and when it comes to love, such inequalities can take on deeper meanings, only because strong emotions are involved.
What does Six of Pentacles reversed in Tarot mean?
Six of Pentacles reversed might mean complete chaos that stems from severe, prolonged inequality. There wasn’t enough give-and-take in the past, and now takers take by force, and givers hold back no matter what. Communication between people is at an all-time low.
If your reading is about your career, this could mean strikes, walk-outs, mass resignations, and union fights. If your reading is about your love life, there’s a dire need to find power balance between you and your partner, current or potential. Whether you are a giver or a receiver, you are overdoing it – you need to learn to do the opposite just as well.
Pentacle cards – all 14 of them – in Tarot’s Minor Arcana are associated with the earth element, which is associated with the astrological signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Six of Pentacles is associated mostly with the constellation of Virgo, as Virgo is a mutable sign, signaling the need for change.
In your reading, the Six of Pentacles might represent a Virgo, male or female, but most likely it represents a situation you have found yourself in. Since Babylonian times, the Virgo constellation is known to be associated with fertility, i.e. abundance, the ability to generate more. Your situation has important lessons for you to learn, whether it’s to open yourself to receiving more, or to give more. It also has lessons for those around you – it’s a collective situation.